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Mike previews the 2022 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks and longshots from this “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). After breaking Del Mar’s record for 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt in his debut, the Bob Baffert-trained Speed Boat Beach switches to the turf as part of the field of 9 entered in the event. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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Florida-bred Speed Boat Beach, a lightning-quick son of 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, need only replicate his sensational first-out maiden win on dirt to dominate Sunday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at five furlongs on grass this Sunday at Santa Anita.
The Speakeasy, which has attracted nine 2-year-olds, is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier that will provide the winner with a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 4.
Trained by Bob Baffert and off at a generous 2-1 in his Sept. 10 debut at Del Mar, Speed Boat Beach, under Flavien Prat, rocketed from the gate and set interior splits of 21.20, 44 flat and 55.80, before coming home 5 ½ furlongs in 1:01.80. A 1 ¼ length winner, he set a new track record for the distance and earned an incredible 104 Beyer Speed Figure.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Speed Boat Beach, who is out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Sophia Mia, sold this past March out of Florida 2-year-old in training sale for $200,000. He’ll be ridden by Juan Hernandez.
Doug O’Neill’s Ah Jeez, a five furlong maiden turf winner two starts back on Aug. 26 at Del Mar, would appear to rate a solid chance with Abel Cedillo riding back. Fifth, beaten 5 ¾ lengths after show the way early at one mile on turf in the Grade III Del Mar Juvenile Turf Sept. 11, this Kentucky-bred colt by Mendelssohn out of the Violence mare Poetic has the benefit of three solid starts on turf and figures to give a good account of himself on Sunday.
A $55,000 Florida 2-year-old in training sale purchase, Ah Jeez is owned by Mark Davis.
First post time for a 10-race card that will include three other stakes on Sunday is at 1 p.m.
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