Midwest Thoroughbreds' Work All Week, winner of the grade III Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland in his previous start as the favorite, wheeled right back at 19-1 to win the Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).
Work All Week, an Illinois-bred 5-year-old gelding by City Zip, tracked early leader Fast Anna and took over entering the stretch. He held off a rallying Secret Circle, who finished second. Private Zone was third and Bourbon Courage fourth.
Work All Week covered the six furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.28. He was ridden by Florent Geroux for trainer Roger Brueggemann.
Work All Week, who now has 12 wins in 15 starts and is a multiple stakes winner, both in open and state-bred company, was bred by his owner.
This year's Sprint, on paper, was loaded with early speed, but a duel never materialized. Three-year-old Fast Anna and jockey John Velazquez grabbed an easy lead from post 12 and led through fractions of :21.19 for the opening quarter-mile, :43.34 for the half-mile, and :55.38 for five furlongs with Work All Week, who broke from post 13, not far behind.
Work All Week took over with an eighth of a mile to go and held off Secret Circle, who sat in fourth early, by a half-length. Private Zone was 1 1/4 lengths behind third and a neck ahead of Bourbon Courage, who was 14th and last at the top of the lane.
Work All Week paid $40.20, $18.40, and $11 across the board. Secret Circle, last year's Sprint winner, returned $6.40 and $4.60, while Private Zone was worth $5.80 to show. The $1 exacta paid $122.70 and the $1 trifecta $1,064.70.
Favored Rich Tapestry never was a factor and checked in last.
"It feels great," said Geroux, who won his first Breeders' Cup race and regularly rides in Illinois. "It is a dream come true. To compete in these races and win on the first try is unbelievable, especially with a horse from home. Today was the real test to see if he can go with the best sprinters in the country, and he just did it."
"He just does everything we ask, and how can you not be confident in him?" Brueggemann said. "They kept saying we didn't beat anybody, but I wonder what they'll say now."
Bob Baffert, trainer of Secret Circle, said the 5-year-old horse by Eddington ran too well to lose. "I thought he was going to get there, but he came up short."
Richard Papiese of Midwest Thoroughbreds said Work All Week needs a rest and probably would ship to Ocala, Fla., in several days.