BC F&M Sprint: Watch out for 3-year-olds
One of the most highly anticipated matchups in this year's Breeders' Cup involves two fast and talented 3-year-old fillies, two-time Grade 1 winner Dream Rush and the undefeated La Traviata, in the new Filly and Mare Sprint. But if La Traviata's connections get what they want, this face-off won't happen.
"We're also thinking of the real Sprint," said Patrick Biancone, trainer of La Traviata, referring to the established Breeders' Cup Sprint open to males. "If we can get a spot in the colts race, the owners would want to do that. They're sportsmen, you know."
Indeed, La Traviata is owned in part by Michael Tabor, who had no reluctance running his filly Rags to Riches against males in the Belmont Stakes last June, and who was rewarded when she became the first filly in more than a century to win that event.
It's up to the Breeders' Cup Selection Committee whether La Traviata will face males in the Sprint. La Traviata has only four Breeders' Cup points, earned in her impressive romp in the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes most recently, and she will not race again before the Breeders' Cup.
Even without La Traviata, many believe youth will be served in the F-M Sprint, for that is how impressive the 3-year-old filly sprinters have been this year. Dream Rush, who will also train up to the Cup after having to miss Saturday's Gallant Bloom Handicap due to minor illness, was unchallenged winning the Test and Prioress in her last two starts. La Traviata has won her three races by a total of 27 1/2 lengths. Baroness Thatcher, also trained by Biancone, missed by a nose against elders in the Grade 1 Ballerina most recently, and is pointing to Keeneland's Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on Oct. 6.
"I hope we picked a good year for this, but I don't think it's a layup for the 3-year-olds," said Rick Violette Jr., trainer of Dream Rush.
"Let's put it this way," Biancone said. "We're very happy they created this race this year."
MORE HORSE RACING HEADLINES
- California Horse Racing Board reviews rule
- All eyes on Saturday's $1 million Delta Jackpot
- Stakes winner Lochte headlines Tropical Turf S.
- Take Charge Brandi leads big field in Princess
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE
For the first time, the winner of each of 25 selected Breeders' Cup Challenge races will automatically earn a start in the corresponding division of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26 & 27 on ESPN. This year, "Win and You're In" ...
Already InOak Tree: October 7
• Spinster: Panty Raid has Cup options
• Ancient Title: Ideal trip sets up Idiot Proof
• Tough Tiz's Sis first in First Lady
• Out of Control anything but in Oak Tree Mile
Keeneland: October 6
• War Pass wires field in Champagne
• Shadwell Turf: Purim tops off day of upsets
• Wicked Style wires Breeders' Futurity
• Vacare wears down 'Kitten' in First Lady
• Phoenix: Off Duty outlasts Rebellion
Belmont: September 30
• Curlin reels in Lawyer Ron to win Gold Cup
• English Channel repeats in Joe Hirsch Turf
• Fabulous Strike impresses in Vosburgh
• Unbridled Belle nips Indian Vale to take Beldame
• Goodwood (9/29, Oak Tree): Tiago gets in
Del Mar: August 19
• Pacific Classic: Student Council schools field
• Crossing the Line fires big in Del Mar Mile
• Greg's Gold takes Pat O'Brien
Arlington Park: August 11
• Perfect trip for Jambalaya in Arlington Million
• Royal Highness queen of the Beverly D.
• Shamdinan impresses in Secretariat
Saratoga: July 28
• Whitney: Lawyer Ron romps, earns BC berth
• Diana: My Typhoon earns Breeders' Cup slot
• Go For Wand: Ginger Punch wins by six
• Vanderbilt: Diabolical runs down Attila's Storm
Sha Tin Race Course: April 29
• Champions Mile: Able One first to qualify
Finley: Challenge Fallout
• Zito sips Champagne again, BC Juvenile next?
• Curlin rebounds, tops huge weekend of Cup preps
• Student Council still enigma after Pacific Classic
• Jamabalya takes Million, is Cup bound in Week 2
• Lawyer Ron's record win highlights Week 1
Plonk: Breeders' Cup Hits & Misses