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Old 08-01-2021, 10:16 AM   #1
classhandicapper
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Male Sprinter Division

Grade 1 Bing Crosby won by Dr Schivel with a Beyer of 90. That’s lower than the Par for NW1 ALW at DMR.

Grade 1 Vanderbilt (which looked very strong on paper based on accomplishments) won by Lexitonian at 34-1 with a Beyer of 102. That’s about the Par for a Classified ALW or Grade 3 years ago.

Something doesn’t make sense.

We are told horses are being bred for speed and that’s why they have trouble stretching out to 10-12 furlongs, but our sprint division hasn’t been really good in quite awhile. Even Mitole who strung together a series of very impressive wins with fast figures “by today’s standards” never got into the triple digit teens. Back in the day, a top sprint field would have multiple horses in the triple digit teens.

Maybe there’s been some figure shrinkage, Lasix off, tracks are deeper so paces are slower etc… but a 90 wins a Grade 1?
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:53 AM   #2
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Dr Schivel looked loaded at the top of the stretch and barely hung on to win. Del Mar is tough on bleeders in the summer. Wouldn't surprise me if he bled a little. Bleeding in these non lasix races is a lot more prevalent than people think.

Last edited by Andy Asaro; 08-01-2021 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:00 AM   #3
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We are told horses are being bred for speed and that’s why they have trouble stretching out to 10-12 furlongs, but our sprint division hasn’t been really good in quite awhile.
Volatile looked to be the real deal (remembering his sub 1:08 at CD) but I think that he was retired early. Nashville is an up and coming sprinter.

Today you will get to see Jackie's Warrior take on Drain the Clock in what should be a good 6.5F event. Jackie ran 1:07.4 at CD two back while going a mile.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:22 PM   #4
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The proliferation of turf racing and synth tracks for a time has led to much less aggressive riding and thus slower paces. To run really fast races, you a need fast pace.

I also think many horses that could be very good sprinters are being wasted chasing the Derby.

I would also consider the current group just one cycle in time that isn't very good, so too short a time period to draw conclusions. There are some good 3yo sprinters coming along.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:10 PM   #5
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I have taken a few years away from the track, but I seem to recall strong speed favoring tracks seem to get fewer and farther between as the years go by and as alluded to above it takes a fast pace and horses carrying speed to get those Beyers that are high on the scale.


From 1979-93 I made my own Beyer figures and since I followed him whenever he was on TV handicapping it was pretty obvious we were coming up with similar numbers. It was not unusual for low level claiming sprints to be won with a Beyer in the high 80's or low 90's, with the ones in the $32-$40k range hitting 100+, on days when speed was holding at both Santa Anita and Delmar. At SA I frequently saw have $10k claimers duel in a 44 and change first half and keep right on going, I doubt you will see that much anymore.
You used to see riders occasionally whip horses out of the gate because early speed often did so well.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:18 PM   #6
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I’m a “right now” kind of person so I really don’t know what’s going on compared to the past. That being said I loved Special Reserve yesterday. He’s got all the numbers and the races to back them. It was a throat punch for me when Lexitonian came back on the rail. We’ve had a ton of rain and the dirt track seemed to be good yesterday on the rail. It looked like kind of a fluky result, Special Reserve has been solid in every attempt this season.

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Old 08-01-2021, 03:20 PM   #7
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The proliferation of turf racing and synth tracks for a time has led to much less aggressive riding and thus slower paces. To run really fast races, you a need fast pace.

I also think many horses that could be very good sprinters are being wasted chasing the Derby.

I would also consider the current group just one cycle in time that isn't very good, so too short a time period to draw conclusions. There are some good 3yo sprinters coming along.
JACKIE'S WARRIOR is a perfect example this year.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:24 PM   #8
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I’m a “right now” kind of person so I really don’t know what’s going on compared to the past. That being said I loved Special Reserve yesterday. He’s got all the numbers and the races to back them. It was a throat punch for me when Lexitonian came back on the rail. We’ve had a ton of rain and the dirt track seemed to be good yesterday on the rail. It looked like kind of a fluky result, Special Reserve has been solid in every attempt this season.
Can't believe Lexitonian came again to beat him, thought Special reserve was gone. That being said the horse he beat at PRM ran far back in the Bing Crosby
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:18 PM   #9
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I think one of my favorite male sprinter class battles was Kona Gold vs Big Jag, back 20 years ago.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The proliferation of turf racing and synth tracks for a time has led to much less aggressive riding and thus slower paces. To run really fast races, you a need fast pace.

I also think many horses that could be very good sprinters are being wasted chasing the Derby.

I would also consider the current group just one cycle in time that isn't very good, so too short a time period to draw conclusions. There are some good 3yo sprinters coming along.
I agree that the deeper dirt surfaces and slower average paces are probably part of it, but imo it's qualitative also.

If you don't look at times/figures at all, you'll see more examples of horses coming out of limited winner ALW races, listed stakes, and Grade 3 moving into the top sprint ranks and being competitive immediately and competitive horses dropping out of the top ranks not being dominant against weaker. That used to happen years ago also, but less frequently. IMO there's just not as big a gap between the ALW ranks and lower level stakes vs. the very best stakes as there used to be.

I totally agree that a lot of top sprinters try to stretch out for the Derby and then drop back later. Plus virtually all the versatile horses stretch out for the bigger money and prestige at 8F or longer. But that's been true for decades.

I don't want to knock these horses too much because I don't know how much of it is quality and how much surface, race development, and figure issues but a 90 Beyer winning a Grade 1 older sprint is
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:15 PM   #11
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Yep, we've got one now.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:16 PM   #12
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Today you will get to see Jackie's Warrior take on Drain the Clock in what should be a good 6.5F event. Jackie ran 1:07.4 at CD two back while going a mile.
Look out old Jackie is back.

He turned the tables, getting a good start on the slop and beat Drain the Clock in a time of 1:15.48. And that my friends is 6.5F not 6F, or what we once called, REALLY FAST!
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:26 PM   #13
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You guys offer a lot good reasons.

This isn't something I know a lot about.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:48 PM   #14
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I am not sure much slower horses on Beyer figures is an issue just for the sprinters, the past 15 years or so has seen all horses much slower on the top end of the game running figures that would get dusted by alw horses in the 90's.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:54 AM   #15
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Which horses in either race were supposed to light the world on fire?

Those were 2 of the worst renditions of each race in the past few years.

Dr. Schivel might have some upside, but he's a 3yo who has just come back from a long layoff and he beats older horses in a Grade 1 in a time barely quicker than a $25 claimer earlier on the card.

He beat a horse who's only claim to fame was winning the worst rendition of the Norfolk in decades as a 2yo before running off the board in one of the worst BC Juveniles of all time. That was also the last time he won a race.

The show horse was a reformed $40K claimer that needs Lasix so desperately that his trainer tossed him in a 2-turn in Texas just to get it. He lost.

7yo Law Abidin Citizen is a Grade 3 horse at best; he just barely beat a Cal-bred 3yo in his last start. That horse--Top Harbor--and the show horse came back to get buried in lesser races at Del Mar this week. Actually, I should say "tougher" races because I think The Real Good Deal and the allowance race won by Howbeit were rated faster than the Bing Crosby. Maybe the progressing Howbeit ends up being the best sprinter in Glatt's barn.

Brickyard Ride has been tailing off and has always been inconsistent. He's clearly one of the fastest sprinters in CA but half the time he fails to break and clearly is one dimensional.

The other runners last started at second tier tracks.

The Vanderbilt also featured reformed claimers, a few octogenarians past there prime, and an overrated horse with an extension blinker who hit a ceiling when trying the top level last year and looks like he'll be doing the same this year.

There is hope for the division though, I guess. Pletcher now trains Mind Control who won his first race in over a year and half when taking the Nerud in his first start for the new trainer. Of course, he should have been in the Vanderbilt, but being in Pletcher's barn apparently precludes a horse from starting within 2 months of his previous race (although he had no problem breezing yesterday morning).

On the west coast, perhaps Baffert will get a clue and cut Magic on Tap back to a sprint after inexplicably tossing him into the San Diego. He also has Cezanne, who absolutely annihilated in his comeback race (before going right back on the shelf). He could pull a Midnight Lute or a Secret Circle and go for the BC Sprint off a single prep race with that horse. Then again, he'll probably over think and point for the BC Dirt Mile.
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