Updated on 09/15/2011 1:03PM

Countdown to the Cup: The Sprint (9/20)


Two races in the East on Saturday likely will produce several candidates for the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.

Entries were to be drawn Thursday at Belmont Park for the $300,000 Vosburgh, a Grade 1 for 3-year-olds and older horses. Among those expected to enter the seven-furlong Vosburgh, which has produced four Sprint winners since 1984, were King's Bishop winner Squirtle Squirt, Grade 1 winner Peeping Tom, multiple stakes winner Say Florida Sandy, and possibly Forego runner-up Left Bank.

In Kentucky at Turfway Park, City Zip is expected to be the heavy favorite in the Grade 2 $150,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds. The Sprint produced one Breeders' Cup winner, Reraise, in 1998.

The leaders of the sprint division, Kona Gold, Caller One, and El Corredor are training in Southern California and won't be in action this weekend.

Kona Gold, who won last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs and subsequently was named the champion of his division, will use the $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita on Oct. 6 as his final race before defending his Sprint title, according to trainer Bruce Headley. Kona Gold, a 7-year-old, has run in the last three Breeders' Cups and Headley used the Ancient Title as his final prep each time.

Kona Gold has not raced since collaring Caller One in the final sixteenth of a thrilling edition of the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup at Del Mar on July 22.

Caller One, a 4-year-old, has not raced since the Bing Crosby and this week his trainer, Jim Chapman, said there is a possibility Caller One will not race again before the Breeders' Cup. Last year, Caller One won the Kentucky Cup Sprint, before finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Del Mar Breeders' Cup winner El Corredor will train up to the Sprint.

Squirtle Squirt, a 3-year-old, is the likely Vosburgh favorite and pacesetter. Trainer Bobby Frankel said the Vosburgh will be Squirtle Squirt's last race before the Breeders' Cup.

Frankel took over training Squirtle Squirt when owner David Lanzman purchased the colt last year as a 2-year-old at a Barretts sale for $25,000. After finishing second in the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup at Hollywood in July, Squirtle Squirt became a Grade 1 winner in the King's Bishop last month at Saratoga and has trained in New York since.

"He's been a pleasant surprise," Frankel said. "I didn't know what to expect until I ran him the first time. The only negative is, he does too much in the morning. He gallops strong and works fast."

Peeping Tom, who won the Carter and was second in the Metropolitan Mile in the spring, runs in the Vosburgh for the first time since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Tom Fool on July 4.

Peeping Tom's trainer, Pat Reynolds, said his gelding would have to run a big race before he considered the Breeders' Cup.

"It would have to be a really strong first or second, like he was running before he threw in that bad race," Reynolds said.