MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (July 12, 2008) – IEAH Stables and partners’ 5-year-old horse Benny the Bull lived up to the expectations of his connections and the betting public that made him the heavy favorite in the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) at Calder Race Course on Saturday. The country’s top-ranked sprinter won the six-furlong event on Summit of Speed day by two lengths over How’s Your Halo with Rockerfeller in third.
Benny the Bull ran in his usual way, coming from off the pace and putting in a powerful run down the stretch. Ridden by jockey Edgar Prado, who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY next month, Benny the Bull completed the six furlongs of the Smile Sprint in 1:11.41. Carrying 124 pounds, Benny the Bull defeated How’s Your Halo with 116 pounds by two lengths. It was another length back to Rockerfeller in third place.
The Smile Sprint is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge ‘Win and You’re In’ program, where Benny the Bull now automatically qualifies for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at the $25.5 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be run this fall during the Oak Tree Meeting at Santa Anita Park, California on October 24 and 25.
Winning trainer’s quotes:
Rick Dutrow, Jr. (watched race on television and commented via cell phone from New York) — “He made his one big run, that’s what he was supposed to do. It looked like he got along over the track all right and ran like we thought he would, even spotting the others a lot of weight. He’ll get on a plane tomorrow morning and come back to New York and we’ll see how he is. ‘Benny’ trains himself, he’s so easy to get along with and he tells us when he’s ready for his next race. That’s his fourth win this year (fifth consecutive). As long as everything goes OK, of course we’re looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint), but that’s a long way away. We’re just really happy with ‘Benny’ right now.”
Michael Iavarone (managing partner of IEAH Stable) – “Edgar (Prado) pretty much has him figured out. He can end up anywhere on the racetrack early, depending on how a race develops, but he always seems to get there (win). We know they (horses) are not machines. If anything, Big Brown has taught us that, but this horse (Benny the Bull) comes close. I think this is our third Grade 1 win since the Belmont and helps take the sting out of that day. I guess from here, ‘Benny’ will go on to the Forego at Saratoga and then on to the Breeders’ Cup in California.”
Winning jockey’s quotes:
Edgar Prado – “He impresses me every time I ride him. Today he broke pretty sharp and then he just kind of falls out of the race and makes me think he’s not getting a hold of the track. But that’s the way he runs and when you let him wait and start to get after him he just takes off. He seems like he is overcoming a lot to win, but he knows what he is doing and he finds a way to get there first and win.”