Dr. Schivel Survives Rein Troubles, Dissects Foes In Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes

What looked like an evenly-matched edition of the Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes turned into a clinic on Saturday when the 3-year-old Dr. Schivel bested older foes for a third straight time in what was his most visually impressive effort to date.

The effort will certainly improve Dr. Schivel’s standing among the contenders for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 6 at Del Mar. He’d already earned a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win And You’re In” berth to the Sprint by virtue of his victory in the G1 Bing Crosby Stakes on July 31 at Del Mar, and Saturday’s race was another “Win And You’re In” event.

It was eventful start from the inside post for Dr. Schivel, after a buckle on his rein broke off in the opening jumps. Jockey Flavien Prat grappled with the rein across the backstretch, while also putting his mount in a forward position pressuring early leader Vertical Threat, who started from the second post.

Dr. Schivel went past his foe after an opening quarter in :21.87 seconds, and he never relinquished the lead from that point. Vertical Threat remained within a length of the leader as they passed the half-mile point in :45.07 seconds, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Dr. Schivel was well clear heading into the stretch, and after some mild urging at the top of the straightaway, Prat essentially hand rode the colt to the wire, gearing down at the finish to cross the line 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Flagstaff, who took an inside trip and held on by a nose ahead of a dogged C Z Rocket in third.

Over a fast main track, Dr. Schivel stopped the clock for the six-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship in 1:09.44.

Saturday’s victory improved Dr. Schivel’s record to five wins in seven career starts, and a perfect three-for-three in 2021, with lifetime earnings of $536,000. Mark Glatt trains the colt for owners Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William A. Branch.

Dr. Schivel was bred in Kentucky by William A. Branch and Arnold R. Hill, out of the winning Mining For Money mare Lil Nugget.

To view the full Equibase chart, click here.

Grade 2, $200,000, Santa Anita Sprint Championship Quotes, Courtesy Santa Anita Press Office

FLAVIEN PRAT, DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER: I had just the left rein after we left the chute at around the five-and-a-half-furlong mark. It was kind of scary. This has never happened to me before. The horse was very proficient. Everything was normal otherwise. I let the other jock know that I only had the one reign and to stay out of the way. Everything worked out great and we got home safely.”

MARK GLATT, DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER: “I could see that he was in a little bit of trouble there. I couldn’t quite see what was going on for sure because it was on the right side and we were so far away down the backside. Flavien said he grabbed him a little bit coming out of the chute, and when he did that apparently the rein came out of the keeper. So he virtually had little control. We just left it up to Flavien and just tried to get a spot where we don’t get stuck inside and get trapped. I think he was trying to say, ‘We won’t get stuck if we are on the lead,’ and that’s what he did. He ran tremendous after that… He was still good enough, obviously a very special horse to beat a group like that, as handily as he did.

“We are very confident in him especially after today’s performance.”

TIM COHEN, RED BARON’S BARN, DR. SCHIVEL, WINNER: “I was really glad to see that we took back off that other horse early, but it got a little bit crazy when we went to the lead. This is very, very exciting and I’m so happy for my dad.”

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