10/05/2011 2:27PM

Breeders' Cup: Bridgetown to miss Turf Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Bridgetown "is not quite right" and will not start in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Bridgetown, who has won three of four U.S. starts this year for Todd Pletcher, most notably a runaway score in the Troy Stakes at Saratoga that made him one of the early favorites for the Turf Sprint, will not make the race.

Bridgetown, fourth in the Turf Sprint at 3, had posted three triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures during his 4-year-old campaign. The Speightstown homebred was sent to owner Eugene Melnyk’s farm in Ocala for some clinical work, and MRI results indicated he was “not quite right.”

“We’re not going to make the Breeders’ Cup with him,” Pletcher said. “He’s going to need a vacation, and we’ve decided to give him the rest of the fall off. We think he can come back, probably at Gulfstream during the winter or early spring.”

The prospective field will come into much sharper focus after two key Grade 3 preps are run over the Columbus Day weekend: the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday and the 6 1/2-furlong Morvich Stakes down the unique hillside course at Santa Anita on Monday.

The $150,000 Woodford drew a full field of 14. From the rail out: Goldzar, Country Day, Streakin’ Mohican, Great Attack, Havelock, Uno Ducksy, Varsity, Great Mills, Perfect Officer, Magoo, A Diehl, Despite the Odds, Hail to Shiloh, and Taproot.

California Flag, who has run in the Turf Sprint each of the last three years and won it in 2009, is among 20 nominees to the $100,000 Morvich. Among the others expected for the race are Al Instante, Camp Victory, and Sterling Outlook.

Last Saturday, Ben’s Cat won the Maryland Million Turf Sprint for the second consecutive year. The 5-year-old gelding by Parker’s Storm improved to 13 for 18 overall for breeder-owner-trainer King Leatherbury. He earned a fees-paid berth to the Turf Sprint by winning the Turf Monster on Labor Day, but is not nominated and would need to be supplemented for $100,000. Leatherbury said after the Maryland Million that he would “get more serious now about seeing what we can do.”