05/03/2012 12:05PM

Churchill Downs: Bridgetown fit for return in Turf Sprint

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bridgetown has had 10 workouts leading up to his return in Saturday's Grade 3, $125,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Bridgetown gave hints of being the premier turf sprinter in North America last year at 4, but some minor physical issues forced Todd Pletcher to pull the plug on a fall campaign. Nearly nine months after flaunting his wares at Saratoga, Bridgetown will return as the favorite Saturday in the Grade 3, $125,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint.

“He’s trained very well since we brought him back into training,” said Pletcher, who has gotten 10 workouts, the first coming in mid-February, into the 5-year-old homebred horse for Eugene Melnyk. “We thought this was a good spot to bring him back in.”

Bridgetown, with John Velazquez to ride, will break from post 4 in a field of 12 entered in the five-furlong Turf Sprint. His chief threats appear to be Great Mills, beaten just a nose in the Shakertown last month at Keeneland, along with the respective sixth and seventh finishers in that same race, Great Attack and Chamberlain Bridge.

The balance of the field comprises big longshots, and of those, Woodbine shipper Shabaab might be a sleeper for the vertical exotics, assuming he gets a clean forward trip from the 12-hole under Luis Contreras.
As race 6 (post 1:19), the Turf Sprint kicks off the $2 pick six that ends with the Derby and carries a $500,000 pool guarantee.