11/02/2012 10:49AM

Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview: A nice consolation prize - and more


ARCADIA, Calif. – The $100,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview at Santa Anita on Saturday was not the original goal of the weekend for the English colt Snow King or the California filly Moulin de Mougin.

They were pre-entered for $1 million juvenile turf races on Friday and Saturday, only to be excluded when the races attracted too many entries.

The Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview, a 6 ½-furlong sprint on the hillside turf course run before the Breeders’ Cup races, is a consolation of sorts, and a chance for one of them to gain a first stakes victory.

As with all juvenile stakes run on the Breeders’ Cup cards, horses in the Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview are not allowed to run with the bleeder medication Lasix.

Snow King won his debut in a maiden race at Ascot, England, on Sept. 8, scoring a nose victory against 16 rivals over seven furlongs. The runner-up, Telescope, returned to win a maiden race at Newmarket, England.

Snow King, a Kentucky-bred by Elusive Quality, is trained by John Gosden for Princess Haya of Jordan and Darley Stable. William Buick will ride Snow King for the first time in Saturday’s race.

The conditions of the race, particularly the distance, should suit Snow King since he won at seven furlongs at Ascot.
The favorite could be another European import in Upward Spiral, a British-bred filly who was fourth in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes under Buick at Newmarket on Sept. 29. Trained by Tom Dascombe, Upward Spiral will be ridden by top California rider Rafael Bejarano, who excels with mounts on the hillside turf course.

The filly Moulin de Mougin is one of two runners in the field that have won on the hillside turf course.

Trained by Richard Mandella, Moulin de Mougin won a maiden race on Oct. 7 in her second start.

“She needed the turf,” Mandella said.

The Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview drew 14 entrants but will be limited to 12 starters. Scherer Magic is the lone stakes winner in the field, having won the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in July. He was fifth in the Tim Conway Stakes on the main track here on Oct. 6, and makes his turf debut on Saturday.

One Firm Cat, trained by Peter Miller, won a maiden race on the hillside on Oct. 14, his turf debut. A gelding, he was second in the Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex Park on Sept. 16.