The $250,000-added Ancient Title Breeders' Cup (gr. I) attracted seven of the West's top sprinters Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
Six-year-old Captain Squire, who won the inaugural Sunshine Millions Sprint in 2003 for owner Bob Bone, becomes a major contender in the Ancient Title. The Florida-bred gelding by Flying Chevron won his first race after an absence of more than a year on Aug. 24, leading throughout to win a 5 1/2-furlong dash at Del Mar by four lengths for trainer Jeff Mullins.
McCann's Mojave, a 5-year-old California-bred son of Memo, wears blinkers for the first time in a bid to regain the form that saw him win the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita in March of 2004. Leading rider Garrett Gomez replaces injured Jose Valdivia Jr. on the bay.
"I'm thinking it will keep him a little more focused," trainer Paddy Gallagher said. "He's worked in blinkers, and I don't know that it's made a whole lot of difference, but they don't seem to bother him. He seems in good shape."
The Ancient Title was won in 2000 by Kona Gold, who went on to capture the Breeders' Cup Sprint that year and earn an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. The six-furlong race shapes up as a contentious affair. $250,000-added Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. I, Race 6), 3 & up, 6 furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Captain Squire (FL), Alex Solis
2. Gotaghostofachance (MD), Jon Court
3. McCann's Mojave (CA), Garrett Gomez
4. Indian Country (KY), David Flores
5. Bear in the Woods (KY), Corey Nakatani
6. Zanzibar (ARG), Kent Desormeaux
7. Bilo (CA), Victor EspinozaEach horse carries 124 pounds.