Cajun Beat - "2003 Breeders Cup Sprint Winner" on
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2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint
By BRAD FREE
Cajun Beat blazes six furlongs in 1:07.95 under jockey Cornelio
Velasquez, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Bluesthestandard
in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
ARCADIA, Calif. - Cajun Beat was given little respect by
bettors, but the 3-year-old gelding left no doubt who was
the best sprinter in the country Saturday. Shipping from
Kentucky to Santa Anita, Cajun Beat scored a $47.60 upset
with a dominating win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Cajun Beat blazed six furlongs in 1:07.95 under jockey
Cornelio Velasquez, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Bluesthestandard.
It was two lengths farther back to third-place finisher
Shake You Down. Aldebaran finished fifth at 2-1, the third
straight Bobby Frankel-trained favorite to finish off the
board in a Breeders' Cup race.
While the win payoff was the second-highest in Sprint
history, there was nothing phony about the victory. "We
took a big gamble coming here," trainer Stephen Margolis
said, "but he had been training so good, and his last
race he ran such a big Beyer." That was the Grade
3 Kentucky Cup Sprint, in which Cajun Beat earned a 113
Beyer Speed Figure while scoring his first stakes win for
owners Satish Sanan, Joseph Iracane, and his son John Iracane.
Sanan, who races under the name Padua Stables, won last
year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Vindication, who has
Sanan said Cajun Beat was gelded before he ever made a
start, and an ownership interest in the son of Grand Slam
was sold to the Iracanes, who are Kentucky businessmen.
Trained early this year by Cam Gambolati, Cajun Beat was
transferred to the Kentucky-based Margolis when Gambolati
returned to Florida.
Sanan said: "He's a changed horse ever since Steven
had him. I'd say he has improved five or six lengths."
Racing for Margolis, Cajun Beat finished second in an
allowance at Churchill, second in the Grade 3 Carry Back
at Calder, then ran what looked to be the race of his career
in the Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway, where he went six
furlongs in 1:09.54.
He improved on that effort Saturday. Racing on a track
that was fast and fair, Cajun Beat broke well from the
outside, pressed the pace outside front-runners Zavata
and Shake You Down through the turn, opened up into the
lane, and was not threatened.
Bluesthestandard sat a rail trip behind the speed, scraped
paint into the lane, and rallied for second. Shake You
Down, who broke slowly from post 2, rushed forward to press
the hot early fractions of 21.02 and 43.02 seconds and
tired to third.
The $2 exacta combining 22-1 shot Cajun Beat and 13-1
runner-up Bluesthestandard paid $760.20, and the $1 superfecta
paid $31,146.80. In head-to-head $2 wagering between Valid
Video and Yankee Gentleman, the winner was Yankee Gentleman
Ethan Man was vanned off the track after the race when
veterinarians noticed he was "off" in his left
front. The preliminary diagnosis was swelling of his suspensory
ligaments. It is not believed to be a serious injury.
The complete order of finish was Cajun Beat, Bluesthestandard,
Shake You Down, Posse, Yankee Gentleman, Aldebaran, Captain
Squire, Midas Eyes, Private Horde, Ethan Man, Great Notion,
Zavata, and Valid Video.