Updated on 11/03/2012 8:20PM

Breeders' Cup Sprint: Trinniberg keeps focus in stretch to outlast The Lumber Guy

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Jenny Burgos
Trinniberg, under a confident ride from Willie Martinez, wins the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Despite having lost three consecutive races and taking on older horses for the first time, Trinniberg saved his best performance for the biggest stage, outlasting The Lumber Guy by three-quarters of a length to upset Saturday’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Saturday results and video replays]

Trainer Shivananda Parbhoo’s decision to put blinkers back on Trinniberg for the first time since his 2-year-old season appeared to be the key to the Florida-based colt’s success in the six-furlong Sprint. With regular jockey Willie Martinez riding a flawless race, the 13-1 Trinniberg stalked the pace of Sum of the Parts, put his head in front entering the stretch, edged clear nearing the eighth pole, then withstood a final try from The Lumber Guy. Smiling Tiger rallied mildly to finish third.

Amazombie, the defending Sprint champion, raced within striking distance but had no rally and finished eighth as the tepid 7-2 favorite.

Trinniberg and The Lumber Guy were the only two 3-year-olds in the Sprint field.

The victory was the first for Trinniberg since he captured the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park on June 7. The win was also the first in a Breeders’ Cup race for the 24-year veteran Martinez.

A son of Teuflesberg owned by Sherry Parbhoo, Trinniberg paid $29.40 after completing the distance in 1:07.98 over a very fast track.

“I could almost bet my life he’d be in front at the eighth pole, but from the eighth pole to the wire he’d been losing his focus, so that’s why I decided to put blinkers back on again,” said Parbhoo whose father, Bisnath Parboo, was the trainer of record for Trinniberg through his ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 King's Bishop this summer at Saratoga. “He ran with blinkers as a 2-year-old, I took them off, and he ran super good without them. But as he got older he got a little smarter and I figured he needed a change to get some of his focus back.”

Parbhoo also said Trinniberg has flourished since he’s come to California.

“Calder is an amazing track to train on and a big plus for this horse all year,” said Parbhoo. “But since he’s gotten here, he’s totally a different horse. He’s never looked this good.”

Parbhoo said Trinniberg could return to Santa Anita for the Grade 1 Malibu on Dec. 26.

Martinez said winning a Breeders’ Cup race meant the world to him.

“You dream it, you feel it, but to actually taste it is a whole different thing,” said Martinez. “I never lost confidence in
Trinniberg.  I knew we were taking on a challenge going against older horses, but I figured if I was one-two turning for home we’d be tough to beat. The blinkers made a big difference.”

Mike Hushion had mixed emotions about The Lumber Guy’s second-place finish in the Sprint.

“I thought he was going to get him at the eighth pole,” said Hushion. “He fired big time so I’m happy, but I’m disappointed at the same time that we didn’t win.”