11/05/2011 12:18PM

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint: Musical Romance points to Sunshine Millions

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Tom Keyser
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance is being pointed to the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Musical Romance came out of her upset victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in good shape and likely will make her next start in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita in January, according to the filly’s trainer and co-owner, Bill Kaplan.

Kaplan already is touting Musical Romance as a deserving honoree in year-end Eclipse Award balloting in the filly and mare sprint category, one that could be tightly contested between Musical Romance, Hilda’s Passion, Turbulent Descent, and Sassy Image.

“Hopefully, they’ll consider us very seriously,” said Kaplan, who will continue to train 4-year-old Musical Romance at his Calder base in south Florida.

Musical Romance raced 14 times in 2011 and clearly came to peak form in her final few starts, culminating with her 1 1/4-length triumph under Juan Leyva as a 20-1 outsider Friday. The victory came in the first Breeders’ Cup mount ever for 27-year-old Leyva.

“Juan Leyva and her have something special going,” Kaplan said. “He’s been able to get nine perfect trips with her.”

Meanwhile, Switch, the Filly and Mare Sprint runner-up for the second year in a row, will return to her Southern California base and get a couple months off before gearing back up for a 5-year-old campaign, said trainer John Sadler, with the ultimate goal being a return run in the 2012 Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Also, Turbulent Descent, who endured an awful trip when fifth as the 7-5 favorite, will return to California and will race again next year, trainer Mike Puype said.

“She got slammed leaving the gate, she got slammed leaving the backside,” Puype said. “Then it made her eager, and she pulled her way right up to the leader – moved too early and then she flattened out after that. It’s her first bad race, and this obviously was the wrong day to have it.”

Both Switch and Turbulent Descent were entered to be sold at auction in Lexington, Ky., in the coming days, but both are being withdrawn.

Also, Shotgun Gulch incurred a gash in a hock when injured in the starting gate, necessitating her late scratch. The cut required eight stitches, but Oklahoma-based owner-trainer C.R. Trout said the filly should recover soon enough and be ready to compete again at 5.