By Jarrod Horak
The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint arrived on the scene at Santa Anita Park in 2008, and Desert Code was the inaugural winner at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course for Richard Migliore and David Hofmans. The 2023 renewal will be held at the Great Race Place on Saturday, Nov. 4, and they will be dashing five furlongs on the turf course.
Recent Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Results
This was a 5 1/2 furlong event at Keeneland last year and 5-year-old mare Caravel made the lead from post 10 and kept on going. She paid $87.78 to win for Tyler Gaffalione and Brad Cox. She was exiting a victory in the Grade 3 Franklin at Keeneland three weeks prior to the BC.
Golden Pal wired the field from post 3 as the favorite in this event at Del Mar in 2021. He was exiting a win in the Woodford (G2) at Keeneland.
In 2020 at Keeneland, Glass Slippers invaded from France following a runner-up finish in the Prix l’Abbaye (G1) at Longchamp. Belvoir Bay was the 2019 winner at Santa Anita for Peter Miller and he was fresh off a 4th place finish in the Jaipur (G1).
In 2017 and 2018, we saw Stormy Liberal win back-to-back renewals of the BC Turf Sprint for Peter Miller, and he prepped in the Jaipur (G3) at Belmont in 2017 and in the Eddie D (G3) in 2018. Obviously took this affair in 2016 at Santa Anita and he was turning back after a show finish in the City of Hope Mile (G2).
Mongolian Saturday was the 2015 winner at Keeneland and that followed a runner-up finish in the local Woodford (G2).
The Santa Anita Years
This race has been run seven times at Santa Anita. It was held at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill course in 2008-09, 2012-14, and 2016. This race was run at five panels in 2019 and that is the distance they are using in 2023.
Each of the seven winners of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park had previous turf experience at that venue, and six of those horses scored on turf at Santa Anita prior to the BC. Bobby’s Kitten landed the show in the BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in 2013, and captured the BC Turf Sprint the next year.
The chart below shows all 7 winners of the BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, and it includes winning riders, trainers, post positions, running styles, win payoffs, and final preps.
Jockeys to Watch
Joel Rosario (Bobby’s Kitten, Stormy Liberal) and Mike Smith (Mizdirection twice) both won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint twice.
Trainers to Watch
Peter Miller saddled the winner of this race three times (Stormy Liberal twice, Belvoir Bay).
Mizdirection won this event in 2012 and 2013 for Mike Puype.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Trends
Overseas shippers usually struggle in this race but that was not the case in 2020 when aforementioned French raider Glass Slippers stole the candy for jockey Tom Eaves and trainer Kevin Ryan.
Two horses have repeated in this event. Mizdirection took back-to-back renewals of the BC Turf Sprint in 2012 and 2013 on the downhill course at Santa Anita for Mike Smith and Mike Puype. Stormy Liberal scored in 2017 at Del Mar and tallied under the Twin Spires in 2018.
As mentioned above, prior experience on the turf course at Santa Anita Park is a strong angle.
Check out these other Breeders’ Cup Saturday 2023 articles: