breeders cup sprint

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Roy H wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint

2017 Eclipse Award Selections

Champion Three-Year-Old Female

1. Abel Tasman

2. Unique Bella

3. Elate

4. Daddys Lil Darling

5. New Money Honey

The Kentucky Oaks winner out-finished the others of her age in the Distaff, while also winning the Acorn Stakes and Coaching Club Oaks. She also boasts runner-up finishes in the Cotillion (to It Tiz Well), Santa Anita Oaks (to Paradise Woods) and Santa Ysabel (to Unique Bella). She is a deserving Eclipse winner.

Unique Bella missed a lot of the year due to injury. She looked to be the next Songbird when winning three graded stakes- the Santa Ysabel, Las Virgenes, and Santa Ynez- but like Songbird, she missed the Kentucky Oaks with injury. She returned later with a win in the L.A. Woman Stakes, but flopped in the Breeders’ Cup Filly + Mare Sprint. She got her first Gr.I win afterwards when defeating Paradise Woods in the La Brea Stakes.

Elate won two Gr.I’s in 2017, the Alabama Stakes and Beldame against older mares. She also has a win in the Light Hearted Stakes, and board finishes in the CCAO, Honeybee Stakes, and Suncoast Stakes. She finished fourth in the Distaff.

Daddys Lil Darling got her big break in the final strides of 2017 when winning the year’s final Gr.I, the American Oaks. Early in the year, she showed promise on dirt, when finishing second to Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks and Ashland Stakes. She also finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup to La Coronel.

New Money Honey, a turf filly, won the Gr.I Belmont Oaks and Gr.III Wonder Again Stakes. She disappointed later in the year, but her general record and form puts her at #5.

Honorable Mentions go to La Coronel, who won the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup among other races, It Tiz Well who won the Cotillion, and Lady Aurelia who won for the U.S. at Royal Ascot.  

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Disco Partner is back to is electrifying self with a big win in the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational

I cannot wait for the Disco Partner vs Lady Aurelia showdown in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

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Ransom the Moon (right) winning the G1 Bing Crosby and a free pass to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint while a riderless Drefong (center) causes a little trouble for Roy H (left) back in second.

Talk about a dramatic finish.

2017 Eclipse Award Selections

Champion Sprinter

1. Roy H

2. Mind Your Biscuits

3. Imperial Hint

4. Ransom the Moon

5. Sharp Azteca 

The breakout runner Roy H won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which makes him 5/6 this year, with his other wins including the Santa Anita Sprint Championship and True North Stakes. His lone loss came in the Bing Crosby Stakes, with many believing he would have won it if not for a loose Drefong running his own race. Roy H’s Championship crowning will make a fitting reward to Rockingham Ranch (and David Bernsen) who lost top campaigners in the San Luis Rey Downs Fire.

Mind Your Biscuits won the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan earlier in the year in impressive closing fashion, along with the Belmont Sprint Championship. He finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and second in the Cigar Mile and Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes. He flopped in the Forego, however, the race won by Drefong.

Like Roy H, Imperial Hint only lost once, and he came into the big picture a bit later in the year. Before the BC Sprint, Imperial Hint competed in lower level stakes races, winning the Gr.III General George at Laurel Park, Gr.III Smile Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel, and Donald Levine Memorial Stakes at Parx. The son of blue-collar stallion Imperialism is set to be a top sprinter in the coming years.

Ransom the Moon, a son of Malibu Moon, won the Gr.II Kona Gold Stakes before capturing a controversial Gr.I Bing Crosby. He also finished second in the San Carlos Stakes. Like Roy H and Imperial Hint, he seems to have come into his own as a five/your year old. I rate him higher than Drefong because he finished better than him in the BC Sprint, while also going to post more: Drefong made three starts in 2017, winning once, fading in another, and throwing his jock in the first. Ransom the Moon made 6 starts with three wins and a runner-up effort.

Sharp Azteca is a bit of a wild card here, as he seems to be more of a miler than a sprinter. A demon at one turn, he might even be able to stretch out a bit longer. Sharp Azteca defeated Mind Your Biscuits in the Cigar Mile.  

Honorable Mentions go to Defrong, the Champion Sprinter from 2016 who only won once this year, Danzing Candy, who looked to be a top sprinter this year after capturing two graded stakes before he was injured and retired, and Whitmore, who won 4 stakes- 3 graded- this year. Also a shoutout to El Deal, for he won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt this year before being retired for basically no reason.