11/02/2006 1:00AM

Sprint analysis



TOO MUCH BLING is a fast horse who can chase heat and also finish. The comebacker has won on four tracks, and was aimed all year to this by trainer Boib Baffert, who won the 1992 Sprint with layoff horse Thirty Slews. Too Much Bling can fold into a neat trip behind the pace and wear them down. He must catch ace California sprinter BORDONARO, who emerged from a wicked (119 Beyer) Grade 1 victory one month ago in top shape. Bordonaro has won on the road (Oaklawn and Gulfstream), and is best of the speed. Longshot THOR'S ECHO ran good enough to win while second in the Ancient Title, and could outrun his price, though the rail not a good spot. HENNY HUGHES is stuck in post 4 with tons of speed outside. He is vulnerable. SIREN LURE will roll from behind, though Too Much Bling will have first run.


THOR'S ECHO let BORDONARO get loose early and stayed close the rest of the way in a much-improved try in his return from a freshening. If HENNY HUGHES keeps BORDONARO honest early, and THOR'S ECHO improves a bit second time back, THOR'S ECHO can upset this field at a nice longshot price. BORDONARO has won five of his last six races, and is clearly the horse to beat at low odds. Find a way to add betting value in the exotics rather than betting on him to win if you love his chances. HENNY HUGHES is at the top of his game now. He should be right there early, and will be a serious threat to capitalize if the favorite makes any mistakes. MALIBU MINT ran a big race when she won the Princess Rooney at Calder, and deserves to be used in the exotics.


HENNY HUGHES is not your average speed horse. In three starts this year he has easily side-stepped the potential pitfalls of inside posts, maneuvering readily to the outside and relaxing just off an early target, then wresting command through the second quarter and finishing powerfully, particularly through the Vosburgh's last two furlongs in 11.39 and 11.92 seconds while not fully extended. BORDONARO, likewise, has early speed but doesn't require the lead. His lone race outside California was a game win over FRIENDLY ISLAND matching his career top Beyer, a level he surpassed in the Ancient Title running the highest figure in the U.S. this year. Layoff horses have run well in the Sprint, so TOO MUCH BLING has been freshened since a draining win in the Carry Back; ship-and-win stalker has won four stakes this year, all from outside posts like this.


BORDONARO returned to a front-running style last time out in the Ancient Title, and the result was a strong victory. Much has been made about how he might prefer more time between starts, but he has been so lightly campaigned this year that this shouldn't be a problem. And when one is torn between the West Coast speed of Bordonaro, and the East Coast speed of Henny Hughes, it often pays to let West Coast speed be the deciding factor. HENNY HUGHES was unchallenged winning all three of his starts this year and will certainly take a lot of beating. SIREN LURE might be at his best going a slightly longer distance, but he was very good during his three-race graded stakes win streak, and will be rolling late. POMEROY ran well winning Saratoga's Forego, but he has always been at his best at Saratoga.