Updated on 10/26/2011 5:18PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint expected to have field of nine

Tom Keyser
Hunt Crossing was withdrawn from the Juvenile Sprint on Wednesday due to a knee injury.

When the six-furlong Juvenile Sprint was added to the Breeders’ Cup schedule this year – swelling the number of races to 15 – it was expected to serve as an alternative race to its other 2-year-old races, all of which are contested around two turns.

Lightly raced and speed-oriented juveniles were essentially the target market, and when pre-entries were announced Wednesday for the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, that was just what the race attracted.

Ten of the 12 pre-entered horses have raced four of fewer times, and only one pre-entry – Hansen, who will run in the Juvenile and not the Juvenile Sprint – has raced a route.

The Juvenile Sprint will have one of the shortest Breeders’ Cup fields, with nine or fewer horses expected to be entered when post positions are drawn Monday.

Hunt Crossing was withdrawn from the Juvenile Sprint Wednesday due to a knee injury, trainer Todd Pletcher said. Two others – Hansen and Caspar Netscher – were cross-entered in other races and are expected to run in the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf, respectively.

Secret Circle, perfect in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert, looms a short-priced favorite, with his chief competition in the Juvenile Sprint expected to come from Vexor, Trinniberg, and Seeker, the 1-2-3 finishers from the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 2.

Trinniberg, runner-up in both the Nashua and Grade 1 Hopeful this year – was supplemented as a racehorse in training for $100,000 to qualify for the Juvenile Sprint.

Although the race is open to both males and females, only one filly was entered – the British filly Shumoos, a Group 3 winner who has raced exclusively on turf and synthetic surfaces overseas.