Side Bet Will Be on Number of Dead Heats in BC Sprint As Even Field Battles it Out

BC Sprint – Grade I
SA Race #14 6f Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $2,000.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.

The BC Dirt Sprint will be forever remembered for the great Alpha Ultimo who won this race three times though that great prolific winner does not hold the race record for this race. In 2004 Ljosalfar covered the six furlongs in a blistering 1.07.49 a feat that we will probably never see repeated.
Alpha Ultimo gave Jerry Garcia Racing their three wins in the race but Mb Stables also has three wins and there are a couple on two including Angelos Sables and the late great Sanny Village.
Three-year-olds dominated just about every other all aged race at the BC but this race has always been very much an all-aged race with every age group up to 8 years old being represented with success. What that does is give us one of the most open races on the BC card and the toughest to find a winner for.


Good luck to all and here three-year-old the 14 starters for the 2023 BC Sprint:

1 Retaliate
A three-year-old gelding trained by Fractious and bred by Second Chance Farms
A winner of 6 from 11 for $949.380

There are just too many positives with this one to overlook his chances and he is possibly one of two in the BC series that comes into it as a clear-cut favorite. The winner of his last four including the grade one Crosby and Jerkins Memorial he can go on any ground, from any gate and is a sprinting superstar regardless of what he does today. Working 57 and 2 and 1.10 and 1 and getting the three-year-old weight allowance, he really does tick a lot of boxes and could well anchor many peoples Pick em’s. Add to all the positives that he gets the ace draw where he is already a grade one winner and it would be a brave man that bets against him.

2 Loko Moko
A three-year-old gelding, trained by South Shore Stables and bred by Woogaloo
A winner of 3 from 16 for $577.000

Things were going well for the three-year-old with runner up spots in the Stephens and The Amsterdam but then wet tracks tripped him up in his last two. I rather think we could see this one surprising a few if the track stays dry today especially as he has landed the perfect gate.


3 Rudy Is With Me
A four-year-old gelding, trained by Mb Stables and bred by Fractious
A winner of 6 from 26 for $690.640

Made sure of qualification when taking the Vosburgh last time and is a pretty consistent sprinter who is a clear top three chance. He has a length to find with Retaliate on their meeting in the Crosby but got a bit too far back that day and if he stays closer early on, he could get much closer. He has been breaking 1.10 for the dirt six which would’ve been wonder horse territory a few years ago and coming from the magic man’s stable he will be a very popular choice to topple the favorite from a great draw.

4 West Coast Party
A five-year-old gelding, trained and bred by Martyparty
A winner of 6 from 30 for $563.940

Sprint racing this year has been so close and this one’s form lines show exactly how close. With just one win he has been within a length in 5 of his other 6 races with three dead heats on his record. That sort of form makes for an exciting race in prospect but really does nothing to help us spend our Disney Dollars backing the right horse. He is in the race and therefore has a chance and the way things have been going could be in a three-way dead heat for first or fifth.

5 Tiz Trippi
A six-year-old gelding, trained by Rock Creek and bred by Gdp Inc
A winner of 8 from 31 for $496.100

Another example at just how crazy the sprint racing has been this year is this six-year-old has yet to win a race this season but has got closer to Retaliate than anything in this field having been beaten just a nose by that horse in the Crosby. What is even crazier is that he ran in an allowance straight after that brilliant Crosby effort and was third of four!
So, at the end of the day with a 1.10 flat work, that brilliant effort in the Crosby and a decent draw he could win but he could also be second last, take your choice!

6 California Sun
A five-year-old gelding, trained by Royalty Stables and bred by Barcelona Farms
A winner of 5 from 18 for $259.100

Apart from his last effort his form has been very consistent in some good sprints this year but what we have to accept is that sometimes they can run a bad race as even Retaliate has a defeat at optional claimer level this year. The sprint racing is that volatile that this horse has dead heated for a win and a second and been beaten a nose in three graded stakes this year so it would take very little to see him coming out on top.

7 Plan To Wheel
A five-year-old gelding, trained by Fractious and bred by Gdp Inc
A winner of 8 from 33 for $808.540

This one’s blip came in the Forego where the wet track tripped him up and he ran a stinker but take that race out and he has a solid record on a drier track. He won the Kona Stakes early in the year but ran his best race in defeat when beaten just a head in the Crosby a whisker behind the likely race favorite in Retaliate. The Crosby is a strong form race for this, and he ran that great third form the car park, so you have to sit up and take notice of that form. A closing fourth in the SA Sprint Championship last time, I do expect him to be strong late today which will be essential in what is bound to be a frenetic race.

