Imprimis, trained by Joseph F. Orseno, exercises in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland 11.03.20.
Breeze Easy LLC’s Imprimis jogged twice around the training track at Keeneland Tuesday morning for a scheduled start in Saturday’s Turf Sprint with a strong chance to give his trainer Joe Orseno a third career Breeders’ Cup success.
“We’re going to go to the gate tomorrow, which wasn’t in my plans. Seeing we drew post three, I’ve decided to take him in the gate to stand him,” Orseno said. “I really wanted to be further on the outside. You can’t do much about it.”
Imprimis was rated second in the morning line at 4-1 behind Got Stormy, the 7-2 favorite who finished second in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Mile last year at Santa Anita.
“I’m happy to have Irad [Ortiz Jr.] to ride him. He’s a quality rider who knows the horse,” Orseno said. “He could get bottled up in there, but he has enough tactical speed for us to really do what we want.”
Imprimis, who has won eight of 15 career starts, finished sixth, beaten just four lengths, in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita. After an extended break, the 6-year-old gelding has finished first in his only two starts this year in the Troy at Saratoga and the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint. The son of Broken Vow, however, was disqualified and placed third for drifting in during the stretch run of the Troy while making his first start in nine months.
“There was a lot of disappointment we didn’t get the win. I never thought about the money. Yeah, I would have liked to get a bigger commission, but for me, it was: we did all that off that layoff; we got him ready and got him where we wanted him to be; shipped him to Saratoga and for him to win that way… ,” Orseno said. “They can’t take that race away from him. They can take the first-place away, but the race was what I needed to get and that’s what we got out of it. It definitely moved him forward for his next race.”
Imprimis was shuffled back in traffic in the stretch run at Kentucky Downs but recovered to mount an impressive drive to score by a neck under Ortiz Jr.
“I had no idea he was trapped down on the inside like that,” said Orseno, noting he didn’t have a good vantage point while watching the race. “He just rode him out and around. That move he made doing that, picking up horses of that caliber, I told the owner, ‘He has to be one of the choices for the Breeders’ Cup off that race.’ I think he’ll peak for this race.”
Should Imprimis win the Turf Sprint Saturday, Orseno will enter a Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle for the first time since 2000, when he saddled Perfect Sting for a win in the Filly & Mare Turf and Macho Uno for a score in the Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
“It would mean a lot. When I went on that run with Stronach [Stables], it was five years and I was in it almost every year. We won two of them and were very competitive – we were third in the Classic with Golden Missile [in 1999]. I thought, ‘I’ll be doing this every year.’ When you don’t get to come back, you realize what it’s about and what it takes,” Orseno said. “I have a conception of what it takes to get a horse ready to do this, but you have to have the horse. A coach is only as good as his players. Right now, we have the right player.”
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