Lakerville sets sights on Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

Lakerville became the first two-time winner of the Del Mar meeting with a convincing victory in an optional claimer over five furlongs on turf Wednesday. He won an optional claimer over five furlongs on turf July 18, opening day of the meeting.

Those wins will lead to a start in the $85,000 Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf Aug. 15, the meeting’s lone turf stakes for male sprinters.

“He’s a good horse,” Abrams said.

The Green Flash is the start of an expected series of stakes for Lakerville, a California-bred by top stallion Unusual Heat. Abrams would like to start the 4-year-old colt in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

A prep race could be the $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes on the hillside turf course Sept. 28. The race was formerly known as the Morvich Handicap.

“After the Breeders’ Cup, I’ll stretch him out,” Abrams said.

Lakerville has made one start on the hillside, winning a maiden special weight race in his career debut last October. After winning an allowance race for California-breds at Hollywood Park last November, Lakerville did not start again until June 24, finishing second in an allowance race on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The second-place finish is Lakerville’s only loss in his five-race career, which has resulted in earnings of $189,740.

Part of Lakerville’s success can be attributed to his running style. A closer, he tends to lag behind the runners and make a furious run through the final three furlongs.

“He doesn’t do a lot of running,” Auerbach said.

Such a style often does well on the hillside turf course.