The Breeders' Cup has announced the 65 races included as part of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, with Calder Casino & Race Course to host one event, the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 6. With Breeders’ Cup Challenge status, the Smile Sprint, one of the main events on the annual Summit of Speed program at Calder, will serve as a ‘win and you’re in’ race for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, part of the two-day World Championships at Santa Anita in November.
“The Smile Sprint has shown over the years that it is a major race in the Sprint division, producing both Breeders' Cup and Eclipse Award winners such as Big Drama, Benny The Bull, and Orientate,” Racing Secretary Mike Anifantis said. “Partnering again with the Breeders’ Cup only adds to the importance and stature of the Smile Sprint, and we look forward to sending the 2013 winner to California later this year.”
As part of an enhanced benefits program for Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the Championship Day entry fees for the Smile Sprint winner, and will also provide the winner with a $10,000 travel allowance. To be eligible for these rewards, the winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 21.
Last year’s Smile Sprint winner Gantry finished 11th in the Sprint, a race won by fellow Summit of Speed combatant Trinniberg, who was runner-up in the Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes.
BRAVE RAJ WINNER ROSE TO GOLD TAKES GRADE 2 FANTASY
The strength of last year’s Festival of the Sun Preview Day, which has already seen Foolish Pleasure Stakes winner Itsmyluckyday become a leading Kentucky Derby contender off a win in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and a second-place finish in the Florida Derby, and Needles Stakes winner Mucho Mas Macho prevail in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes, was on display again Wednesday when Rose to Gold, winner of that day’s Brave Raj, took down the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Trained by Sal Santoro for the ownership of Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti, Rose to Gold is likely to make her next start in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 3.
In addition to her win in the Brave Raj, Rose to Gold also won the Lindsay Frolic Stakes at Calder last year in her career debut. The daughter of Friends Lake, who has prevailed five times while earning $717,889, is unique in that all seven of her lifetime starts have come in stakes races.
29 NOMINATE TO GRADE 3 MIAMI MILEThe Grade 3 Miami Mile, the first graded stakes of the Calder racing season, attracted 29 nominees upon its April 6 closing date, led by four representatives of trainer Christophe Clement, including recent Grade 3 Appleton winner Za Approval, last year’s Tropical Turf runner-up Mr. Ryder, and 2012 Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap and Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes third-place finisher Summer Front.
Clement has also nominated five-time turf stakes winner Lubash to the Miami Mile, which is the only graded turf stakes at Calder that the veteran conditioner has yet to win.
Trainer Henry Collazo has nominated his Needles Stakes winner and Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes hero Mucho Mas Macho to the Miami Mile, while trainer Phil Gleaves has nominated Csaba, a five-time stakes winner with Grade 3 victories in the Fred W. Hooper and Hal’s Hope, to the race.
Others nominated to the race include the George Weaver-trained 7-year-old Monument Hill, winner of a Gulfstream Park turf allowance in his last; the John Kimmel-conditioned Bombaguia, runner-up in the 2012 Grade 2 Bowling Green and second when beaten a neck to Monument Hill in his last; and Finale, a Grade 3 turf stakes winner that was beaten 2 ½ lengths by Monument Hill when last on the grass.