Lord Nelson wins the Bing Crosby

Lord Nelson wins the Bing Crosby

Benoit Photography

Lord Nelson Seeks Third Straight Grade I Win

Spendthrift Farm runner was dominant in the Bing Crosby (gr. I) last time out.

Spendthrift Farm's Lord Nelson  appears set to continue his tear through the top-level sprints on the Southern California circuit in the $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (gr. I) Oct. 8.

The Bob Baffert-trained son of Pulpit enters the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the TwinSpires Sprint (gr. I) off back-to-back grade I victories in the Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita Park and Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar, where his finishing time (1:07.65) broke a stakes record for six furlongs that stood since 1962.

BALAN: Lord Nelson Untouchable in Bing Crosby

Lord Nelson also broke the 1:08 mark in his 2016 debut June 3 at Santa Anita, where he dominated a conditional allowance field and completed the six furlongs in 1:07.94.

There doesn't seem to be much threat to Lord Nelson if he remains in top form. The lone upset candidate appears to be Baffert stablemate and Zayat Stables-owned Jazzy Times, who has also shown a liking for scorching the racetrack, albeit against softer company.

The Discreetly Mine colt broke his maiden in May at Churchill Downs, ran third in a Churchill allowance for his second start, then second in another allowance at Santa Anita.

In an allowance at Del Mar over the summer, however, Jazzy Times looked like a different animal. He dueled through sizzling fractions (:21.76 and :44.18) and pulled away to win by 6 1/2 lengths with a final time for 6 1/2 furlongs of 1:14.42.

The rest of the field is still looking for its first stakes win.

Cautious Giant has earned the graded stakes-placed tag with third-place runs in the Palos Verdes (gr. II) and Kona Gold (gr. II) this year, but the Kristin Mulhall-trained Giant's Causeway gelding's three wins outside of the maiden ranks have all been against allowance competition.

Florida-bred Anytime Anyplace and Alberta-bred All Run have earned stakes-placed labels, but the latter could be ready to fire in his second start off a layoff.

The Richard Baltas-trained son of Flower Alley ended 2015 on a very positive note, with three straight allowance victories sprinting from August to November, but has yet to find success in 2016. All Run began the year with a fourth-place run in the Midnight Lute (gr. III) Jan. 2 at Santa Anita, then came in fifth in the Pirate's Bounty Stakes Sept. 5 off a more than nine-month break.

Entries: Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. (G1)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, October 08, 2016, Race 4

  • Grade I
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:00 PM (local)
11All Run (AB)Martin Garcia121Richard Baltas12/1
22Anytime Anyplace (FL)Victor Espinoza121Patrick Gallagher20/1
33Cautious Giant (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze121Kristin Mulhall10/1
44Lord Nelson (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat125Bob Baffert2/5
55Jazzy Times (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Bob Baffert9/5