Dr. Schivel (inside) a gritty victor of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— The stage is set for what could be one of the most compelling stories of this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, as trainer Mark Glatt’s 5-year-old Dr. Schivel, beaten a heartbreaking nose when second in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, out-gamed a determined Speed Boat Beach by a head in taking Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship presented by Estrella Jalisco, which his connections hope will propel him to victory in this year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
Over a main track rendered wet-fast due to sporadic rain earlier in the day, Dr. Schivel pressed the early pace from his number two post and slipped inside early pacesetter Sir Atticus three furlongs out with Speed Boat Beach on the outside of a three-horse spread turning for home. With Speed Boat Beach relentless through the drive, Dr. Schivel found more at the rail, getting six furlongs with Juan Hernandez up in 1:08.49.
Idle for nearly all of 2022, Dr. Schivel was a scintillating 4 ¼ length classified allowance winner going six panels in his seasonal debut three starts back here on May 23. The 5-year-old full horse by Violence was then a well beaten fifth by Eclipse Award winner Cody’s Wish in the Grade I Met Mile at Belmont Park June 10 and was most recently a fast finishing third, beaten a neck, by top sprinter The Chosen Vron in the six furlong Bing Crosby Stakes May 13 at Del Mar.
Off as the 2-1 post time favorite in a field of nine 3-year-olds and up today, he paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.60.
Out of the Mining for Money mare Lil Nugget, Dr. Schivel is owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC, Rancho Temescal, LLC, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William A. Branch. A Grade I winner at two and three, Dr. Schivel, who won the 2021 running of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, is now a four-time graded stakes winner and is 14-7-2-3 overall. With today’s winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $1,327,100.
Idle since Dec. 2 of last year, Speed Boat Beach ran too good to lose under Victor Espinoza, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of a fast-finishing Fort Bragg. Trained by Bob Baffert, Speed Boat Beach was off as the second choice at 3-1 and returned $4.60 and $3.80.
Fort Bragg, under Ramon Vazquez, was off at 10-1 and paid $4.80 while finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Sir Atticus.
Fractions on the race were 22.08, 44.27 and 56.19.
GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY ESTRELLA JALISCO
JUAN HERNANDEZ, DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER:
“He broke a step slow but, after the first sixteenth, he got me there. He recovered really well, I was tracking the leaders and that was the plan because this track today, it’s pretty fast so you don’t want to be too far back. Plan A came out perfect, I just was waiting for something to come through. Around the turn, I saw a little bit of space inside on the rail, so I asked him to get into that position. He was really game today. He was fighting.
“He was really brave. He’s a really professional horse. Mark Glatt brought him ready today. When I asked him to pick it up and to open up, he did.
“I was watching the horse on the outside because I was trying to get him. I knew he was there the whole time. We made it.”
MARK GLATT, DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER:
“The whole plan was to take the same path we did in 2021 and it worked really well that year. It was within an inch of working terrific, but you know I think these sprinters want to run a little fresh and at the same time I like the four weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup. Four or five weeks. He got a good race under his belt.
“The ownership group is wonderful to train for they always allow me to do what is good for the horse, he’s had his vacations and we’ve had to be patient. In some cases at times we had to be double patient and that’s why he is around still because he wasn’t pushed once he gave us the warning light. Hopefully he has one more good one in him and then he gets to go on to his second career.”
TIM COHEN (Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC), DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER:
“I think Juan rode him pretty much the whole way. I don’t think her really enjoyed the ground but he just preserved and kept going.”
BREEDERS’ CUP?: “But of course!”
NOTES: The winning owners are Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William A. Branch.