10/27/2009 11:00PM

Yankee Injunuity partners ante up


STICKNEY, Ill. - No one would suggest that Hawthorne Race Course is a hotbed of Breeders' Cup activity. Even so, Hawthorne will have one Breeders' Cup representative in Los Angeles next weekend.

That would be Yankee Injunuity, who earned a guaranteed slot in the BC Turf Sprint by winning the July 11 Arlington Sprint, a BC Win and You're In race. Win and You're In only guarantees a starting-gate berth after entry fees are paid, but Yankee Injunuity's owners elected to put up the dough on the strength of a solid six-start 2009 campaign.

One of those owners is Jim McMullen, who also trains Yankee Injunuity and was out watching his horses go on another rainy Hawthorne morning Wednesday. October in Chicago has been unusually wet, and McMullen will be looking to take advantage of a rare dry day Thursday morning to get in a final BC breeze for Yankee Injunuity. Friday, the 5-year-old horse will board a California-bound flight, and train up to the BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.

Yankee Injunuity's only win this year was the Arlington Sprint, but he has been second in two other turf-sprint stakes, and had a rough trip when he was a close sixth in the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup on Aug. 1 at Penn National. Last out, Yankee Injunuity finished second by a head to Chicago-based Fort Prado in the Kentucky Cup Sprint, run over European-style Kentucky Downs. McMullen said he sent Yankee Injunuity to that race in part to see how he handled an unconventional course layout, since the BC Turf Sprint is run on Santa Anita's unique down-the-hill course, which undulates and crosses over the dirt track at the top of the stretch.

"He handled everything well," said McMullen. "But that's kind of him. He's pretty adaptable."