2023 Breeders' Cup Sprint
The world's fastest Thoroughbreds compete in the Sprint, sometimes achieving speeds nearing 40 M.P.H. in the stretch. This race is contested at three-quarters of a mile for male and female horses, 3-years-old and older.
Breeders' Cup Sprint
ELITE POWER AND DR. SCHIVEL LEAD QATAR RACING BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT
The $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) run at six furlongs could shape up as an East-West showdown between Juddmonte's defending champion Elite Power and Red Baron's Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, and William A. Branch's Dr. Schivel. Trained by Bill Mott, the 5-year-old Elite Power powered home to win last year's Sprint at Keeneland by 1 1/4 lengths. He began 2023 with three straight wins, taking the Riyadh Dirt Sprint presented by Sports Boulevard (G3) in Saudi Arabia, the True North Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park, and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. He suffered his first defeat of the year when finishing second to Winchell Thoroughbred's 4-year-old Gunite, trained by Steve Asmussen, in the Aug. 26 Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
The 5-year-old Dr. Schivel, trained by Mark Glatt, won the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes presented by Estrella Jalisco (G2) for his seventh career victory. In the 2021 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Del Mar, he finished second by a nose to Aloha West.
$1 million PNC Bank Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at seven furlongs is led by First Row Partners and Team Hanley's Goodnight Olive, who won last year's race by 2 1/2 lengths for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare has won two of four starts this year, including the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in the spring. Godolphin's 4-year-old filly Matareya defeated Goodnight Olive in the Derby City Distaff Stakes presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (G1) in May for trainer Brad Cox.
Emerging this summer among the top female sprinters is Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds LLC's 4-year-old Society, who won the Chicago Stakes (G3) at Ellis Park by 10 3/4 lengths and followed up that performance with a 5 1/2-length triumph in the Aug. 25 Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes at Charles Town.
2023 Breeders' Cup Sprint Field & Odds
Race 11 at Santa Anita on Saturday, November 4 - Post 8:00 PM
|2||Dr. Schivel||5-1||Juan Hernandez
|3||American Theorem||30-1||Umberto Rispoli
|4||Hoist the Gold||12-1||John Velazquez
|5||Three Technique||20-1||Rafael Bejarano
|6||The Chosen Vron||5-1||Hector Berrios
|7||Speed Boat Beach||3-1||Mike Smith
|8||Elite Power||9-5||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
2023 Breeders' Cup Sprint Contenders
Nakatomi always can be counted on to run a good race. In 13 starts on dirt, he never has been worse than fourth. He most recently flaunted that talent in the Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on Oct. 6 when he rallied from off the pace to finish as the runner-up. The performance left him just three-quarters of a length behind Qatar Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) prospect Hoist the Gold.
Nakatomi was a speedster from the very beginning of his career. He was barely 2 years-old when he zoomed to a 2 1/4-length score in a Keeneland maiden special weight race on April 14, 2021 in his debut. As he often does, trainer Wesley Ward used the race as a prep for the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England but Nakatomi finished eighth of 15 in his only try on turf.
In his next start, Nakatomi finished third in the Saratoga Special (G2) behind winner High Oak and Gunite. Those two also are pointing to the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Despite his consistency in the upper echelons, Nakatomi has just one stakes victory - the 2021 Bowman Mill at Keeneland. In his only Santa Anita start, he was fourth in the Malibu Stakes (G1) in December.
Bred in Kentucky by Arnold Zetcher and Crestwood Farm, Nakatomi was sold as a weanling at the 2019 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale for $18,000. The following year, Marc Detampel paid $25,000 for him at Fasig-Tipton's October yearling sale in Lexington, Kentucky. Following Nakatomi's initial victory, Detampel brought in partners including Qatar Racing. The partnership was dissolved when current owners Qatar Racing and Mrs. Fitrianna Hay purchased him for $205,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale on July 10 in Lexington.
Nakatomi is a son of Firing Line, runner-up to Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
If not for an inch or two, Dr. Schivel would be a Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner. Instead, he will try again after finishing a nose behind Aloha West in the 2021 edition at Del Mar.
The 5-year-old son of Violence tuned up for this year's renewal with a game third-place effort on July 29 in Del Mar's Bing Crosby Stakes (G1), which he won in 2021. As the favorite in just his third start of the year, he was just a head behind The Chosen Vron and Anarchist in a three-horse photo. Prior to the Bing Crosby, Dr. Schivel was fifth in the Hill `N` Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in June.
Following the same schedule he had in 2021, Dr. Schivel was unraced for two months before returning Sept. 30 and winning the 6-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) for the second time. A front-running 3 1/4-length wire-to-wire winner in 2021, Dr. Schivel had to work harder for his second victory in the race as he prevailed by a head after a deep stretch duel with Speed Boat Beach.
