Turf Sprint Preview: Can Lieutenant Dan Keep Del Mar Streak Alive?
Photo of Lieutenant Dan courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of TVG
Lieutenant Dan may have odds of 6-1 on the morning line, but the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) contender is a popular horse in his home state of California. The gelded son of Grazen is a full-bodied bay with a splashy white face, and has had a following ever since breaking his maiden by eight lengths in 2019.
A California-bred hailing from the Nick Alexander outfit, Lieutenant Dan now heads into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint as one of the top contenders. He has the same morning line odds as defending champion Glass Slippers and the quick, Grade 1-winning filly Kimari. What he has that they don’t, however, is a pair of victories over the Del Mar turf course.
Off from June 2020 until July 2021, Lieutenant Dan returned to the races with a pair of big wins at Del Mar. First, he took an allowance race on July 23, then added the Grade 3 Green Flash Handicap on August 22. He has since come back to win at Santa Anita in the Grade 2 Eddie D down the hillside turf course, pushing his record to eight wins in 16 starts with 15 top-three efforts. As an added bonus, Lieutenant Dan is unbeaten at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint’s five-furlong distance.
The other Breeders’ Cup contenders that stand in his way to victory are a formidable bunch. The defending champion is Glass Slippers, who drew the rail. The five-year-old mare by Dream Ahead has not won since her big upset victory last year, but has been third in three consecutive major races. She has been top three in 11 of 12 at the distance, proving that this trip is her forte.
Emaraaty Ana is another international shipper who has won two of five starts at the distance. This consistent gelding by Shamardal has been top three 12 times, including scoring twice in 2021. The most recent of those was a nose win in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock last out.
A Case of You is one of the most hyped horses over the pond. The son of Hot Streak finally put it all together last out, winning by a nose. Adrian McGuinness trains.
Kimari is coming off a Grade 1 win at Keeneland in April. She has not run since, but trainer Wesley Ward knows how to get them ready to go. Kimari did have a bullet workout on the grass at Keeneland on October 26. The daughter of Munnings has won six of 10, including two of four at the distance. She was fourth in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint against males.
Her stablemate is Golden Pal, winner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He disappointed at York in August, but rebounded to win the Grade 2 Woodford at Keeneland last out after taking the Grade 3 Quick Call Stakes in July. Golden Park, by Uncle Mo, is out of the Grade 1 winning mare Lady Shipman.
Also riding a win streak is Arrest Me Red, stablemate of Golden Pal and Kimari. The son of Pioneerof the Nile has won two in a row, including the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational on October 21.
What about some of the other fillies? Charmaine’s Mia, a two-time graded winner, has not run well of late but has a staggering :57.3 move on the training track to fall back on. Caravel drew in after some other scratches, the Pennsylvania-bred won four races in a row and five including six, and was Grade 1 placed at Woodbine in August. Caravel is trained by Graham Motion.
The field for the Turf Sprint is very deep: Extravagant Kid, Fast Boat, and Gear Jockey. Good luck to all the connections in the Saturday race.
- November 23, 2021
Godolphin Wins Fourth Consecutive John Deere Award as Outstanding Breeder of the 2021 Breeders' Cup World Championships and Challenge Series
Strengthened by victories from homebreds Modern Games (IRE), Space Blues (IRE) and Yibir (GB), for the fourth consecutive year Godolphin has won the John Deere Award, honoring the outstanding breeder of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
- November 18, 2021
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go departed Taylor Made Farm Nov. 17 for Brad Cox’s barn at Churchill Downs in Louisville to ready for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.
- November 6, 2021
Total all-sources common-pool handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was $182,908,409, a new record for the two-day event.