10/05/2011 3:13PM

Breeders' Cup Challenge rewards Giant Ryan twice

Tom Keyser
Giant Ryan, with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, wins the Vosburgh.

Only three horses have won multiple Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In races this year. Two of the three, Tizway and the recently retired Cape Blanco, are among the most recognizable names in the business. The third is Giant Ryan, a Calder-based, New York-bred speedster whose relative anonymity on the national scene is exceeded only by that of his trainer, Bisnath Parboo.

Heading into this weekend, Giant Ryan has won both Win and You’re In races already decided for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the Grade 2 Smile at Calder on July 12 and last Saturday’s Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park. His triumph in the Vosburgh was all the more remarkable considering Giant Ryan had not raced and had worked only twice since capturing the Smile nearly three months earlier.

Fortunately for the other members of the sprint division, owner Shivnanda Parbhoo and his father, Bisnath Parboo, will not enter Giant Ryan in either of the two remaining Win and You’re In Sprint races still to be contested, Friday’s Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland and Saturday’s Grade 1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita. In fact, Parboo said he feels bad he deprived another owner the opportunity to pick up the $10,000 in expense money the Breeders’ Cup awards the winning connections of its Challenge races by virtue of Giant Ryan’s victory in the Vosburgh.

“I really hated to take that spot away from somebody, since we had already won a Win and You’re In race,” said Parboo. “Coming off a layoff like we did, I’d have been very happy just to have run second or third in the Vosburgh.”

Parboo originally had no intention of even sending Giant Ryan, who has now won six races in a row, to New York for the Vosburgh.

“He came out of his last breeze a little tired, and at the time I felt I was at least one work away from having him ready to compete against the quality field that was going to run in the Vosburgh,” said Parboo. “But the next morning he was so aggressive we couldn’t even put a bandage on him. I had a thought of staying at Calder and giving him his final prep for the Sprint in the Kenny Noe that was scheduled for this weekend. But I had a feeling the race might not fill, and as things turned out I was right. Basically I just couldn’t take a chance of waiting for a race that might not happen and really had no choice but to go to New York.”

Parboo also caught a couple of breaks on Saturday when defending Sprint champ Big Drama spiked a fever and was withdrawn from the Vosburgh and steady downpours left the racetrack sloppy at post time.

“I think the track worked out perfectly for us,” said Parboo. “I knew he’d handle it well, and I didn’t think any of the others would like it except Trappe Shot. The only thing I told Cornelio [Velasquez] before the race was that he would take the lead and after that he could figure out the rest.”

Parboo, who still has to ante up $100,000 to make Giant Ryan eligible for the Breeders’ Cup, said he plans to ship his horse to Churchill Downs early next week.

◗ A field of seven topped by Sprint candidates Flashpoint and Aikenite will run in the six-furlong Phoenix on opening day at Keeneland. The Factor and Amazombie will be the major players the following afternoon in the Ancient Title.