09/29/2010 3:50PM

Shorter distance ideal for Silver Timber, Chamberlain Bridge

Email

After two years down Santa Anita’s unique hillside course at 6 1/2 furlongs, the third running of the Turf Sprint shortens up to five furlongs, which means it is right in the wheelhouse of Silver Timber and Chamberlain Bridge, the one-two finishers in the Grade 3 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

Silver Timber, who won the Shakertown three weeks prior to his victory at Churchill, is the only U.S.-based horse with two graded stakes wins in turf sprints this year.

Chamberlain Bridge, a 13-time winner with earnings of $999,813 in five-furlong turf races, came up a neck short in defense of his Churchill Downs Turf Sprint title in April, his first loss from four starts over the course. The 6-year-old Chamberlain Bridge has since won three in a row: the Arlington Sprint (a Win and You’re In event); the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup; and the Turf Monster for the second straight year.

Sunday’s Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp is among four Win and You’re In races outside the United States, along with the Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine on Oct. 16, and a pair of Group 1 stakes in Australia – last week’s Manikato at Moonee Valley, won by Hay List, and the T.J. Smith at Randwick, won by Melito.

Melito has been out of action since winning the Sky Racing Winter Stakes on June 26; Hay List, a punctual 3-2 favorite in the Manikato, will go on to the Patinack Classic, according to trainer John McNair.

Rose Catherine improved to 6 for 6 in turf sprints by winning last week’s Turf Amazon at Parx Racing. The 3-year-old Rose Catherine earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 96.

“We’ll make a decision on the Breeders’ Cup later on and give her some time to recover,” said Jonathan Thomas, an assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher.