Speed Boat Beach Earns Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Spot With Speakeasy Score - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Speed Boat Beach Earns Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Spot With Speakeasy Score

Speed Boat Beach and Juan Hernandez winning the Speakeasy Stakes

A lights-out first time maiden winner on dirt, heavily favored Speed Boat Beach tried grass Sunday at Santa Anita and proved best, overcoming an awkward start to win by 1 ¼ lengths under Juan Hernandez. Trained by Bob Baffert, Speed Boat Beach got five furlongs on turf in :55.25.

The Speakeasy, a Breeders' Cup “Win & You're In” Challenge Series qualifier, thus provides Speed Boat Beach with a fees-paid berth into the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 4.

Hopping slightly at the break from his outside post position, Speed Boat Beach was quickly into stride, tracking longshot Helladic and Tyler Baze around the turn before taking shaking loose a sixteenth of a mile out.

A 2-year-old colt by Baffert's 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Sophia Mia, Speed Boat Beach was the prohibitive 2-5 favorite in a field of nine and paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.20.

It was a quick roundtrip to the Runhappy Winner's Circle for Baffert and owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, as their Midnight Memories took the previous race, the Grade II Zenyatta.

With the Speakeasy winner's share of $60,000, Speed Boat Beach ran his earnings from two starts to $108,000.

In a game effort, Helladic, trained by Ryan Hanson, was second best, finishing a half length in front of Ah Jeez.  Off at 9-1, Helladic paid $5.80 and $3.80.

Ah Jeez, ridden by Abel Cedillo, paid $3.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 21.06 and 43.36.


     BOB BAFFERT, SPEED BOAT BEACH, WINNER: “We filled one of the spots on the plane to Keeneland.  I wasn't sure if he would like the turf or not.  I told Juan (Hernandez) that if he doesn't like the turf, raise your right hand.  He hopped at the start of the race.  He was a little green and he kept switching leads.  At the three-eighths pole, he became serious and took off.  This horse has pretty serious speed.”
MIKE PEGRAM, SPEED BOAT BEACH, WINNER: “You never know if they're going to like the turf or not, and (Speed Boat Beach) seemed to handle it alright. Juan's a pro and I think we've got a fast horse! I'm very happy to have gone back-to-back in these last races, and we look forward to seeing him race in the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Turf Sprint).”
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