11/02/2011 5:22PM

Breeders' Cup: Chamberlain Bridge will defend from outside post

Barbara D. Livingston
Chamberlain Bridge drew post 14 for the BC Turf Sprint, which suits his trainer, Bret Calhoun, just fine.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For someone who sent out two Breeders’ Cup winners last year, trainer Bret Calhoun sure has flown under the radar this week. The 47-year-old Texan is back with one of those winners, Chamberlain Bridge, who started from post 1 when he captured the 2010 BC Turf Sprint and will break from post 14 with Jamie Theriot back aboard when he defends his title Saturday in the $1 million race at Churchill Downs.

“We’re on opposite ends of the spectrum,” said Calhoun, who also won the 2010 BC Filly and Mare Sprint with the since-retired Dubai Majesty. “But that’s fine, because he likes it better outside. I’m not saying he’ll win again, but when we got the one hole last year, I was horrified. Jamie worked out a real nice trip for him last year, and hopefully he can do the same this time.”

Chamberlain Bridge is just one of numerous contenders in the five-furlong Turf Sprint, which shapes up as one of the best betting races on either Breeders’ Cup day. Regally Ready has been pegged as a lukewarm program favorite but doesn’t necessarily have to be, considering how well matched the field is.

Regally Ready (post 8, Corey Nakatani), trained by Steve Asmussen, broke loose with a 101 Beyer Speed Figure of 101 making his turf debut in a Churchill allowance last fall. Ever since, turf sprints have been his domain, including a victory here last spring on the Kentucky Derby undercard and last month in the Grade 1 Nearctic at Woodbine.

“He’s coming off a very nice win in the Nearctic and is doing well,” said Asmussen.

Perhaps the most intriguing starter is Caracortado (post 13, Joe Talamo), a consistent gelding whose past performances are dotted with graded stakes going a mile on turf. Trainer Mike Machowsky said the cutback in distance following a 10-week layoff is “an angle I love” and that the California-bred 4-year-old comes well prepared for this task following a series of sharp works at Santa Anita. Caracortado was good enough to capture the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in his most recent start in late August.

“After Del Mar, I was just going to run in the Cal Cup,” said Machowsky. “But the more I thought about this, the more I liked it. And here we are.”

Other prime contenders in this race include several horses in off sharp efforts at Keeneland, led by Havelock (post 10, Robby Albarado), a rallying winner of the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes on turf. Havelock, a Maryland-bred gelding, has strong local ties: owners Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton of Silverton Hill Farm live in nearby Springfield, Ky., while Churchill-based trainer Darrin Miller employs his 17-year-old son, Chase, as the regular exercise rider for Havelock.

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint: Get graded entries, comments by Mike Watchmaker, and more

The other Keeneland returnees include Perfect Officer (post 4, Kendrick Carmouche), a good second in the Woodford; Hoofit (post 7, Edgar Prado), a New Zealand-bred gelding who was supplemented to the BC program after his 11-1 upset in the Phoenix on Polytrack; and Holiday for Kitten (post 2, Joel Rosario), an 18-1 winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America on Polytrack and the only 3-year-old in the field.

Holiday for Kitten, a filly, is joined by 5-year-old Broken Dreams (post 3, Garrett Gomez) as the only females in the field.

Yet another notable in this deep cast is California Flag (post 6, Patrick Valenzuela), winner of this race in 2009 at Santa Anita. The 7-year-old gray gelding won the Grade 3 Morvich at Santa Anita in his last start.

Rounding out the lineup are Grand Adventure, Great Attack, Rapport, Country Day, and Camp Victory. Of those, perhaps Country Day (post 11, Jimmy Graham) rates the best bomber chance after posting two sharp recent works over the local turf course for trainer Steve Margolis.

The Turf Sprint, which was first run “down the hill” at Santa Anita in 2008, goes as the sixth of 12 Saturday races and is the leadoff race in the $2 pick six (races 6-11). Post time is 3:21 p.m. Eastern.

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M. Machowsky
J. Talamo 98, 98, 102 He's not a turf sprinter, but he has a lot of class; might mow these down late 7-2
D. Miller
R. Albarado 96, 70, 93 Won his last three turf sprint attempts with various running styles; obvious 5-1
Chamberlain Bridge
W. B. Calhoun
J. Theriot 94, 78, 91 Improved third most recently suggests a return to form; won this last year 8-1
Camp Victory
M. Mitchell
J. Leparoux 88, 100, 104 Excellent main track form before dull turf try in last; has rebound potential 10-1
Regally Ready
S. Asmussen
C. Nakatani 94, 83, 89 Regained top form taking his last at WO; big win over the course last spring 6-1
Broken Dreams
T. Proctor
G. Gomez 95, 93, 95 Mare is in sharp form and isn't far off Beyer-wise; chance for a piece at a price 15-1
Perfect Officer
M. Pino
K. Carmouche 93, 94, 89 Nothing wrong with his steady form; he just seems a cut below the best here 10-1
California Flag
B. Koriner
P. Valenzuela 94, 95, 57 Also recently regained winning form, but he seems at his best in California 10-1
Country Day
S. Margolis
J. Graham 91, 83, 91 Although he improved last time, he doesn't show a turf race that can win this 20-1
Great Attack
W. Ward
J. Sanchez 85, 94, 97 Sports some solid efforts, but the competition here runs too deep for him 20-1
H. G. Motion
E. Prado 93, 82, n/a Upset the Phoenix on Poly, but his turf record in New Zealand is only so so 15-1
Grand Adventure
M. Frostad
J. Castellano 88, 92, 88 Requires a wake up call as he seems far removed from his best form 20-1
Holiday for Kitten
W. Ward
J. Rosario 89, 77, 75 Upset a stakes on her favored Kee Poly last out; in way over her head here 30-1
R. Werner
B. Hernandez Jr. 81, 91, 81 Has high speed, can improve off long layoff; brutal spot to make her turf bow 20-1