For the third straight year a Breeders’ Cup champion passed through the Calder Casino & Race Course stable gate just days after achieving the ultimate glory on American racing’s biggest stage as Sprint winner Trinniberg returned to his south Florida stall during the early morning hours on Wednesday.
“He was a little tired in the morning and slept until nine,” trainer Shivananda Parbhoo said of his prized colt. “But he bounced right back today and I can tell you that the same way he went into the race is the same way he has come out of it. He’s back to himself.”
In the moments immediately following his Breeders’ Cup Sprint triumph, Parbhoo had toyed with idea of bringing Trinniberg back to California to run in the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, although a few days out, when viewed in the waning light of a cool south Florida afternoon, thoughts of a return trip west have appeared to fade.
“He really loves the track out there and that’s what made me think about the Malibu, but he’s done for the year,” Parbhoo said. “I’ll probably send him back to the farm. I plan to run him as a 4-year-old, but because of what happened to (Giant) Ryan (who broke down in the True North Handicap at Belmont in June) I am going to be very careful with him.”
So with the curtain closed on his 3-year-old season, Trinniberg can claim 2012 wins in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the Grade 2 Woody Stephens, the Grade 3 Bay Shore, and the Grade 3 Swale, a quartet of victories that leads Parbhoo to believe his colt is worthy of being named champion sprinter.
“Right now, if I had to give a percent, I’d say it is 70 to 80-percent that we will win the Eclipse Award,” Parbhoo said. “There are still two months of racing left, but I truly believe the award is ours.
“Off the top of my head, the only horse I can think of right now that might have a chance is The Lumber Guy. We both have grade-one wins, but we’ve won more stakes than he did, and we beat him in the biggest race. Maybe Amazombie would have had a chance if he would have finished better in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Eclipse Award or not, the 2012 Breeders’ Cup victory by Trinniberg caps off a remarkable 12-month period for Parbhoo that saw the Trinidad native, along with his father Bisnath, start two horses in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, run a horse in the Dubai Golden Shaheen as part of the prestigious Dubai World Cup program, and have a Kentucky Derby starter.
“There are trainers out there that would love to run a horse in any one of those races, but for us to run in all of them within a year, and then to win one, wow” Parbhoo said. “Back when my family started in this business, all we wished for was that we could win a grade one race. That was it. Never mind the race, just a grade one anywhere and we’d be happy. And now, it’s just amazing.”
Equally amazing to Parbhoo was the reaction Trinniberg’s win elicited not only from his home island of Trinidad, but how the win resonated across the vast string of island nations that traverse the Caribbean Sea.
“After the race, I got calls and text messages from all over the islands, not just Trinidad,” Parbhoo said. “I got calls and texts from St. Kitts, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, from places that I didn’t even know the location, or how they got my number.
“I heard from one guy in the Cayman Islands that said the OTB parlors went berserk when Trinniberg won. No jockey, trainer, or owner from the islands had won a Breeders’ Cup race. We were the first. We went on the world stage and won. And that’s a very big thing.”
Calder will present a special ceremony in tribute to Trinniberg following the seventh race on Saturday’s Florida Million Day card that will include the colt being paraded in front of the Calder grandstand with representatives from the Parbhoo family in the winner’s circle.
OFF THE JAK TO REPRESENT PARBHOO IN JACK DUDLEY SPRINT
One week after winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Trinniberg, Parbhoo will look to repeat that feat, albeit on a smaller scale, when starting Off the Jak, an allowance winner in each of his last two starts, in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap.
“I feel like I’ve just come back from the moon, but now it’s back to business,” Parbhoo said. “It’s a tough race, but I figure my horse to be right there. He has speed, I like his post (5), and while I think Bull Dozer will probably be the favorite, we beat him the only time we ran against him.”
In that race, a December 3 starter allowance at Fair Grounds, Off the Jak finished second, four lengths ahead of Bull Dozer, who crossed the wire third that day.
The Jack Dudley Sprint will go as the 10th race on the 12-race card.