September 18, 2021

Dr. Schivel stamps BC Sprint ticket in Bing Crosby

Dr. Schivel edges C Z Rocket (left) and Eight Rings (obscured on inside) in the 2021 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar © BENOIT PHOTO

Launching a perfectly timed move for leading rider Flavien Prat, Dr. Schivel snared Saturday’s $301,500 Bing Crosby S. (G1), and along with it, a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) back at Del Mar on Nov. 6. Last year’s Del Mar Futurity (G1) hero defeated the elder Eight Rings and C Z Rocket to remain perfect from three starts at the seaside oval.

Dr. Schivel became the second straight three-year-old to win the Bing Crosby for trainer Mark Glatt, after stablemate Collusion Illusion in 2020. Collusion Illusion was set for a repeat bid, until a Friday setback on prompted connections to scratch.

“He grabbed a quarter training yesterday and he just wasn’t perfect on it today,” Glatt told Del Mar publicity. “It probably would have been safe to run him, but the ownership group and I thought it was best to err on the conservative side and have him run another day.” 

Prat, who had already committed to Dr. Schivel in any event, gave the 2.40-1 second choice the right trip. As expected, a hot pace unfolded courtesy of speedball Brickyard Ride. Dr. Schivel was anchored near the back, accompanying 3-2 favorite C Z Rocket. But Prat made sure to improve position by the half and thereby got the decisive jump.

Brickyard Ride bobbled out of the gate, yet still zoomed to the lead through splits of :21.83 and :44.67. Glatt’s other runner, Law Abidin Citizen, himself stumbled at the start before chasing in second. Eight Rings was also prominent throughout, while Quick Tempo was part of the early scrum but beat a retreat.

Straightening into the stretch, Brickyard Ride was laboring on his left lead as Law Abidin Citizen and Eight Rings bore down. Dr. Schivel was gaining relentlessly on the leading trio. Just as stablemate Law Abidin Citizen put his head in front, Dr. Schivel overhauled them all.

Finally C Z Rocket, who was unable to quicken on the turn like Dr. Schivel, was motoring on the outside. Although he reduced most of the deficit, the seven-year-old could not quite get past in time.

Dr. Schivel reached the wire a neck up on the staying-on Eight Rings, with C Z Rocket another head away in third. Law Abidin Citizen was a further half-length back in a close fourth. Brickyard Ride wasn’t beaten much in fifth, but the remainder of the field – Shooters Shoot, Quick Tempo, and Vertical Threat – were well strung out.

Prat, the winner of six of the last seven runnings of the Bing Crosby, was capturing his fourth race on the Saturday card.

“No special instructions – just ride,” Prat said. “He broke well, then when we went across the gap, he grabbed the bit. He was running well, pretty much all the way around. He was game late. Good win.” 

Glatt commented on the well-judged ride.

“They went fast early, maybe not as fast as we thought. Flavien rode him perfectly, gave him a good trip, and the outside post was a benefit. This is a real racehorse. He beat the olders today, and hopefully in November he’ll be able to do it again.”

By covering six furlongs in 1:10.47, Dr. Schivel improved his resume to 6-4-1-1, $416,000. The Violence colt was trained as a juvenile by Luis Mendez for original owner/breeders William A. Branch and Arnold R. Hill. His sharp maiden score at Del Mar led to a private purchase by Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal, and William Dean Reeves, with Branch retaining an interest. The new ownership group transferred him to Glatt after the Del Mar Futurity.

Dr. Schivel was shelved with a view toward a sophomore campaign. The bay made a winning return over elders, despite a bumpy trip, in a June 18 Santa Anita allowance.

The Kentucky-bred has a close pedigree connection to California. His dam, Cal-bred Lil Nugget, is a half-sister (by Mining for Money) to millionaire Ultra Blend, who earned her signature win in the 2011 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) at Del Mar.