What could be considered, until further notice, the Top 10-plus one fastest horses on the grounds were entered Wednesday for Saturday's 72nd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes.
The first Grade I event of the summer season, with five more to come, is contested at six furlongs, generally determines the meeting's sprint division champion, and this year is a “Win and You're In” qualifier for the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint here on November 4.
Drefong, the defending champion in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, tops the entries. The 4-year-old son of Gio Ponti, owned by Baoma Corporation, will be making his first since the nearly wire-to-wire effort in the Sprint on November 5 at Santa Anita. Drefong has been working strongly for the comeback, including three straight bullet works, two at Santa Anita preceding a six-furlong (the Crosby distance) drill in 1:11.2 on July 19. Tuesday, he drilled a half-mile in :47.60.
Adding intrigue to the event is the comebacking Big Macher and Santa Anita graded sprint stakes winners Denman's Call and Ransom the Moon.
Big Macher won the Crosby in 2014 and has competed in the Breeders' Cup Sprint two of the past three years. The seven-year-old California-bred son of Beau Genius trained by Richard Baltas returned from a 19-month layoff to win the ungraded Thor's Echo at Santa Anita on June 11.
Denman's Call, trained by Doug O'Neill, won the $400,000 Grade I Triple Bend at seven furlongs in March at Santa Anita and is back in Southern California after an unsuccessful go at the Metropolitan Mile Handicap at Belmont Park in New York.
Ransom the Moon, trained by Phil D'Amato, won the 6 ½-furlong Grade II Kona Gold on May 20 for trainer Phil D'Amato by 2 ¼ lengths over fellow Crosby entrant Moe Candy.
The field from the rail: Denman's Call (Tyler Baze), Drefong (Mike Smith), St. Joe Bay (Kent Desormeaux), Ransom the Moon (Flavien Prat), Big Macher (Rafael Bejarano), Magic Taste (Tiago Pereira), Coastline (Jamie Theriot), Roy H (Paco Lopez), Solid Wager (Joe Talamo), Kobe's Back (Gary Stevens) and Moe Candy (Victor Espinoza).
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