Secret Circle Sizzles in BC Sprint
Photo: Rick Samuels
Secret Circle wins the 2013 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint.
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Secret Circle, making only his second start since the 2012 Arkansas Derby (gr. I), rallied with a wide move to win the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) by a neck. The Bob Baffert-trained 4-year-old got the six furlongs at Santa Anita Park  in 1:08.73. (VIDEO).

Laugh Track, who also came from off the pace, finished second. Gentlemen's Bet, who pressed the pace early from the rail and had the lead on the turn and in the stretch held for third, 1 1/4 lengths back.

Sum of the Parts was fast out of the gate and got the early lead in the Sprint. The opening quarter was in a blistering :21.34. Fast Bullet   was also part of the pace scenario as was Private Zone and Gentlemen's Bet. The half was run in :43.72.

Secret Circle was sixth early before coming with his move from out in the middle of the track.

"I had a really good trip," jockey Martin Garcia said. "My horse was outside and the whole field was inside of me. I took advantage from there because I knew I had the best horse. I was the other horse (Laugh Track) coming up on the outside and my horse started messing around but by then it was too late to beat me."

Majestic Stride finished fourth and was followed home by Justin Phillip  , Bahamian Squall, Fast Bullet, Wine Police, last year's Sprint winner Trinniberg  , Private Zone, The Lumber Guy  , and Sum of the Parts.

Secret Circle is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman. He now has seven wins and two seconds from nine starts, including a score in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs.

By Eddington  out of Ragtime Hope, by Dixieland Band, Secret Circle was bred in Kentucky by Willmott Stables.

The winner paid $7, $4.80, and $3.60. Laugh Track paid $13.40 and $8.60 and Gentlemen's Bet paid $7. The $1 9-12 exacta paid $50.40.

The win marks the fourth Sprint win for Baffert, who won with Thirty Slews in 1992 and back-to-back runnings in 2007-08 with Pegram, Watson, and Weitman's champion Midnight Lute  .

Secret Circle returned off an 18-month layoff with a win over allowance/optional claiming foes Oct. 14 at Santa Anita.

He was three-for-three at age 2 with a win in the Juvenile Sprint, then was second in his 3-year-old debut in the one-mile Sham Stakes (gr. III). He rallied at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas with wins in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) and 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes (gr. II) before finishing second, beaten 9 1/2 lengthsby the Baffert-trained Bodemeister   in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I). The Sprint's $825,000 first prize boosts his career earnings to $1,828,790.

"He's an amazing horse," said Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes. "It you look at his form, you'll see he's only been beaten twice. That last race of his, he ran in 1:07 (1:07.98) and the race didn't take anything out of him. He's a big, strong, resilient horse and the way he had to run today, coming from out of it, just makes him all the more amazing."

The Sprint is the second win on the day for the team of Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia. They won the $2 million Juvenile (gr. I) with Gary and Mary West's New Year's Day  .

 

 

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