10/29/2010 5:03PM

Lt. Hopeful's people have fingers crossed for Turf Sprint spot


This will be a tense weekend for the connections of Lt. Hopeful, who is currently ranked second on the also-eligible list for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Lt. Hopeful is currently at Hollywood Park and owner Syd Belzberg and trainer Janet Armstrong were nervously awaiting word on Friday from Breeders' Cup officials whether Lt. Hopeful can gain a place in the 14-horse field.

"I haven't asked today," Armstrong said.

Lt. Hopeful is actually listed third on the also-eligible list, but Kinsale King, who has been granted a berth in the Turf Sprint, is likely to run in the Sprint on the main track. With two more defections, Lt. Hopeful will be shipped to Kentucky and would be Armstrong's first Breeders' Cup starter. If not, he will stay in California.

"He needs to run five furlongs, and it's the only race that came up," Armstrong said. "He's so quick we thought we'd give it a try."

Lt. Hopeful, 4, has won 3 of 14 starts and $115,282. He has yet to win a stakes, but was fifth in the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf at Del Mar on Aug. 18 and fifth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, in the Morvich Handicap over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on Oct. 11.

"He wasn't beaten far" in the Green Flash, Armstrong said. "I think he's better now. It's a five-furlong race, and he's a front-runner."