BREEDERS' CUP TURF SPRINT | PURSE: $1,00,000 | GRADE 2 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP| 5 FURLONGS (TURF)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After Regally Ready won a Churchill Downs turf allowance last fall by nearly eight lengths, Scott Blasi was convinced of one thing. "This one's the real deal," said Blasi, the assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen.
On Saturday, with Blasi cheering before the television cameras, Regally Ready proved all that and more by dominating the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill, defeating 13 others as the 2-1 favorite. Country Day, a 33-1 shot, was second, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner and another three-quarters of a length before Perfect Officer.
Regally Ready returned $6.60 to win after finishing the five-furlong distance in 56.48 seconds over a good turf.
Rapport led to the turn, with Regally Ready racing easily along his inside flank. After turning for home, Regally Ready opened up, with the group of Great Attack, Country Day, Perfect Officer, and Caracortado picking up a futile chase.
"My job today was so easy it wasn't even funny," jockey Corey Nakatani said. Regally Ready "broke awesome, basically outbroke the field. Once I got past the horse on my right, it was basically over after that."
Owned by the Vinery Stables of Tom Simon, Regally Ready is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by More Than Ready, the prolific turf sire who last year had Pluck win the BC Juvenile Turf and More Than Real win the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.
More Than Ready is a dual-hemisphere sire. Regally Ready was bred in the name of Grapestock LLC, owned by Simon.
"It means so much to have a stallion this great," Simon said.
After his turf debut in the Churchill allowance last fall, Asmussen kept the gelding on grass, sending him to California, where Regally Ready responded with 3 wins from 4 starts. Back east for the duration of the year, Regally Ready won the Churchill Turf Sprint on the Kentucky Derby undercard, making him 2 for 2 over this course. He then raced three more times, ending with a victory in the Grade 1 Nearctic at Woodbine on Oct. 16. He now has won 9 of 17 starts.
The victory was the second in this 2011 Breeders' Cup for the Asmussen-Nakatani tandem, following the Friday triumph for My Miss Aurelia in the Juvenile Fillies.
Tom Ludt, who manages the North American operations of Vinery, said the BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita will be the goal for Regally Ready next year at 5. Ludt is the chairman of the board at Breeders' Cup Ltd.
After the top three, the order was Great Attack, Caracortado, Rapport, Camp Victory, Chamberlain Bridge, Holiday for Kitten, Grand Adventure, Hoofit, California Flag, Broken Dreams, and Havelock.
The $2 exacta (8-11) paid $188.20; the $1 trifecta (8-11-4) paid $771; and the 10-cent superfecta (8-11-4-5) returned $1,059.84.