Carl Moore Management’s 6-year-old gelding Chamberlain Bridge posted an exciting, come-from-behind victory when gaining the lead in the final 50 yards of the $909,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. II) (VIDEO) and prevailing by 1 1/2 lengths in the Nov. 6 race at Churchill Downs.
Central City, who led throughout most of the five-furlong race, went to the front early and carved out fractions of :21.59 for a quarter mile, and :44.60 for the half. Still leading by a half-length at the eighth pole, the son of City Place could not ward off the late charge of Chamberlain Bridge, who completed the race in :56.53 under regular rider Jamie Theriot.
"My horse went on and gave me his heart there," said Theriot. "I turned for home and found the seam. When this horse gets outside of horses in the daylight, he just finds multiple gears."
Chamberlain Bridge had to overcome the rail post with his late-running style.
"Jamie has been riding this horse for years for us; he knows this horse inside and out," added trainer Bret Calhoun, who won with both of his Breeders' Cup starters this year after winning the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint with Dubai Majesty Nov. 5.
"We had to have a lot of luck. Jamie had to have a very brave ride to kind of pick his way through. He was in a lot of traffic, and this horse really doesn't fire his best race until he gets in the clear."
Central City wound up second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Unzip Me, who checked in third by a nose over Bridgetown. Favored Silver Timber failed to hit the board in fifth after besting Chamberlain Bridge in the Shakertown (gr. IIIT), Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT), and Woodford (gr. IIIT) earlier this year.
Chamberlain Bridge was bred in Kentucky by Eugene Melnyk. By War Chant, he is out of the Trempolino mare She’s Got Class.
Chamberlain Bridge, who recently recovered from an abscess in his foot, won three stakes this season prior to the Turf Sprint: the Arlington Sprint Handicap, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap at Penn National, and the Turf Monster at Philadelphia Park. The gelding, who went off at odds of 6-1 in the Turf Sprint and scored his previous biggest career victory in last year’s Aegon Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill, is now 16-4-6 from 31 starts. He earned $540,000, boosting his career bankroll $1,585,245.
Chamberlain Bridge paid $15.80, $8.20, and $5.60. Central City returned $9.80 and $7.80, and Unzip Me paid $7 to show.