02/09/2011 3:36PM

Chamberlain Bridge entered in Rail Splitter at Sam Houston

Justin N. Lane
Chamberlain Bridge, Jamie Theriot up, wins the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

The inclement weather that has blanketed the Southwest has led the connections of Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge to enter the horse in Saturday night’s $75,000 Rail Splitter at Sam Houston Race Park rather than wait for a planned start in next weekend’s $60,000 Colonel Power at Fair Grounds.

The Rail Splitter, at five furlongs on turf, will be the horse’s first race since the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6. It is intended to serve as his springboard to the Group 2, $1 million Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan Race Course in Dubai on March 26.

“We didn’t want to risk not having a prep race,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains Chamberlain Bridge for Carl Moore. “We talked about it. We were scared to pass this race and wait another week not knowing what kind of weather we might get.”

Chamberlain Bridge is based at Fair Grounds, which has had to cancel some of its turf racing this meet because of inclement weather. The forecast for Saturday in Houston is sunny skies and a high of 61 degrees. But last week, even Sam Houston was forced to cancel one of its cards because of freezing temperatures. Delta Downs, Louisiana Downs, and Oaklawn Park have also lost at least one program of racing during the recent rash of winter storms.

The Rail Splitter purse was bumped up from $50,000 when entries were taken on Wednesday morning because the presence of a horse of Chamberlain Bridge’s quality “merited” the increase, said a track official. Chamberlain Bridge will break from post 5, under Jamie Theriot.