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  • 2010 Breeders Cup - Sprints

       October 18, 2010

    (see all of our 2010 Breeders Cup articles)

    The Breeders Cup cards three sprint races these days: a 7 furlong sprint for fillies & mares, the traditional open 6 furlong sprint and a 5 furlong turf sprint. As I've said before, I have no idea how to analyze the turf sprint, so for now I'm going to limit my thoughts to the two dirt sprints.

    Over the years, I've actually done okay at handicapping the Breeders Cup Sprint, when I've kept a few simple rules in mind:

    • Although stalkers have started winning the Sprint more frequently, sometimes it's easy to narrow the field by finding the most explosive closer or the speed of the speed, i.e. the horse than can actually wire the field.
    • When looking for the speed, view all front runners from Europe and the East Coast skeptically. There's speed, and then there's West Coast speed. As you can see from my spreadsheet, West Coast-based horses dominate the sprint.
    • The other thing I have on my spreadsheet is the first-quarter time of all previous Sprints. If you like a front-runner, look at those times and be sure your pick is capable of running that first quarter in under 22 seconds. If they want the lead, they're going to have to.
    • Another important thing to consider is the distance a horse has excelled at. I don't particularly like horses in the Sprint who've done their best running at 7 furlongs. Likewise, I don't want a filly in the Filly & Mare Sprint who's better at 6 furlongs than 7. To be sure, a horse might surprise you, but in this case I'd rather have my money on a proven quantity.

    Up next: two-year olds!


    Posted by kris at October 18, 2010 09:20 AM

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