The headliner of this Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event needs no introduction. The defending TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Roy H returns after most recently giving a third-place effort in March in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Race Course. Roy H was second in this event last year, but he never lost again in 2017. This year, the first step towards defending his Breeders’ Cup title will start against what has turned out to be a very tough field of potential spoilers.
The winner of the Bing Crosby Stakes will receive an automatic position in the TwinSpires Sprint this fall at Churchill Downs. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the person who nominated the foal or racehorse. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes will be the feature race on Saturday at Del Mar. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue the next day, Sunday, July 29, with the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar and the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park. The Clemet L. Hirsch is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Distaff, while the Haskell is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The full field from the rail out includes: Annie’s Candy, American Pastime, Roy H, American Anthem, Ransom the Moon, Tribal Storm, Stone Hands, St. Joe Bay, Edwards Going Left, Touching Rainbows, and Stallwalkin’ Dude.
#3 Roy H – After the Golden Shaheen, Roy H was given some needed time off to recuperate and prepare for defending his title. Last year, he finished a tough-luck second in this race after being floated out to the middle of the track by Drefong, who lost the jockey at the start and was running loose on the track. After that loss, he reeled off three straight big-time wins before the previously-mentioned loss in Dubai. He has been training extremely well leading up to this race and should be a tough favorite to beat.
Horses to Use in Multi Race Wagers
#4 American Anthem – So far, so good for this Bob Baffert trainee who is 2-for-2 in 2018. He was a multiple graded stakes winner as a 3-year-old and picked up a huge win last time out in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes, which made him a graded stakes winner at age 4. However, he has never won a Grade 1 event, so this would be a big feather in his cap. Three races back, he was third behind Roy H in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, which shows the level of improvement that he will need to show. You can never count out trainer Bob Baffert, though, and American Anthem may be ready for a peak effort with this being his third race off of the layoff.
#8 St. Joe Bay – Welcome back to the big time, St. Joe Bay! Trainer John Sadler claimed this horse two starts back for $62,500 for Hronis Racing and the 6-year-old gelding rewarded them immediately with a tremendous second in the San Carlos last time out. Races in his past had certainly suggested that he could compete with nearly anyone, but we had not seen that type of form in quite some time. However, he looks to be back now, and if he can repeat his San Carlos effort, then he could be right there at the end in this one.
#2 American Pastime – The last time we saw this horse, he was finishing fourth in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint at odds of 14-1. He was only beaten by a little over 4 lengths in that race, which shows the level of improvement that he displayed throughout his 3-year-old season. Now, he must show improvement once again. as this will be a tough task for him off of a nearly nine-month layoff. However, he is training forwardly leading up to the race, and his connections have displayed confidence by entering him in this spot.
#9 Edwards Going Left – This California-bred has become a major player against open company. Three races back, he nearly won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, and he once again competed well when third in the Grade 1 Triple Bend. However, that last race was in March, so he will be running off a bit of a layoff in this ultra-tough spot. That may be the only downer for him, as he will need a top performance to match up with this group.
#5 Ransom the Moon – Last year’s defending Bing Crosby winner is back to defend his title. Ransom the Moon picked up his only career Grade 1 victory with the win here last season, but since then, he has not found the winners circle. However, he has been in some tough races since that win, including the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint, where he finished fifth. Last time out, he tried stretching out to a mile in the Grade 1 Met Mile at Belmont Park, but he finished fifth in that race. He is back to his best distance here, which could lead to a nice performance.
#11 Stallwalkin’ Dude – This 8-year-old gelding ships west for the first time after spending nearly his entire career on the east coast. He always seems to be competitive, no matter what field he’s up against, and is a multiple graded stakes winner. He is missing a Grade 1 victory on his resume, though, which is something that would really top off a stellar career. This will be his third race off of a layoff, too, which could lead to a big performance at the right time.
#10 Touching Rainbows – After impressively winning four in a row, this 5-year-old gelding tried stakes company for the first time in the San Carlos. That race did not go well, though, as he was seventh while beaten 15 lengths. His trip was not the best in that race, and this will be his second try against stakes company, so he might improve.
#1 Annie’s Candy – After taking some shots on turf and synthetic surfaces this year, he moved back to the dirt last time out and won a small stakes event at Pleasanton by 2 lengths. In that race, he took the lead right from the start while never looking back. With his inside post-position draw, he will likely look to do the same thing in this race, although this will be a major class test for him.
#6 Tribal Storm – The 4-year-old ridgling enters this race off of a decent second last time out in a stakes event at Pleasanton. Before that race. he had done much of his best running on synthetic and turf surfaces, but in that last effort, he showed that he can run over the dirt. This will be a difficult move up in class for him, so we will see if he is up for the challenge.
#7 Stone Hands – He was on a two-race streak before struggling to a sixth-place finish last out in the San Carlos, and several of the same rivals from that race are entered here, so he will need to show improvement. However, there is reason for optimism if he can stay away from a fast, early pace, which is what cooked him last time out.