11/06/2010 3:42PM

Chamberlain Bridge flies late in Turf Sprint

Tom Keyser
Chamberlain Bridge gets up to win the BC Turf Sprint, giving jockey Jamie Theriot and trainer Bret Calhoun their second Breeders' Cup victories of the weekend.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bret Calhoun kept downplaying the foot abscess that threatened to prevent Chamberlain Bridge from starting as one of the favorites in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. And after the 6-year-old gelding stormed to victory Saturday in the five-furlong race, giving Calhoun and jockey Jamie Theriot their second BC victory in as many days, the 46-year-old trainer proved just how right he was.

“We’ve had this race in mind since we freshened the horse last winter,” said Calhoun. “The only real problem we’d had was with the foot last Friday, but I was confident we’d gotten past it. We were very fortunate that things turned out as they did.”

Chamberlain Bridge broke with the field from post 1, but with just three furlongs to go, he had only a handful of horses beaten. Theriot maneuvered him through several spots of traffic and had him in high gear approaching the eighth pole.

“He was in a very tight spot around the turn, and it was my chance of winning,” said Theriot. “My horse went on and gave me his heart there.”

With about 100 yards to go, Central City, who had led from the opening jump with Robby Albarado aboard, turned back a serious bid from Bridgetown, but Chamberlain Bridge raced past him with ease, prevailing by 1 1/4 lengths.

“He’s a horse that doesn’t like to be on the inside, so I just worked my way out,” said Theriot. “Turning for home, I had a big seam, and as soon as he saw daylight he was a different horse. He just hit gears.”

Chamberlain Bridge, owned by the Carl Moore Management LLC, returned $15.80 as the third choice after finishing in 56.63 seconds over a firm course.

Central City, a 9-1 shot, nearly beat the gate from post 2, opening up a clear lead almost immediately. He held for second, another 1 1/4 lengths before Unzip Me, who got the nod in a three-horse photo over Bridgetown and Silver Timber for third. Silver Timber was the 3-1 favorite in the full field of 14.

On Friday, Calhoun and Theriot won the first BC event of their careers with Dubai Majesty in the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint.

“To win one Breeders’ Cup is just unbelievable,” said Calhoun. “And that’s about all I can say about winning a second one.”

“Reality hasn’t set in yet,” said Theriot. “I’m still up there on a cloud.”

Chamberlain Bridge, a Kentucky-bred by War Chant, had been a leader in the turf-sprint specialty in North America the last two seasons, having won eight stakes since February 2009.

Both Chamberlain Bridge and Dubai Majesty raced for claiming tags earlier in their careers. Chamberlain Bridge, who made his career debut for a $16,000 tag, was claimed for $35,000 in March 2008 at the Fair Grounds. His career record now stands at 16 wins from 31 starts, with the $540,000 winner’s share Saturday increasing his bankroll to $1,585,245.