Thunderello dueled with Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow for the early lead through fast fractions of :21 2/5, and :43 4/5. Xtra Heat faded to finish sixth. Kona Gold, the 8-year-old champion seeking to repeat his 2001 Sprint triumph, finished fourth.The winner, a 4-year-old son of Mt. Livermore, has won five in a row and improved his career record to 10 wins from 19 starts. Previous to the Sprint, the colt bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Thoroughbreds had won the Forego Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. (Chart, Equibase)
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas extended his leadership in Breeders' Cup victories to 17 when Bob and Beverly Lewis' Orientate wore down Thunderello in the stretch for a half-length victory in the NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).Sent off the moderate 5-2 favorite in the 13-horse field, Orientate was ridden to victory by Jerry Bailey and paid $7.40, $5.00, $3.80. Longshot Thunderello, ridden by Edgar Prado, finished a half-length back and returned $33.00 and $13.00. Crafty C. T. paid $9.00.The final time of 1:08 4/5 was just four-fifths of a second slower than the track record.