10/05/2011 1:09PM

Breeders' Cup: Nashua produces at least three starters for Juvenile Sprint

Tom Keyser
Vexor, winner of the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes, will move on to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint.

Last Sunday’s Grade 2 Nashua Stakes and Grade 3 Tempted Stakes at Belmont Park were repositioned on New York’s stakes calendar and shortened to six furlongs to make them viable preps toward the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint on Nov. 4.

Yet only one of those two races, the Nashua, seems likely to generate many Juvenile Sprint starters.

At least three runners from that race are expected to return in the Juvenile Sprint, led by the winner, Vexor, who won the race by three-quarters of a length over the non-Breeders’ Cup-nominated Trinniberg.

Also expected to point toward the Juvenile Sprint, a six-furlong race open to both males and females, are a pair of Steve Asmussen-trained colts in Seeker and She Digs Me, whom ran third and sixth, respectively.

Although She Digs Me, winner of the Grade 3 Sapling, ran poorly in the Nashua, finishing 14 1/2 lengths behind the winner, he was compromised by a slow start and wide trip.

“Nothing went right,” Asmussen said.

Seeker also had an undesirable trip for an inexperienced horse, racing behind horses on the inside. He was even paced once clear in the stretch, finishing 5 1/4 lengths behind Vexor.

More potential Juvenile starters could join the Juvenile Sprint lineup after racing in the Champagne and Breeders’ Futurity this Saturday – though more likely it will be those that show stamina limitations, suggesting they are not Juvenile material at that race’s distance of 1 1/16 miles.

The Juvenile Sprint, open to both males and females, is unlikely to draw the either of the one-two finishers from the Grade 3 Tempted, Believe You Can and Perennial Son, their trainers said.