Pico Central out of Sprint
The Breeders' Cup Sprint has lost one of its potential star attractions but likely picked up a new starter.
Pico Central, the nation's top sprinter, will not be supplemented to the $1.5 million Sprint at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, trainer Paulo Lobo said Thursday, but P.T.'s Grey Eagle, the upset winner of the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap at Santa Anita last Sunday, will be supplemented to the Sprint, said his trainer, Craig Dollase.
Lobo and owner Gary Tanaka of London spoke on Thursday and have decided to point Pico Central to the $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 27.
A leading contender for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding sprinter, Pico Central would have had to be supplemented to the Sprint for $200,000.
As for P.T.'s Grey Eagle, "Everything's pointing toward doing it," said Dollase, who trains P.T.'s Grey Eagle for Paul Reddam. "With an improving 3-year-old this time of year, it's the time to take a chance."
Dollase said P.T.'s Grey Eagle will be ridden by Corey Nakatani, a three-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The supplemental fee for P.T.'s Grey Eagle is $90,000.
P.T.'s Grey Eagle, a gelding by Pleasant Tap was claimed last November for $62,500.
In the past 20 runnings of the Sprint, two supplemental entries have won the race, and Dollase trained one of them. He won the Sprint in 1998 with Reraise, who was supplemented for $120,000.
Pico Central rose to the top of the sprint division this year with victories in the San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita, the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct, and two major stakes at Belmont Park - the Metropolitan Handicap in May and the Vosburgh Stakes on Oct. 2. His only loss this year was a third-place finish in the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap at Del Mar in August.
Pico Central was considered the favorite for the BC Sprint.
Pre-entries for the Sprint will be taken on Monday.
- additional reporting by Mary Rampellini