Photos courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Jack Shinar
Trinniberg, overlooked at odds of 13-1, proved his doubters wrong when he posted his first grade I victory in the $1.5 million XpressBet Breeders' Cup Sprint by three-quarters of a length Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Shivananda for Sherry Parbhoo, Trinniberg came into the biggest race of his career off three consecutive losses. But shipped to Southern California for the first time, the 3-year-old son of Teuflesberg was a different animal this time, running the six fulongs in a sharp 1:07.98 on a fast track.
Ridden by Willie Martinez, Trinniberg held off The Lumber Guy late after opening a daylight advantage in the stretch, but he always looked like a winner in the bulky 14-horse field. Trinniberg won for the fourth time in eight starts this year while claiming his first win in five tries at six panels.
Trinniberg raced with blinkers for the first time since last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, when the dark bay or bown colt finished seventh at Churchill Downs.
“When he turned for home, I felt really good," Pabhoo said. "I added blinkers today because I thought in his last few races he had lost confidence, but we never lost our confidence in him. I knew he would be in front at the eighth pole, and that’s why I added the blinkers. This is awesome.”
Martinez had Trinniberg glued to the flanks of Sum of the Parts, who sprinted from the rail and led by a half-length at the first call after a sizzling :21.41 opening quarter mile. But Trinniberg glided up alongside of Sum of the Parts early on the turn and by the time they reached the quarter pole in an eye-catching :43.73, Trinniberg had his head in front.
Trinniberg took a narrow advantage into the stretch but eventually put away Sum of the Parts to lead by 1 1/2 lengths at the furlong mark. It wasn't over there, however, as the stalking The Lumber Guy got into gear to muster a bit of a challenge. It was too little too late, however as Martinez urged Trinniberg under the wire by a gradually diminishing margin.
“You can dream it, you can feel it, but when you taste it, it’s a totally different thing," Martinez, Trinnibeg's regular rider, said of the Breeders' Cup win. "I never lost confidence in him. He’s been running against the best sprinters all year, I figured if I was first or second turning for home, he was going to be very tough to beat. This means the world to me.”
Amazombie, the slight 7-2 favorite over The Lumber Guy, finished a disappointing eighth in his bid for consecutive Breeders' Cup Spint triumphs.
“He wasn’t himself today," jockey Mike Smith said of the favorite. "I don’t know what it was, but something was wrong. I knew around the turn that we were in trouble. He quit running, and it was like he didn’t want to be here.”
The victory was worth $810,000 to Trinniberg's connections and boosted the colt's career bankroll to $1,483,300.
A $21,000 2-year-old in training purchase at Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April sale in 2011, Trinniberg was bred in Kentucky by J M Stables. He is out of the Goldminers Gold mare Bella Dorato.
He paid $29.40, $13.20, $11. The Lumber Guy, ridden by John Velazquez, returned $6.40 and $5. The exacta was worth $203.40. Smiling Tiger, with Ramon Dominguez aboard, paid $12.20 to show.
Sum of the Parts was followed by Justin Phillip, Fast Bullet, Coil, Amazombie, Jimmy Creed, Hamazing Destiny, Gantry, Capital Account, Boxeu de Rues, and Poseidon's Warrior.
For an Equibase chart, click here.