Breeders Cup Picks: Sprint
The fifth Breeders’ Cup race of the day is the very intriguing $2 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, a six furlong race for 3-year-olds and up. The field of 9 is slated as race 8 with an approximate post time of 5:36 p.m. ET.
#4, Mitole, Ricardo Santana, Jr., 9-5
Mitole enters this race looking dominant, having won eight of his last nine and nine of his last 11 races, including his last: a three-length triumph over today’s entrant Firenze Fire in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24. This will be his sixth straight graded stakes race with his only setback a third-place finish to winner Imperial Hint (runs today as well) and runner-up Diamond Oops in the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on July 27. Trainer Steve Asmussen has Mitole locked and loaded, but he is going to have some fighters in here with him. Let’s see if he is ready. The pick.
#6, Shancelot, Jose Ortiz, 4-1
Shancelot comes into today’s race, looking for his first G1 triumph. In five career starts this year, he is 3-1-1, highlighted by a runner-up finish in his last by a head to Omaha Beach in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5. His last win was in the G2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga by a whopping 12 ½ lengths on July 28. His Beyer figure for that race: 121! Jose Ortiz picks up the mount today for the first time for trainer Jorge Navarro in a race where the last five winners all were first, second, or third in the early running, so look for Shancelot to get out near the front early. Runner-up.
#9, Imperial Hint, Javier Castellano, 4-1
Could this finally be the year for Imperial Hint? He finished second in the 2017 Sprint and third in last year’s edition at Churchill Downs. This year, what has he done? Only handed Mitole his first loss of the year as he won by four lengths in the G1 Vanderbilt. He is 14-2-3 in 23 career starts and is 2-0-2 this year in four, entering this on a two-race win streak. Javier Castellano is back for his third straight start and he could make the difference down the stretch for trainer Luis Carvajal, Jr. Contender.
#3, Firenze Fire, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 12-1
Firenze Fire enters this race coming off two straight runner-up finishes, including a nose heartbreak to Imperial Fire in the G1 Vosburgh Stakes in his last at Belmont Park on Sept. 28. His last and only win this year came by 4 ¾ lengths in the Runhappy Stakes at Belmont Park on May 11. He shows a lot of heart and moxie, so maybe the last one was what he needed to breakthrough. In the mix.
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