10/27/2010 4:43PM

Pashito the Che late surprise addition to Sprint cast

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With division leader Majesticperfection retired and both Here Comes Ben and Crown of Thorns opting for the Dirt Mile, the $2 million Sprint is coming up one of the most wide-open races on next Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup card.

The six-furlong Sprint lured just a dozen pre-entries, topped by Girolamo, winner of the Grade 1 Vosburgh earlier this month, and Big Drama, who finished second behind Majesticperfection and Here Comes Ben in the Grade 1 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap and Forego in his last two starts.

The pace should be an honest one with Atta Boy Roy, Cash Refund, Kinsale King, Smiling Tiger, and Pashito the Che all at their best when on or near the lead. The remainder of the field is expected to include Hamazing Destiny, Riley Tucker, Supreme Summit, Warrior’s Reward, and Wise Dan.

The decision for Pashito the Che to join the Sprint lineup came after his nose victory in Delaware Park’s Hard Spun Stakes two weeks ago and following much consternation on the part of his owners and trainer Scott Lake.

“Early in the year, when he was good, the Sprint was always our ultimate goal but then he quarter-cracked and it took us longer to get it right than I’d thought,” said Lake. “After he won at Delaware I talked to the owners about the Breeders’ Cup and half wanted to go and the other half wanted to return to Calder for the Jack Dudley. But ultimately they said’ let’s go and take a shot at the Sprint.’ ”

Pashito the Che is owned in partnership by Tuna Stable LLC and Off the Hook LLC.

Although Pashito the Che has as much early speed as anybody in the field, Lake said he’s actually looking to take his horse back off the lead in the Sprint.

“He has a tendency to hang and pull himself up when he gets to the front and we want him to lay just back off the lead and wait as long as possible before making his move,” said Lake.

Javier Castellano will replace his brother Abel Jr., who has been aboard Pashito the Che for each of his last two victories, for the Breeders’ Cup.