Day Trader strengthened the hand of trainer D. Wayne Lukas for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with his impressive victory in the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 14. The 3-year-old son of champion sprinter Phone Trick drew off by daylight to defeat Premier Performer and Ecstatic in 1:10.01 for the six furlongs. Day Trader, owned by Overbrook Farm, won the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, and has four trips to the winner's circle from a dozen lifetime starts.
Lukas, of course, doesn't need a whole lot of help in the Sprint, as he is poised to send out divisional leader Orientate to contest the race at Arlington Park Oct. 26. If Orientate gets another prep before the big day, it will occur in the Oct. 5 Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Carson Hollow is making a bid to join Xtra Heat as the leading fillies primed to make their presence felt in the Sprint. The 3-year-old daughter of Carson City made it five wins from six career outings with a most impressive victory in the Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Sept. 14. Carson Hollow covered the six frames in 1:10.25, and has speed to burn on the front end, just like Xtra Heat. She is remembered for her nose defeat to You in the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, her only loss. She has three stakes wins under her belt, and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. plans to take Carson Hollow straight to the big dance.
Boston Common turned in the other fine performance last weekend, stretching out to a mile in the Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont and winning off by five lengths in 1:36.12. Boston Common ran a good second to Gygistar in the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in his previous effort. The 3-year-old son of Boston Harbor is conditioned by Michael Pino and races for leading owner Richard Englander. He has finished in the money in 14 of his 16 trips to post.
This week's major action takes place at Belmont Park again, the Sept. 21 running of the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs for $300,000. Likely starters include Bobby Frankel's Aldebaran, the late-running son of Mr. Prospector who was a strong second to Orientate in the Forego Handicap (gr. I), and Bonapaw, as game a sprinter as you'd want to see. Bonapaw, however, would need to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup for $200,000.
Also likely for the Vosburgh are Griffinite, Voodoo, and Wild Summer.
The most impressive workout of the week for Sprint candidates belonged to Swept Overboard, who rang up a :59 flat over five furlongs at Hollywood Park. Swept Overboard has not been to the races since taking down the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at a mile by daylight May 27. He is likely to attempt a title defense of the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Oct. 5. Trainer Craig Dollase is dangerous with comebackers, and in the Sprint (Reraise).
In other works, 2000 Sprint Champion Kona Gold covered five frames at Santa Anita in 1:02.80 for trainer Bruce Headley, and Crafty C. T., third in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, worked :47.20 over four panels at Santa Anita.
Possible European contenders for the Sprint include Invincible Spirit, a 5-year-old son of Green Desert trained by John Dunlop who won the Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup (Eng-I) Sept. 7 by a nose over Malhub. Malhub is a 4-year-old by Kingmambo who has been first or second in three group races this year. He is conditioned by John Gosden.
Sprin's Fab Five:Horse/trainer/owner(s)
1) Orientate/D. Wayne Lukas/Bob and Beverly Lewis
Next Start: Phoenix Breeders' Cup or Breeders' Cup Sprint
2) Xtra Heat/John Salzman Sr./Harry Deitchman, Ken Taylor, John Salzman Sr.
Next Start: Breeders' Cup Sprint
3) Gygistar/Mark Hennig/Edward P. Evans
Next Start: Unknown
4) Squirtle Squirt/Bobby Frankel/David Lanzman
Next Start: Forest Hills Handicap or Phoenix BC
5) Disturbingthepeace/Darrell Vienna/David and Rita Milch
Next Start: Breeders' Cup Sprint