In his only other start this year, he won a Santa Anita allowance race after nearly 14 months on the sidelines following his third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in the spring of 2022.
Now a millionaire, Dr. Schivel was overlooked as a newly turned yearling at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale where he left unsold on a final bid of $37,000. The Kentucky-bred earned his first victory in the summer of 2020 at Del Mar and was sold to a partnership led by the father-son team of Jed and Tim Cohen.
A month later, he captured the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) in his first start for his new connections and original trainer Luis Mendez. He then was transferred to Southern California-based Mark Glatt. Jed Cohen passed away on Nov. 27, 2022 at age 89. Dr. Schivel now campaigns for Tim Cohen's syndicates Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal along with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William Branch, who co-bred Dr. Schivel with Arnold Hill.
American Theorem proved himself capable of winning at the highest level last year when he posted a 1 ½-length victory in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. The triumph was part of a stellar season in which he also won Santa Anita's Triple Bend Stakes (G2).
Those races and his runner-up effort in the Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2) at Del Mar set him up for a trip to Keeneland for the Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). As the fourth choice, American Theorem checked in eighth behind winner and eventual champion Elite Power, who is being pointed for this year's Sprint.
American Theorem is seeking to regain that form after three unplaced efforts this year. The flashy gray Kentucky-bred son of 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah was offered by his breeder, Sierra Farm, at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale but was listed as not sold on a final bid of $190,000. He then was purchased privately by current owner Rustin Kretz who, along with trainer George Papaprodromou, gained his first Grade 1 triumph in the Bing Crosby.
American Theorem's gray dam, Mighty Renee, is a daughter of champion Maria's Mon.
Hoist the Gold
Hoist the Gold has improved each year for trainer Dallas Stewart and breeder/owner Dream Team One Racing Stable, bankrolling more than $100,000 at 2 in 2021, more than $200,000 in 2022 and almost $500,000 this year with an 8-2-2-0 mark through Oct. 6.
Hoist the Gold tested Grade 1 stakes company for the first time in 2022 and finished third in the $300,000 Malibu (G1) for 3-year-old sprinters at Santa Anita. Hoist the Gold finished second, beaten a neck, in the $300,000 Commonwealth (G3) for older horses at 7 furlongs April 8 at Keeneland and was second behind Cody's Wish in the $750,000 Churchill Downs (G1) for older horses at 7 furlongs May 6 at Churchill Downs. Cody's Wish won the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt ilenn1) in 2022.
Stewart, has two Breeders' Cup victories. Stewart won the $2 million Distaff (G1) in 2001 with Unbridled Elaine and the $2 million Longines Distaff (G1) in 2017 with Forever Unbridled. Forever Unbridled also earned an Eclipse Award as the country's champion older dirt female of 2017. Stewart has trained for Dream Team One Racing Stable since 2011.
Hoist the Gold is by 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft out of Tacit Approval, a daughter of super sire Tapit. In his most recent start, Hoist the Gold rebounded from two sub-par efforts in California to earn a berth in the Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) with a three-quarters of a length victory in the Phoenix (G2 at Keeneland on Oct. 6.
Before the Phoenix, Hoist the Gold finished sixth beaten 6 3/4 lengths in the 7-furlong Pat O'Brien (G2) at Del Mar on Aug. 26. Prior to the Pat O'Brien, Hoist the Gold finished eighth beaten 4 1/2 lengths in the Bing Crosby (G1) on July 29 at Del Mar going 6 furlongs.
A little more than a week after Three Technique exited unsold on a final bid of $47,000 in the racing-age portion of the 2021 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, he was racing for a $40,000 claiming price at Churchill Downs. About two dozen owners wanted him that afternoon with David Miller winning the random drawing known as a "shake" after he finished a close second as the 7-5 favorite.
Three Technique had limited success in his first four starts for Miller, Eric Grindley, John Werner and trainer Jason Cook but that changed big time the next year at Churchill Downs on Derby Day when he captured the Knicks Go Stakes at 36.80-to-1. The immediate on-site celebration was exceptionally exuberant.
"It got so wild that the TV fell off," Cook said. "Nobody knocked it down, it was just from the vibrations of people jumping."
After finishing third in Churchill Downs' Ack Ack Stakes (G3) that October, Three Technique was unplaced in the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland.
He launched his 6-year-old campaign unplaced in a Keeneland allowance race and a third in the Knicks Go. A Churchill Downs allowance win in late May was a springboard to his and Cook's first graded stakes victory in the John A. Nerud Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
"That's what make this sport so great," Cook told Thoroughbred Daily News. "Anybody can win on any given day. That's why we run them."
Off nearly three months following his Nerud victory, Three Technique returned to the races Sept. 30 at Churchill Downs in the 1-mile Ack Ack and finished third beaten 2 lengths.
