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The Chosen Vron won the 2023 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar, edging game rivals Anarchist & the 2021 race winner Dr. Schivel to capture the “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Are any of these horses talented enough to take on Elite Power, the defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion who won the Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga earlier in the day? Watch the replay for the Racing Dudes’ expert analysis, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
The chestnut Cal-bred The Chosen Vron, a win machine of the first degree, won his eighth straight race Saturday at Del Mar, but this time he did it with — and to — the big boys.
The racy chestnut gelding took on one of the strongest Bing Crosby fields assembled at the seaside track in recent times and came away a head winner after a stirring stretch duel in the $403,500 headliner that carried a Grade I ranking and a $240,000 winner’s prize.
Hector Berrios, who has now won eight straight races on the son of Vronsky, guided his mount through problems at the far turn and into the winner’s circle. Trainer J. Eric Kruljac, who called the shot to take his Cal-bred terror out of state-bred races and take on the best of the best, met them there with a smile that wouldn’t stop.
The Chosen Vron, who now has won 13 of his 17 lifetime starts, became a millionaire with total purses of $1,032,678. The vast majority of all his glory has been earned facing his California brethren, but today it was a different story.
Finishing second in the six-panel test was Ilium Stables’ Anarchist, while running third was race favorite Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s Dr. Schivel. Only a head separated those two competitors who were part of a thrilling race finish.
Final time for the “Win and You’re In” dash was 1:09.24. Twelve horses in all ran in the 78th edition of the race named to honor the track’s founder. The winner paid $11.00.
The Chosen Vron now has earned himself a guaranteed spot and a free ticket into the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 4 at Santa Anita.
HECTOR BERRIOS (The Chosen Vron, winner) – “Yes, we had trouble (approaching the far turn). I had to pull back and go outside. I got bumped. But this horse is special; he just runs and I love to ride him. He’s very game and he makes it fun. (Berrios has ridden him the last nine times he’s run. He’s won eight of those races.)”
ERIC KRULJAC (The Chosen Ron, winner) – “If the next Cal-bred race had been on the dirt I probably would not have gone today. I went back and forth and my foreman told me he would shoot me if I didn’t run. So I thought we might take a shot.”
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