Updated on 10/13/2010 3:01PM

Former claimers prominent among contenders in Turf Sprint

Benoit & Associates
Quick Enough, claimed for $40,000 just two starts earlier, is on his way to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint after winning Monday's Morvich Handicap at Oak Tree's Hollywood meet.

Hey what is this – the Breeders’ Cup or the Claiming Crown? Indeed, several of the top contenders in the Turf Sprint were acquired through the claim box, the latest being Quick Enough, a 6-year-old gelding who won Monday’s Morvich Handicap after being haltered by Doug O’Neill for $40,000 at Del Mar two starts earlier.

Quick Enough earned a Beyer Figure of 98 for his pace-pressing score in the Morvich, which is a Win and You’re In event. His connections seem likely to pony up $90,000 to supplement QuickEnough to the Turf Sprint..

Silver Timber, claimed from his first start of 2009 for $25,000 by Chad Brown, has won 7 of 11 starts since then; five of those wins were graded stakes, including a successful defense of his Woodford title last Saturday.

Chamberlain Bridge, a fast-closing second in the Woodford after breaking slow and racing five wide on the turn, was claimed by Bret Calhoun for $35,000 in March 2008. Since then, the durable 6-year-old Chamberlain Bridge has won 11 of 23 starts, including the last two runnings of the $250,000 Turf Monster. A horse for the course, he has three wins on the Churchill Downs layout, highlighted by the CD Turf Sprint in 2009.

Stradivinsky was claimed for $50,000 from a win at Churchill in late May, and promptly won the Grade 3 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont for Rick Dutrow. The 7-year-old Stradivinsky, who was a close third in the Turf Monster after dueling throughout, worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80 at Aqueduct last Friday in preparation for the Turf Sprint.

Elusive Gift, who dueled with Stradivinsky in the Turf Monster and wound up beaten less than two lengths for all the money, came back three weeks later to win an off-the-turf sprint, running five furlongs in 56.50 seconds to threaten the track record at Parx Racing; the 5-year-old gelding by Elusive Quality earned a 99 Beyer, and was claimed out of the race for $50,000 by Richard Vega.

Little Nick, who was claimed for $25,000 in mid-August, won Sunday’s $70,000 Basket Weave overnight stakes at Belmont Park for Anthony Quartarolo.

Awakino Cat, who has won four stakes at Saratoga the past two summers for Linda Rice, was the favorite for the Basket Weave before being scratched at the gate.

“He tied up, which is a shame because he’d never run at Belmont and I was anxious to see how he would do,” said Rice. “He’s okay, but will be on a day-to-day basis for a while. At this point we’re not sure what the future holds, but [the Turf Sprint] isn’t out of the question.

Two races may yet produce starters for the Turf Sprint: Friday’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County for fillies and mares at Keeneland; and Saturday’s Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine, which is the sixth and final Win and You’re In race for the division.