Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship comes our way this Saturday, October 5 from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Horses three years old and upward will take part in this six furlong dirt dash looking for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
The Santa Anita Sprint Championship has attracted a field of eight to go in race 9 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 5:00 PM. Let's take a brief look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes. The race is a Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" qualifier for the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Trinniberg - defending Eclipse Award winner for Male Sprinter Trinniberg hasn't exactly been the same in 2013. Last time out was a good result - a second in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder July 6 after an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 4. A trip to Dubai earlier this year did not go so well either - an eleventh in the Grade 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in March. His last race of 2012 was his best ever - a win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint that sealed up the Eclipse. Also in 2012 he did finished a brutal seventeenth in the Kentucky Derby to follow up a pair of wins- the Grade 3 Bay Shore and the Grade 3 Swale Stakes and he won the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes. He will look to get back to his Eclipse winning form and will depart from post 4 with new rider Jose Valdivia in the saddle.
Centralintelligence - finished an inspiring second in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap last May to follow up an Allowance score at Santa Anita for trainer Ron Ellis. He has four starts since - a sixth in last year's Triple Bend led to a nearly 11 month layoff and a fourth in his comeback in the minor Cool Frenchy Stakes here May 4. Last time out was his best ever career result - a 3 1/2 length win in the 2013 Grade 1 Triple Bend June 29 after his second consecutive second place finish in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap. He hadn't tasted victory since last March before last time out but has two wins in three starts on this track and appears prime for a big performance Saturday. Victor Espinoza will be in the saddle for the co-highweight from post 3 Saturday.
Points Offthebench - Tim Yakteen trained gelding made his stakes debut last time out and recorded a win in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 28 having raced six times in his career placing in all - four wins, a second and a third place finish. He enters on an impressive three race win streak - other than the Bing Crosby he had two Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Hollywood Park May 27 and at Santa Anita April 6. His other result this year was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita. Mike Smith will guide Points Offthebench, the co-highweight from favorable post 7 Saturday
Goldencents - may have been the biggest disappointment of the Kentucky Derby with his seventeenth place finish as one of the favorites. Although he was a pedestrian fifth in the Preakness, he did bounce back with good seconds in his last two starts - last time out in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien and before that in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby behind Points Offthebench at Del Mar July 28. Before the Kentucky Derby he had three wins in four starts including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in April, the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot and Sham Stakes. Goldencents now has four wins and three second place finishes in 10 starts for trainer Doug O'Neill. He looks to get back in the winner's circle this week for the first time since April and looks OK ahead of this weekend. Rafael Bejarano will get the mount from the far outside post.
Declassify - Bob Baffert trained colt has two career starts and two wins by a combined 19 lengths- an Allowance last time out at Hollywood Park June 8 after a MSW score in April at Santa Anita. Female riding sensation Rosie Napravnik will be in the saddle Saturday.
Roman Threat - Bob Baffert trained gelding has just four career starts with two wins and a second place finish. Last time out was a fifth as 7-5 favorite in the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar September 5 after 16 months away from the track. Before the layoff was a terrific win in the Grade 2 Los Angeles Handicap in May 2012, a second in the Grade 2 Potrero Grand in April 2012 and a MSW score in March 2012 at Santa Anita. Legendary Gary Stevens gets the mount hoping to return Roman Threat to the winner's circle.
Distinctiv Passion - Jeff Bonde trained colt has four wins and three third place finishes in eight career starts but steps up in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday. He won three straight races in the winter including the minor San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita and has alternated wins and third in four starts since.
Gonna Fly Now - John Sadler trained gelding raced in stakes company for the first time August 25 and finished a respectable third in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar having placed in all but his debut. He had an Allowance Optional Claiming score July 28 after a pair of seconds in Allowance races at Hollywood Park.