09/28/2011 12:35PM

Breeders' Cup: Nashua, Tempted likely to provide Juvenile Sprint starters

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Sapling winner She Digs Me headlines the Grade 2 Nashua on Sunday at Belmont.

The newly inaugurated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint finds itself in a position similar to the Juvenile Turf. Albeit a rich, attractive race, it is still “little brother” relative to the Juvenile.

It lacks the history, purse, and prestige of the latter race and therefore seems likely to draw mostly 2-year-olds with distant limitations or those simply too far behind schedule to be prepared for a 1 1/16-mile race like the Juvenile.

Nevertheless, with $500,000 on the line in the six-furlong Juvenile Sprint and with the race being open to both males and females, it has the opportunity to attract a deep and competitive field.

The composition of the field should take shape in the coming weeks, starting this weekend. Most notably, Belmont will host a pair of stakes Sunday that serve as preps toward the Juvenile Sprint: the Grade 2 Nashua for males and the Grade 3 Tempted for females – races that were moved on the calendar this year and shortened to six furlongs to make them stepping-stones toward the Juvenile Sprint.

Sapling winner She Digs Me is the expected headliner for the Nashua in a race that also could draw promising maiden winners Seeker, Angel’s Tune, Jagati, and Vexor.

Georgie’s Angel, winner of the Grade 3 Schuylerville, is the anticipated favorite over a short cast in the Tempted.
Presque Isle and Calder also have a pair of ungraded sprint stakes for juveniles on tap this weekend, with those four stakes being run Saturday.

Saturday’s Grade 1 Norfolk at Santa Anita at 1 1/16 miles also has the potential to produce a Juvenile Sprint starter, though more likely it would be a horse that weakens in the race, thereby seeming better suited to the Juvenile Sprint than the Juvenile.

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