Slow Down Andy is on his way back to the Breeders’ Cup, but this time for the Classic (G1) after earning an automatic berth to that 1 1/4-mile test following a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday’s $302,000 Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita.
Third in last year’s Dirt Mile (G1) after finishing third in the Awesome Again, Slow Down Andy’s win on Saturday was his first since a gate-to-wire triumph on turf in the Del Mar Derby (G2) last September. He also captured the Sunland Derby (G3) last season and the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at two.
The 2-1 favorite in the Awesome Again following a second in the San Diego H. (G2) and a third in the Pacific Classic (G1) during the Del Mar meet, Slow Down Andy broke sharply under Mario Gutierrez, maintained a one-length advantage through splits of :22.97, :46.91, and 1:10.59. Slow Down Andy repelled a bid from 2022 Awesome Again winner Defunded down the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
A homebred campaigned by Reddam Racing and trained by Doug O’Neill, Slow Down Andy covered nine furlongs over a wet track in 1:47.62. He paid $6 to win.
Defunded had a one-length edge on Senor Buscador for second at the wire. The order of finish was rounded out by Preakness (G1) winner National Treasure, Skinner, Bye Bye Bobby, Celestial Moon, Piroli, and Stilleto Boy.
Bred in California, Slow Down Andy has now won five of 14 starts and earned more than $1.27 million. By the Reddam-owned champion and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist, Slow Down Andy was reared by Edwina E, by Square Eddie.
Dr. Schivel will look to parlay a victory in the $202,000 Santa Anita Spring Championship (G2) into another strong performance in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) after eking out a second victory in the six-furlong dash by a head.
The 2-1 favorite in a field of nine, Dr. Schivel out-dueled second choice Speed Boat Beach in the final furlong with an inside rally. Under Juan Hernandez, Dr. Schivel stopped the timer in 1:08.49.
Speed Boat Beach, a three-year-old who had not run since winning the Cecil B. DeMille (G3) over the turf at Del Mar last December, finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of fellow Bob Baffert-trainee Fort Bragg. Completing the order of finish were Sir Atticus, American Theorem, Visitant, Arabian Lion, C Z Rocket, and Spirit of Makena.
Dr. Schivel paid $6.80. Mark Glatt trains the five-year-old for the partnership of Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, and William Branch.
Dr. Schivel captured the 2021 Santa Anita Sprint Championship as a three-year-old and later missed by a nose to Aloha West in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“The whole plan was to take the same path we did in 2021 and it worked really well that year,” Glatt said. “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.”
Also the winner of the Bing Crosby (G1) in 2021, Dr. Schivel returned to the races on May 13 following a layoff of more than 13 months. He convincingly won an allowance that day, weakened to fifth in the one-mile Metropolitan H. (G1) next out, and most recently finished a neck third in the July 29 Bing Crosby.
Bred by co-owner Branch and Arnold Hill in Kentucky, Dr. Schivel is a son of Violence and out of Lil Nugget, a Mining for Money half-sister to Grade 1 heroine Ultra Blend.