Cook, based at Churchill Downs' Trackside Training Center, is the son of jockey Lois "L.C." Cook. He saddled his first winner in 1993 but has had just more than 1,200 career starters. He spent much of his career transporting other people's racehorses while maintaining a small stable.
Prior to joining Cook's barn, Three Technique spent the bulk of his career with Jeremiah Englehart. He dabbled in the stakes ranks without winning with a record that includes his third in the 2021 John A. Nerud.
The Chosen Vron
The final Saturday of July was filled with milestones for The Chosen Vron when he grabbed the lead in the final strides to capture the "Win and You're In" Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. The triumph made him a Grade 1 winner and a millionaire and gave him a guaranteed spot in the Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). But because he is not an original Breeders' Cup nominee, his connections will have to pay $100,000 to supplement. No problem.
"We definitely are going to supplement," Southern California-based trainer and co-owner Eric Kruljac said immediately after the Bing Crosby. "Especially since it's at Santa Anita."
Santa Anita is most definitely the 5-year-old gelding's home track where he has won nine times in 10 starts. Overall, he is virtually unbeaten with 13 trips to the winner's circle in his first 17 starts. In his only competition away from his native California, he won a stakes at Turf Paradise in Arizona.
Kruljac's partners are Robert Fetkin, Richard Thornburgh and John Sondereker. The group also campaigned The Chosen Vron's dam, the two-time winner Tiz Molly, by Tiz Wonderful.
"My wife, Ly, was the driving force for us breeding Tiz Molly," Thornburgh told BloodHorse shortly after the Bing Crosby. "We'd never bred any horses. ... I said, 'Let me talk to Eric. We need someone who knows what he's doing.' "
They opted to send the granddaughter of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Hall of Famer Tiznow to leading California sire Vronsky. The result is The Chosen Vron, who showed his promise at the very beginning of his career when he debuted late in his 2-year-old season. As the favorite against nine California-bred rivals, he romped clear by 6 ¾ lengths.
In his 3-year-old debut five weeks later, he again flaunted his talent when third against open company in the San Vicente Stakes (G2). To capitalize on his state-bred status, he then was entered in the restricted Echo Eddie Stakes and responded with a clear triumph. He proved himself again in open company by reeling off consecutive victories in the Laz Barrera Stakes (G3) and Affirmed Stakes (G3).
From there he spent most of his time in the state-bred ranks before capping an eight-race winning streak in the Bing Crosby.
Speed Boat Beach
There was nothing extraordinary about Speed Boat Beach when he strutted on stage at the 2021 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s October yearling sale and exited on a final bid of $12,000. But five months later at the same sales grounds, he received plenty of attention when he was the only prospect to blaze 1 furlong in a sale-best 9.3 seconds at the under-tack show for the March 2-year-olds in training sale. This time he was purchased for $200,000 by current owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman who buy as Three Amigos.
Speed Boat Beach flaunted his speed in his career debut on Sept. 10, 2022, when he set a track record of 1.01.86 for 5 ½ furlongs on dirt in winning by 1 ¼ lengths at Del Mar. Three weeks later, he unveiled his versatility by sailing to a 1 1/4-length victory in the 5-furlong Speakeasy Stakes on the Santa Anita turf course. Shipped to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1), he was unplaced, finishing ninth of 12 beaten 10 1/2 lengths.
The son of 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Bayern displayed another dimension in winning the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3) at Del Mar to close his season. He battled on the lead throughout the 1-mile grass test before edging clear by a half-length.
After 10 months on the sidelines, the Bob Baffert trainee returned to action on Sept. 30 in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) and was a head behind probable Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) entrant Dr. Schivel.
Elite Power returns to the Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) after capping a five-race winning streak with 1 1/4-length triumph in the race last year at Keeneland. That season finale earned him the Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter.
He picked up where he left off when he returned to action on Feb. 25 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Saudi Arabia where he won the Riyadh Dirt Sprint Presented by Sports Boulevard (G3). In his next start, he captured the True North Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on June 2 to extend his win streak to seven.
The winning streak extended to eight on July 29 at Saratoga when Elite Power caught Gunite in the final strides to post a head victory in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) going 6 furlongs over a sloppy (sealed) surface.
A bit of a late bloomer, Elite Power did not race until September of his 3-year-old season in 2021. He raced twice that year but didn't reach the winner's circle until he won by 9 lengths in a 7-furlong race at Churchill Downs on June 5, 2022. That race was the start of his transformation from non-winner to Grade 2 stakes winner in four months.
He then won two allowance races at Churchill and Saratoga. The next start for Elite Power was the Vosburgh Stakes (G2) at Belmont at the Big A on Oct. 8, where he cruised to a 5 3/4-length victory as the 1-2 favorite. The Vosburgh was a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win and You're In race that guaranteed Elite Power a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Elite Power was sired by 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner and Hall of Famer Curlin out of the mare Broadway's Alibi, by champion and 2002 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Vindication. He was purchased for $900,000 at the September Keeneland Yearling sale by Juddmonte Farms.
