Shivananda Racing's Trinniberg may be 15-1 on the morning line for the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), but his connections may see the race differently.
The 3-year-old Teuflesberg colt never has never won at the six-furlong Sprint distance, but not for lack of trying. He missed by three-quarters of a length in the Nashua Stakes (gr. II) last year, and this year lost the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) and Gallant Bob Stakes by a combined three-quarters of a length.
It was his last race, the Sept. 22 Gallant Bob at Parx Racing, that should set him up well for the Nov. 3 Sprint at Santa Anita Park. He rated–barely–off a sub-:44 half-mile, took the lead three-wide into the stretch, and just failed to last versus Well Spelled, who circled the field from far back in the center of the racetrack after the tempo slowed considerably.
Jockey Willie Martinez, who has ridden Trinniberg in his last seven races, said the Gallant Bob effort was strong given the circumstances.
"It was a lot better and stronger race than it looks on paper," said Martinez, a veteran rider most recently based at Presque Isle Downs & Casino this year. "The track was heavy and it was dead (despite the quick pace), and he never saw (the winner) coming."
Martinez believes Trinniberg, trained by Shivananda Parbhoo, got something out of the Gallant Bob. He noted that Trinniberg drew post 9 in the 14-horse Sprint, with most of the speed to his inside.
"We have an outside post and he has speed, so I think we should be OK," Martinez said. "I think he's in a good spot. The rest is in God's hands."
Trinniberg, who has four wins and four seconds in 12 starts for earnings of $673,300, returned to his base at Calder Casino & Race Course after the Gallant Bob for one workout, then shipped to Santa Anita, where he went a half-mile in :47 from the gate Oct. 20 and :47 2/5 for the same distance Oct. 27.
The colt will make his first local start in the Sprint. Half of the horses entered have had at least one race on the Santa Anita dirt, including morning-line favorite Amazombie, who won last year's Sprint at Churchill Downs.