Chamberlain Bridge, defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champ, worked a bullet five furlongs at Churchill Downs in :59.00 (1/11) with Jamie Theriot up.
Working shortly after the track opened at 6:00 a.m., Chamberlain Bridge recorded fractions on the wet-fast main track of :11.80, :23.40, :35.40, :47.00 and out six furlongs in 1:13.80. The five-furlong time was 1.4 seconds better than the next fastest time.
“You can’t do any better than that,” Theriot said. “I think he has a big, big chance.”
Theriot rode Chamberlain Bridge to victory in last year’s Breeders’ Cup, a day after winning the Filly and Mare Sprint with Dubai Majesty. Bret Calhoun trains both horses.
Theriot was confident about Chamberlain Bridge’s chances last year, “but Dubai Majesty, she was doing so good, but she was 0-for-7 at the (seven-furlong) distance and it was a tough spot.”
In the 27-year history of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, riders have won the same race in consecutive years 18 times, with seven coming with the same mount. The Turf Sprint has had only three runnings, and no rider has repeated.
“The field doesn’t look as a deep as last year,” said Theriot. “There were some tough horses in there last year.”
--Edited Churchill Downs release