Founded in 1980 by the late Prince Khalid bin Abdullah, Juddmonte is an international racing and breeding operation that has bred more than 100 Grade/Group 1 winners worldwide. Elite Power is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and was bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables.
Gunite continues the legacy of the Winchell family's powerful breeding and racing operation founded about 75 years ago by the late Verne Winchell.
He wasted no time in joining the elite Grade 1 winners club when he cruised to a 5 ¾-length victory in the Hopeful Stakes as a 2-year-old in 2021. He nearly added another Grade 1 when a close runner-up to last year's champion male sprinter Elite Power in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 29.
In the Forego (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 26, Gunite turned the tables on Elite Power in posting a 1 3/4-length victory in the 7-furlong test. After the Forego, Gunite stretched out to two turns in the Parx Dirt Mile on Sept. 23 and finished second beaten 1 3/4 lengths over a sloppy sealed track.
Gunite has proven himself worthy of carrying the maroon Winchell silks. His other stakes victories include Saratoga's Amsterdam Stakes (G2) last year and his consistent placings have come against top-flight competition and on the world stage. This past spring, he was a close third beaten a half-length in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in the United Arab Emirates and second best to Elite Power in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3).
Fourth in last fall's Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland, Gunite is from the first crop of leading sire Gun Runner, the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year co-campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and conditioned by Gunite's Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who sees similarities.
"Just like his sire, he seems to get better with age," Asmussen said immediately after Gunite captured the Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 3. "We've noticed as he's gotten older, he has gotten faster and that's a great sign moving forward for his campaign."
Asmussen also trained Gunite's dam, Simple Surprise, and maternal granddam, Simplify, who were stakes-winning homebreds for Winchell Thoroughbreds.
Recent Breeders Cup' Sprint Winners
|2022||Elite Power||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Bill Mott||1:09.11|
|2021||Aloha West||Jose Ortiz||Wayne Catalano||1:08.49|
|2020||Whitmore||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Ron Moquett||1:08.61|
|2019||Mitole||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Steven Asmussen||1:09.00|
|2018||Roy H||Paco Lopez||Peter Miller||1:08.24|
|2017||Roy H||Kent Desormeax||Peter Miller||1:08.61|
|2016||Drefong||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||1:08.79|
|2015||Runhappy||Edgar Prado||Maria Borell||1:08.58|
|2014||Work All Week||Florent Geroux||Roger Brueggemann||1:08.28|
|2013||Secret Circle||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||1:08.73|
|2012||Trinniberg||Willie Martinez||Shivananda Parbhoo||1:07.98|
|2011||Amazombie||Mike E. Smith||Bill Spawr||1:09.17|
|2010||Big Drama||Eibar Coa||David Fawkes||1:09.05|
What is the Breeders Cup' Sprint?
The Breeders' Cup Sprint (Grade 1) has been a popular racing event since the inauguration of Breeders' Cup in 1984. At present, this horse racing event carries a purse of $1.5 million and has proven a nightmare for handicappers among the Breeders' Cup races. As a champion event, the Breeders' Cup Sprint has become a platform where none can predict which horse is going to perform best on that very day. In fact, in seven of the Breeders' Cup Sprint races, the winner was decided by a distance of neck or less than that. So, from the result itself we can measure the level of competition in this race.
Browsing the history of Breeders' Cup Sprint, we find the 1990 session. The 1989 champion, Safely Kept, fought brilliantly head-to-head battle with English invader Dayjur - favorite of that race; inside the furlong pole, Dayjur suddenly took the command over but only forty yards away from the finishing line, he jumped the shadow of Belmont Park's grandstand and lost his action for a few moment. Those missteps were enough for the favorite, Safety Kept, to regain the lead and hold on for a neck victory.
In seven of the Breeders' Cup Sprint races, the winner was decided by a distance of neck or less than that.
On October 27, 2007, Midnight Lute, trained by multiple Kentucky Derby winner, Bob Baffert, scored the most important victory of his career when he won the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park, ridden by Garrett Gomez. Coming from last to first, he won by 4 3/4 lengths over a sloppy track in a time of 1:09.18. In his next visit to Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park on October 25th, 2008, he finished the six-furlong dash in a final time of 1:07:08 on a fast track making Midnight Lute the first horse to ever repeat in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
In the 2000, Kona Gold snatched the winning title while the Java Gold gelding placed third in 1998, second in 1999 and finally won the race at six. In fact the favorite takes it all in this race! We all are expecting the same trend of results in this year too. The 2009 winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, Dancing in Silks, shared 2009 California Horse of the Year honors with California Flag.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 4|
|Race Tracks||Time (ET)|