Imprimis didn’t race until his 4-year-old season, but he was worth the wait, reeling off four straight turf sprint wins in his first four starts, including his first stakes win, the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes (listed) at Pimlico in May 2018.
Racing now as a 6-year-old, he has eight wins from 15 starts, including most recently a neck win in the Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs. The race is a Win and You’re In™ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and gives him his second shot at the trophy after a sixth-place finish in 2019.
The qualifier was his second prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and just his second start this year. He also crossed the finish line first in his first prep race, the Troy Stakes (G3) in August, but was disqualified to third for interference. The DQ was disappointing but owners Sam Ross and Mike Hall of Breeze Easy LLC were happy with his performance; Imprimis had entered the Troy off a nine-month layoff during which he twice underwent throat surgery.
The Troy wasn’t the first time Imprimis had impressed off a long layoff. After finishing fourth in the Turf Monster Stakes (G3) at Parx Racing to end his 4-year-old season, he came back six months later, in March 2019, to win the listed Silks Run Stakes at Gulfstream to start his 5-year-old season. He didn’t lose any speed in the time off; he ran the Silks Run in 54.64 seconds, his fastest winning time for five furlongs. In his next start, he earned his first graded win, the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland.
In addition to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, he was sixth in two other Group 1 or Grade 1 races: the 2018 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine in Canada and the 2019 King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot in England.
Imprimis has raced over 10 tracks in seven states and three countries and won at five different tracks. Always a turf sprinter, he has never raced past six furlongs. He won his first two races coming from well back, but typically races mid-pack or closer to the pace. He has won over firm turf and notably has wins over good and soft turf as well.
For this first two races, Imprimis was owned by his breeder, Craig Wheeler, and trained by Timothy Hills. Wheeler then sold the gelding to Breeze Easy, who turned his training over to Joseph Orseno.
“[He] sold us a good horse,” said Hall after the “in and You’re In” victory. “We've had a lot of success with him, the most fun horse I've ever owned. It's really great and now we're off to the Breeders' Cup."
Breeze Easy has one Breeders’ Cup win, the 2019 Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) with Four Wheel Drive. Orseno has two Breeders’ Cup wins, both in 2000: the Juvenile (G1) with Macho Uno and the Filly & Mare Turf (G1) with Perfect Sting.