Thoroughbred Racing

Hightail beats favorite in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint

Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Hightail defeated odds-on favorite Merit Man to capture the second running of the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint to begin Friday's opening day of the 29th World Championships at Santa Anita Park.

Only five 2-year-olds left the starting gate following the morning scratch of Super Ninety Nine and the late scratch of South Floyd. Partly owned by Rick Pitino, South Floyd was scratched during the pre-race warm ups with a problem of his left front leg.

Merit Man, ridden by Pat Valenzuela, broke sharply from the gate to take the early lead. With Rajiv Maragh riding, Hightail, a 15-1 longshot, was racing fourth through the backstretch and around the turn.

Coming down the stretch, Merit Man was battling Hazardous with Hightail along the inside. In late stretch, Hightail found something extra to pass the top two runners and was able edge the favorite at wire.

Sweet Shirley Mae finished third followed by Hazardous and Ceiling Kitty.

The time for the Juvenile Sprint was 1:09.75 on a fast track.

Owned by Bluegrass Hall, Hightail earned $270,000 with the win and gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his 19th career Breeders' Cup victory. Hightail becomes the first horse to break his maiden with a Breeders' Cup win.

Hightail returned $32.80, $7.20 and $3.40. Merit Man paid $2.40 and $2.10, and Sweet Shirley Mae paid $2.40 to show.

11/02 16:30:09 ET