Stretching Out a Sprinter

November 6, 2019

A racing fan asked me how do you make a sprinter stretch out-meaning, get him to go a mile or further? That’s a question that isn’t an easy question to answer but I will give it a shot.

One of the most important things is, is he bred to go that far?  There is always the exception to the rule but in most cases he won’t if he is a sprinter. Any horse can go a distance of ground, if he runs slow enough. 

If I was going to try and stretch one out I would completely change his training. You have to give the horse endurance, build his muscles and air up. The way I was taught was to give the horse slow longer gallops and if I was going to breeze the horse it would be longer slower breezes. When you breeze the horse short and fast you are putting speed into him. 

One of the most important things is, can you get the horse to rate, meaning control his speed. If the horse has it in him, you can let him lope on the front end slowing the pace down. Either way the horse has to relax, whether he is on the lead or mid pack. Pace makes the race it’s been that way forever.

I have found if you have a sprinter going a distance of ground for the first time, you can trick him with a jockey who has a good sense of pace. The secret is, teach him to relax. If you can do that you have a chance to stretch him out. Let’s face it, there are horses that will never go long… they just can’t. It makes no difference what you do, the breeding comes out. 

It’s easy to mess a horse up by trying to change his running style. If it’s not broken don’t try and fix it. In closing, if he is sprinter and running well, leave him alone . Hope that helps.

See you at the races. 

Contributing Authors

JJ Graci

JJ was born in Philadelphia, Pa.  and attended Villanova University. He has vast experience in horse racing and broadcasting. JJ has been a fixture in...

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