Owner willing to pay big bucks to put Supreme Summit in Sprint

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

 INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Trainer Mike Puype spent part of Tuesday evening watching a replay of the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes at Hollywood Park from Oct. 9, a race in which his horse Supreme Summit finished a fast-closing second.

The more he watched the race, the more Puype became convinced that the 4-year-old Supreme Summit belongs in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6. Supreme Summit, who has yet to win a stakes in his 12-race career, will be supplemented to the BC Sprint for $100,000 by owner Joseph Lacombe, Puype said. Lacombe will need to pay an additional $60,000 in starting and entry fees, Puype said.

Puype’s confidence stems from Supreme Summit’s stretch rally in the Ancient Title when he closed from seventh at the quarter pole, trailing by 6 3/4 lengths, to finish a half-length behind race winner Smiling Tiger.

“He was running great,” Puype said. “He just ran out of ground. He went right past them after the wire.”

Puype is hopeful that Churchill’s long stretch will suit a closer such as Supreme Summit.

“He’s got the right style for that race,” he said.

A winner of three races and $233,100, Supreme Summit made his second start for Puype in the Ancient Title, having been trained by Doug O’Neill in 2009 and earlier this year. On the undercard of the second day of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Supreme Summit was second in the seven-furlong Damascus Stakes.

Even with such high entry and starting fees, Puype said the BC Sprint is worth the gamble.

“He’s putting up a lot of money,” Puype said of Lacombe. “It’s a big hit, and we’ll give it a try.”