Updated on 09/17/2011 11:21PM

BC Sprint: Year's fastest sprinter on Beyers might not make the big one


According to the Beyer Speed Figures, the fastest horse pointing for this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 29 at Belmont Park is not Lost in the Fog, Pico Central, Pomeroy, or Woke Up Dreamin. That distinction belongs to Wildcat Heir, whose 117 Beyer earned in his 5 3/4-length victory in Monmouth Park's Teddy Drone Stakes is the highest among all Sprint hopefuls.

Unfortunately for trainer Ben Perkins Jr., the Teddy Drone was the only race Wildcat Heir has won since his victory last November over Midas Eyes in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial. And while the Breeders' Cup Sprint is Wildcat Heir's main objective, Perkins knows time is running out if he is to get the injury-prone horse to the big race.

"We had a little setback with him last month in Chicago when he developed a foot abscess just before the Arlington Sprint," said Perkins, who trains Wildcat Heir for the New Farm. "He's back galloping but hasn't worked since the injury. If all goes well, I'll run him in the Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 8. But if I can't get two good works into him before then, we'll probably just skip the Breeders' Cup and wait for the De Francis again."

Wildcat Heir was on a similar path to the 2004 Sprint until Perkins decide to bypass the race following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Phoenix.

"After he finished fourth at Keeneland I didn't want to overmatch him in the Breeders' Cup at that time, so we waited for the De Francis and it worked out well," Perkins said.

Perkins believes that if he can get Wildcat Heir to the Sprint at the top of his game, his horse has what it takes to win.

"His running style fits the Sprint perfectly," said Perkins. "He has the speed to stay close but the ability to relax, ease back, and make one run at the end. I think he'll be a big factor - if we can get him there."

The Sprint lost one potential candidate and gained one this week.

Commentator will not race again this season after re-aggravating a shin injury during his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodward.

Estate Collection earned a chance in the Sprint after remaining unbeaten with a three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint. The 3-year-old was purchased privately by trainer Doug O'Neill for owner Pablo Suarez following an easy victory in a $40,000 starter allowance race at Del Mar on Aug. 27.

"We bought him thinking he was a hard-knocking horse who could win some hundred-granders around the country," said Doug O'Neill. "But he stepped up and beat some good horses on Saturday, and I believe on his best day he can be competitive in a Grade 1 sprint."

As many as seven Sprint candidates might be lining up for Belmont's Grade 1 Vosburgh on Oct. 1. In the group are Pico Central, Woke Up Dreamin, Pomeroy, Unfurl the Flag, Silver Wagon, Gregs Gold, and either Mass Media or I'm the Tiger, both trained by Bobby Frankel.

Sprint Contenders
3-year-olds & up, 6 furlongs. Purse: $1 million.

1Woke Up DreaminB. Baffert7-2
Freshened after two good wins in important sprint stakes; very logical
2PomeroyP. Biancone6-1
He ran right out of his mind in his dazzling victory in the Vanderbilt
3Lost in the FogG. Gilchrist8-5
America's darling hasn't beaten a good horse, let alone an older one
4Battle WonC. Simon8-1
Runs well everywhere he goes, but three straight seconds are a worry
5Pico CentralP. Lobo12-1
A lost season so far for the best one-turn horse in the country last year
6Greg's GoldD. Hofmans12-1
Recently emerged with his Crosby win; next race will tell if he's for real
7Wildcat HeirB. W. Perkins Jr.15-1
The 2004 De Francis winner has talent; he also has lots of layoff lines
8Unfurl the FlagD. Bernstein15-1
A sixth as the chalk in the Crosby failed to back up his Triple Bend win
9Mass MediaR. Frankel15-1
Upset winner of Forego has to prove he wasn't being an opportunist
10Silver WagonR. Ziadie20-1
Third in the Forego; has not won a stakes race since the 2003 Hopeful
The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.