10/10/2012 4:36PM

Breeders' Cup Sprint: Phoenix performance puts Sum of the Parts into the field

Coady Photography/Keeneland
The 3-year-old Sum of the Parts will move on to the Breeders' Cup Sprint after winning last Friday's Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland.

Trainer Tom Amoss has confirmed that Sum of the Parts will take advantage of the free ticket he earned by virtue of his victory last Saturday in Keeneland’s Win and You’re In Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes and will start in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. It will be Sum of the Parts’s second Breeders’ Cup appearance. He finished sixth after an eventful beginning in last year’s Juvenile Sprint.

Amoss said the decision to run, made by owners Seth Klarman and William Lawrence, was based on several factors, most importantly the fact all the horse’s pre-entry and entry fees will be paid as a result of his 1 1/4-length decision over Noble’s Promise in the six-furlong Phoenix.

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“The thought process is that we know we have a good 3-year-old and this is a chance for him to run one more time before the year’s up, after which we’ll give him a rest,” said Amoss. “Obviously having all expenses paid went into the decision as did the fact the defending Sprint champion Amazombie got beat last weekend at Santa Anita. Talking to the guys, they were encouraged to see that result because in their minds Amazombie was the one to beat in the Sprint.”

The Phoenix was the fourth victory in the last five starts for Sum of the Parts, a son of Speightstown, with three of those wins coming over artificial surfaces and the fourth, Charles Town’s Red Legend, on dirt.

“Although he’s had most of his success on synthetic tracks, the surface is not a concern for us,” said Amoss. “He won his debut on dirt at Churchill Downs as well as the stakes at Charles Town. My main concern is how much speed there is in the race. We feel we have a confirmed front-runner. Our horse runs best on the front end and that’s what we’re going to do. Through the years, watching the Sprint, it’s always a fast opening quarter and this year that’s going to be us. We’ll be part of that.”

Sum of the Parts will do all of his major training up to the Sprint over the Polytrack at Keeneland before shipping to Santa Anita the week of the race.

Amazombie went back to the track on Wednesday for the first time since his fourth-place finish under MIke Smith in defense of his title in Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship. He remains on target for the Sprint.

“We feel we’re right on schedule for the Sprint,” said trainer Bill Spawr. “He was pretty tired right after the race but he’s bounced back well the last few days. He only got beat a length and one-quarter and I think the race will help him a lot. The track here is so tiring right now, Mike said Amazombie started to make a move, but he got his head in the air about midstretch and got tired, but he loved the race for him.”

Spawr, as have many other trainers based at Santa Anita, voiced his concern about the racetrack being much slower than usual this fall. Bob Baffert, whose Coil and Capital Account finished on-two in the Sprint Championship, kept Coil at home for the Sprint Championship to get him a start over the track prior to Breeders’ Cup Day rather than sending him to New York to run the previous weekend in either the Vosburgh or Kelso.

“The times were really slow on Saturday,” Spawr said.

The final time of the Sprint Championship was 1:09.88 and Spawr said a race like that usually would be run around 1:08.

“If the racetrack stays this way it will be a concern for us, although my feeling is by Breeders’ Cup Day it won’t be,” he said. “If we get a couple of rains, it should tighten things up.”