Trainer Bret Calhoun and his assistant Dennis Geier are on the brink of Breeders’ Cup history this weekend.
Calhoun employed Texan born Geier in 2002 and they will saddle up Chamberlain Bridge for a repeat victory in the G2 BC Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Chamberlain Bridge is by Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant and was bred in Kentucky by Eugene Melnyk. Calhoun claimed the gelding for $35,000 in 2008 and he quickly advanced to the big league.
Calhoun and Geier were confident Chamberlain Bridge would win last year and the gelding jumped from the rail post to register a thrilling come-from-behind victory.
“He isn’t any different than last year,” Geier said. “But he’s probably training better than 12 months ago.”
In his most recent work, Chamberlain Bridge covered 800m on the Churchill Dows turf in 49.80s. Before that, he worked 800m in 49s at Delaware Park.
Following Chamberlain Bridge’s victory in the 2010 Turf Sprint, he won the Rail Splitter Stakes at Sam Houston Park in February. At his most recent start, he was third home in the G3 Turf Monster on September 5.
“The Turf Sprint field this year is very competitive and we’ve drawn the outside gate at 14,” Geier said. “Last year we drew the rails so we’ve gone from one extreme to another. But he’s got enough speed to get over and save some ground.”
Now an 11-time stakes winner, Chamberlain Bridge enters the Turf Sprint with earnings of nearly $1.70 million. “He’s spoiled pitifully but isn’t mean,” Geier added. “He’s a real professional at the races but has his quirks at home. I guess that’s part of his charm.”
Chamberlain Bridge is on the fourth line of betting at $9 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint behind the $5 favourite Regally Ready (More Than Ready).
The BC Turf Sprint is scheduled for 6.21am on Sunday morning (AEDT).