Pay Any Price won’t make Cup

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mike Welsch

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.”

KENNY MARTIN/COGLIANESE PHO­TOS

Pay Any Price sets a world record for five fur­longs on turf of 53.61 sec­onds in the Silks Run.

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