8 Demon
A four-year-old colt, trained by Wood Duck Stables and bred by Arindel
A winner of 6 from 19 for $903.000

Took on this race last year and did pretty well from a terrible draw to end up a hard closing sixth. He has been given plenty of time this year and seems to have benefited from a soft early campaign running into good form since the middle of the year, Won The Nerud in July and has since been beaten by a length or less in all the top sprints from difficult gates putting him right in here with a decent chance. Today he still gets drawn a little wide but for him this is almost an inside gate so we may see him right in there at the end.

9 Standing Ovation
A four-year-old, trained and bred by EasyMoney Stables.
The winner of 10 from 22 for $363.920

The trainer was thrilled they got into this race as this one as he was outside the top qualifiers. But he has made the field and whilst he hasn’t got the big race form of some, he does have a great record and is working as well as Retaliate. It may have just been an ungraded state bred stakes that he won last time but he won it in a sub 1.09 time for the six furlongs and was carrying 125Lbs. Any pundit will tell you that is very close to a top speed rating so I will be looking at the odds for this one and may be tempted.

10 R Lopez
A four-year-old gelding, trained by Nynl Stables and bred by Martyparty
A winner of 10 from 21 for $594.390

You can’t beat winning form and this one is on top of his game winning his last three, including the Phoenix last out which qualified him for this race. He has certainly turned a corner this year and his last two starts have been good enough to win a race like this especially when you put his sub 1.10 six furlong work recently which suggests he is still improving. The draw monster hasn’t been kind, but he won the Phoenix from gate 9 so will know what to do from here. A definite chance of upsetting the big boys.

11 On Schedule
A five-year-old gelding, trained and bred by Mb Stables
A winner of 7 from 20 for $733.900

This one’s form rather typifies HRP as just 12 months ago he was winning on the BC weekend in a race that was formerly known as the BC Marathon. 12 months later and he will be strongly fancied in a race half that length!!
So crazy HRPisms aside this tough gelding won the SA Sprint Championship last time having notched up the True North earlier in the year so it is clear that he is as good sprinting as he was routing and may even turn out better. He has raced well from wide gates before so I don’t think the 11 box is too negative for him and let’s face it, I doubt there will be much across the whole field at the end and what better than a horse that will definitely not be weakening. The works of course are pretty much the same as everything else and the form is good enough on his day do if he is your pick then good luck.

12 Championship Rounds
A four-year-old gelding, trained by Mb Stables and bred by Fractious
A winner of 5 from 19 and $713.890

It is pretty unusual for the fours to make an impact as it can be a difficult trip through the development curve as they lose their three-year-old weight allowance. However, this entry has got better and better this year and comes here as one of the top qualifiers. After some good money finishes he booked a place in this race with a win in the grade one Vanderbilt Handicap where he pipped Tehran by a nose from a difficult gate. After that big effort he very nearly won the Forego next out going down by a neck to Electric on an off track before a second place finish in the Phoenix behind the impressive R Lopez.
Like pretty much all the other there is a good reason for him winning.

13 Bigmouth Raj
A five-year-old gelding, trained and bred by Night Rider Stables
A winner of 10 from 25 for $437.160

The form, the works, it can all look a tangled web with these sprinters, and this is yet another that can be explained should he win or lose. Brilliant in the Triple Bend, terrible in the Forego and then pretty good in the SA Sprint Championship, pick the way you think he will run today and there is his best chance. He hasn’t been this wide for a while and may be a little better on speed so this may be the wide gate that is chosen to push forward and if the race engine chooses that path, then he does have a chance.


14 Semi Auto
a three-year-old gelding, trained by Threshold and bred by Choppy Inc
A winner of 4 from 14 for $422.440

Probably the worst gate possible for a horse who needs to stalk. He wouldn’t be out of it with a good gate but the trainer is going to have to get creative with the instructions to try and give this one any chance.

SUMMARY

Retaliate looks the one here, but in a season where these sprint races have been ridiculously close you would be a brave man to put your house on that result. Everything is pointing to him as the draw monster worked its magic so he would still have to be the top choice with the bigger question being how many will dead heat for the remaining places. If you don’t want to back the favorite then just stick a pin in, there is nothing I can say that will help your decision.



Categories: BC 2023, Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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