Pay Any Price won’t make Cup
MIAMI – With the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint being held at five furlongs at Del Mar this year, the connections of the Gulfstream Park West-based Pay Any Price were looking forward to the opportunity of pitting their veteran speedster against the best in the division next month in California.
Unfortunately for co-owners Richard Averill and the Matties Racing Stable, it appears that dream will have to wait another year.
A series of setbacks including lost training time due to Hurricane Irma and an abscessed foot will make it almost impossible to have the 7-year-old Pay Any Price ready in time to make the Turf Sprint.
“He’ll resume training tomorrow and work in about a week,” said Averill. “But realistically we’re just not going to be able to get him where we’d want to be for him to be able to have a legitimate shot to win the Turf Sprint. If the race were here, maybe we’d take a shot, but that’s a long way to go with a horse who might be only about 75 percent ready to run his best.”
Trained by Ralph Ziadie, Pay Any Price has flourished at age 7, winning four of his six starts on the year, including a world record performance at Gulfstream Park in the Silks Run Stakes on March 11. Pay Any Price completed five furlongs on turf in 53.61 seconds, receiving a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for the race. The son of Wildcat Heir has not started since capturing the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint by 3 1/4 lengths on July 1.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” said Averill. “I’ve always wanted to run a horse in the Breeders’ Cup, especially one who had as legitimate a chance as he did, because I think if he runs his race, there’s nobody like him at five furlongs. And this was like a dream come true for us to be able to run him at five-eighths over a hard course like Del Mar this year. But he’ll live to fight another day, and we have one more chance at it next year with the Breeders’ Cup being at Churchill Downs before it returns again to the downhill course and 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita.”
Averill said that if all goes well, Pay Any Price would likely be pointed to the Claiming Crown on opening day of the Gulfstream Park championship meeting, and then the same series of stakes races he dominated over that course last winter.
Averill believes he could have another potential stakes runner in his arsenal, the 2-year-old filly R True Talent, who dropped a heartbreaking nose decision making her debut here Saturday in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight dash under Tyler Gaffalione.
“To be honest I swore we’d won the race, and so did the jock,” said Averill. “But on the bright side, Tyler thinks she is stakes caliber and I trust his judgment, so we’ll try to break her maiden next time and then hopefully give her a chance against stakes horses.”
Pay Any Price sets a world record for five furlongs on turf of 53.61 seconds in the Silks Run.