The Best Sprint Finishes in the Breeders’ Cup

Written By Cheryle Kaus on October 2, 2019 - Last Updated on October 24, 2019

Whether you consider yourself to be a casual horse racing fan or someone that lives for horse racing action, the Breeders’ Cup provides fantastic value and excitement for all.

The BC Sprint, considered one of the seven original races in the Breeders’ Cup, has always featured some of the hottest fractions and managed to fulfil our need for speed. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the best sprint finishes in the Breeders’ Cup…

Only the Shadow Knows

During 1990, Safely Kept managed to take an early lead in the race only to be challenged by Dayjur throughout the entire stretch. Dayjur seemed like he had the race in the bag until he jumped over a shadow which caused him to lose a step late. Both horses were nose to nose for the entire stretch until Dayjur decided to jump the shadow. This allowed jockey Craig Perret to claim his second victory, while trainer Alan Goldberg enjoyed his only win at this horse racing event.

Dancing Spree

During 1989, Safety Kept managed to obtain an early lead in the race only to surpassed at the wire by the late runner, Dancing Spree, who managed to settle in 9th position earlier on in the race. This allowed Angel Cordero Jr to claim back to back victories in this event and gave Shug McCaughey as the trainer his only winner throughout the event. This incredible narrow defeat created a remarkable finish for Safety Kept the following year.

Four at the Wire

During 2009, spectators enjoyed a truly dramatic finish when four different horses managed to hit the wire at the same time. They were so close to each other that a call couldn’t be made on the outright winner. Dancing in Silks was considered the ultimate winner that day against the likes of Gayego, Crown of Thorns, and Cost of Freedom as the front runner at Santa Anita. This was the first and only win for Dancing in Silks in his first Grade 1 attempt.

Thirty Slews Defeats Meafara

During 1992, Thirty Slews managed to give the trainer, Bob Baffert, his very first win at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with truly dramatic fashion. Thirty Slews caught up with Meafara in the last few years of the race to claim victory by a neck in a truly astonishing stretch drive.

Cardmania Makes a Statement

During 1993, Meafara seemed to have made a significant comeback after a very close defeat to Thirty Slews in an epic race the year before. However, Cardmania was the one who decided to make a statement in the race. His late run managed to beat both Thirty Slews and Meafara at the wire.

Orientate Provides Phenomenal Finish

During 2002, Thunderello grabbed an early lead and it looked like he would go from gate to wire very comfortably. However, Orientate managed to catch Thunderello in the final few yards to give both D. Wayne Lukas as the trainer and Jerry Bailey as the jockey their second victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Secret Circle Wins by a Head

During 2013, Secret Circle provided Bob Baffert his 4th victory in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a truly gutsy finish. He managed to rally all the way back from 6th position, going extremely wide in the turn, to eventually catch up with Gentlemen’s Bet. He also managed to hold off Laugh Track to finally win the race by a head.

Cherokee Run Claims Victory in 1994

During 1994, Mike Smith guided Cherokee Run to claim his very first victory at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a solid stalking trip. Cherokee Run had an incredible battle with Soviet Problem throughout the entire stretch where he eventually got his head out in front to finally win the race at the wire.

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