Spendthrift Farms’ Lord Nelson qualified — again — for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) after earning a 2 ½-length victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (GI) over four talented rivals on Saturday. The Bob Baffert trainee was ridden to victory by jockey Flavien Prat, who was also aboard when the son of Pulpit caputured another “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup event — the Bing Crosby (GI) at Del Mar on July 31. Lord Nelson finished the six furlongs in 1:08.80.
All Run set all of the early pace of :21.37, :43.80 and :56 before begrudgingly giving up his lead to the winner, who stalked the pacesetter on the outside for more than five furlongs, in deep stretch and settled for runner-up honors, while crossing the wire another 3 ¾ lengths in front of Jazzy Times. Cautious Giant and Anytime Anyplace completed the order of finish.
At odds of 1-2, Lord Nelson returned $3, $2.10 and $2.10, keying a $11.30 exacta for $1 over 23-1 chance All Run, who was good for $8.80 and $2.80. Jazzy Times returned $2.10 at 7-5. The $.50 trifecta was worth $12.60.
According to Baffert, the likely next stop for Lord Nelson will be the Breeders’ Cup, despite carrying a reservation or two about who else will be in the gate next to him.
“There’s always a lot of speed in that race. You’ve got Masochistic and you’ve got [fellow Baffert trainee] Drefong. He’s pretty fast too. To win the Sprint you have to be doing really well, be at the top of your game. Post position is so important. The Sprint is a difficult race to win, but if you have the right kind of horse you can do it and so far, Lord Nelson looks like the right kind of horse. He likes this track and he hasn’t lost this year.
In addition to the Bing Crosby and the Santa Anita Sprint, Lord Nelson also won last year’s San Vicente Stakes (GII), Speakeasy Stakes and placed in two other graded events. His career line now stands at 13-7-1-1. He has earned $958,271 in purses.