When the Todd Pletcher-trained Lion Tamer takes the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park he will be doing more than making the first start of his 5-year-old season. He will be looking to duplicate his 1 3/4-length win in the 2004 edition of the seven-furlong sprint.
A son of Will's Way
,Lion Tamer has been on the shelf since defeating top sprinter Pico Central and stakes winner Badge of Silver in last November's Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct. In addition to the Richter Scale and Cigar Mile, Lion Tamer won the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Jockey Jose Santos has the mount aboard the high-weighted Lion Tamer, who will carry 119 pounds.
While Lion Tamer's return should generate a lot of excitement, Sir Shackleton, from the barn of trainer Nick Zito, should not be overlooked.
Sir Shackleton, a son of Miswakibegan the year with a length win in a Feb. 3 allowance optional claiming contest, also at Gulfstream.
Jockey Javier Castellano has the mount aboard Sir Shackleton, who will carry 116 pounds and break from post four.
Another horse in the eight-horse field not to be overlooked is Clock Stopper, who will be looking for his first win since an allowance race at Churchill Downs last summer. Although winless in his most recent starts, he has been hitting nearly every major sprint race around the country, including a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Clock Stopper tends to run late in the race, but he's been running out of time in six-furlong events. The seven-furlong Richter Scale is encouraging to his connections.
Edgar Prado has the mount aboard Clock Stopper, who will break from post seven carrying 117 pounds.
The field for Saturday's $200,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) includes:
1--Value Plus (Joe Bravo, 114)
2-- Sir Oscar (Carlos Olivero, 114)
3--Lion Tamer (Jose Santos, 119)
4-- Sir Shackleton (Javier Castellano, 116)
5-- Mister Fotis (Jorge Chavez, 113)
6-- Built Up (Eddie Castro, 113)
7-- Clock Stopper (Edgar Prado, 117)
8-- Silver Wagon (Cornelio Velasquez, 115)