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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. and the owners of Imperial Hint, forced to scratch from the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 2, are looking for a little respect and validation and they will take their first step toward that goal in the G3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park DEC.21.

The race for three-year-olds and up is at 7 furlongs. Carvajal was also looking at a north up north but decided not to ship back and forth. Imperial Hint calls the Tampa Bay Downs backstretch home.

“I really don’t want to ship the horse back up north for one race,” said Carvajal. “I think it’s the right spot even though it’s seven furlongs and not three-quarters. He’s won before going seven-eighths and the horse is doing great right now. He’s won at Gulfstream, too.”

 That was back in 2017 when he won the G2 Smile Sprint on the popular Summit of Speed program. He went on to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint later that year. The six-year-old owns four Grade 1 wins including Saratoga’s A.G. Vanderbilt back to back.

“He hasn’t changed much,” the trainer added. I know that was a couple years ago, the only difference is the seven-eighths of a mile. He needs to run. He was ready to run on NOV 2. It’s the only chance I have to run before the end of the year.

“I was really happy with his work and he came out of it in good order. I’d like to turn the page. Unfortunately they scratched the horse but I do understand. They were being very strict and I think they were doing the right thing.

It was like a little skin irritation on his coronet band and I thought it was a little odd to scratch a horse because of that. But the horse came back from Santa Anita good and has trained good and worked good. I’m just looking forward to the next race.”

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