The G1 BC Turf Sprint is staged over five furlongs this year and the emphasis on pure pace colours the outlook. Last year’s Turf Sprint winner Caravel and the speedballs Nobals and Motorious lead the home defence, while recent G1 winners Live In The Dream and Regional could be the pick of the British shippers.
2023 Turf Sprint
G1, $1m, 5f turf, 3yo+, Santa Anita, November 4
Despite its position on the lawn, the Turf Sprint has been won by Europe just once (2020) in its 15-year history, and without a stand-out candidate from across the pond it may be worth focusing on the home team.
The point to remember is the ever-changing distance of the Turf Sprint – this year it is over five furlongs, a sixteenth shorter than when Caravel won it last year at 42-1 with a big career-best. The cutback is not ideal for the mare, whose last-time-out defeat in the 2023 G3 Troy Stakes is a throwout because of the soft turf, but her form at five and a half gives her solid credentials.
Her old rival Casa Creed (+1500) has earned a paid berth into the BC Mile and is likely to head there, but Nobals (+1500) and Motorious (+1200), who filled the exacta in the 2023 G2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs over five and a half, should be major players.
Nobals has had his best year on the track and continued in fine form when taking a stakes over five and a half at Colonial Downs this month, while Motorious was a dominant winner of the five-furlong 2023 G3 Green Flash at Del Mar and has won twice at Santa Anita, albeit over six and a half furlongs.
Of the Europeans, Kinross (+650) has never run at this distance and is being targeted primarily at the G1 Hong Kong Sprint in December, while Shaquille (+800) has also never run at five and is earmarked for Ascot in October.
However, Live In The Dream (+1000) is a definite traveller and will tune up in the G2 Woodford at Keeneland next month. He made his stakes breakthrough when beating Highfield Princess (+800), who has lost a little of her edge this year, and Bradsell (+1200) in the 2023 G1 Nunthorpe at York over five furlongs – 2022 G1 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint runner-up Dramatised (+1500) 13th and badly out of form – and Live In The Dream’s main weapon is gate speed.
It will obviously be harder to break on top against American horses, but if Live In The Dream has a fair draw at Santa Anita and can get out front, he could take them all the way.
Moss Tucker (+1500), winner of the 2023 G1 Flying Five at the Curragh, prefers soft ground and will head to France for the G1 Abbaye before Breeders’ Cup plans are examined, but six-furlong 2023 G1 Haydock Sprint Cup winner Regional (+2000) is under consideration for California and is a stakes-winner at five furlongs this year.
Betting Early Prediction
Raw speed will be vital over this flying five furlongs and Motorious has plenty of that, and his experience of Santa Anita is also a positive.
Follow us on Social Media for more BC Turf Sprint updates!