Strong Melnykpresencein Turf Sprint
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (CMC):
There will be something extra special about today's US $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint for Eugene Melnyk.
The Barbados-based Canadian business executive will have plenty of interest in the race, which forms part of the lucrative Breeders' Cup Day card at Churchill Downs.
Melnyk has entered the Florida-bred Bridgetown in the race that will be contested over 1,000 metres on the 11-race card at the prestigious racetrack.
He will also keep an eye on Chamberlain Bridge, which he bred six years ago here, and on ace Barbadian reinsman Patrick Husbands, with whom he has partnered for many significant triumphs at the Woodbine racetrack in Canada.
Bridgetown and Chamberlain Bridge are named, like many of the horses that have emerged from Melnyk's stables in the last decade, after a location in the owner's adopted homeland of Barbados.
Bridgetown is the name of the Barbados capital, and the Chamberlain Bridge runs over the major waterway, which runs through the capital.
In eight career starts, Bridgetown, who was sired by Speightstown - another Melnyk-bred animal - out of Ellesmere, has won four times, and placed second twice, including in the same event on last year's Breeders Cup card.
This year, the three-year-old chestnut colt has won twice. He captured the Latham Stakes over 1,100m on August 5 by one length at Saratoga, and took the Gilded Time Stakes over the same distance on September 6 by 2 1/2-lengths at Monmouth Park.
Bridgetown, however, lost his final warm-up before the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint. He had to settle for fifth, when he weakened after leading for most of the Nearctic Stakes on October 16 at Woodbine in Canada.
Melnyk is hoping that Bridgetown can regain his best form and produce the kind of performance that swept him to runner-up last year.
Bridgetown will be accompanied by regular partner Elvis Trujillo, and is showing at 12-1 in the early betting.
Chamberlain Bridge, owned by Carl R. Moore Management LLC, and trained by Bret Calhoun, is a bay gelding by War Chant out of She's Got Class.
He has won 15 of 30 career starts, including four of seven starts this year across the country.
Chamberlain Bridge won the Colonel Power Stakes over 1,100m on February 20 by three-quarter length at Fair Grounds, and the Arlington Sprint Handicap over the same distance on June 26 by four lengths at Arlington Park.
He also won the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap over the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint distance on July 31 by half length at Penn National, and the Turf Monster Handicap also over 1,000m on September 6 also by half length at Parx Racing at Philadelphia Park.
Chamberlain Bridge was fourth in his last start though, in the Woodford Stakes over 1,100m on October 9 at Keeneland.
Jamie Theriot II will again mount the animal, which is showing at 6-1 in the early betting.
Husbands, one of three Caribbean jockeys to secure mounts on the programme, will be aboard the four-year-old colt Grand Adventure, which shows at 12-1 in the early betting, and enters the race with just two wins this year at Woodbine under his belt.