Dr. Schivel, who finished last year's Del Mar summer meeting with a victory in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1), returned to the track this year to defeat older sprinters in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) July 31. The six-furlong Crosby earned Dr. Schivel a Breeders' Cup challenge berth to the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), this fall to be run at Del Mar.
The 3-year-old faced seasoned older sprinters, including the crack speedster C Z Rocket. When the gate opened, California-bred multiple stakes winner Brickyard Ride bobbled slightly from the outside post, but then zipped to the front, clocking the first quarter-mile in a swift :21.83.
Dr. Schivel, breaking from post 7 in the eight-horse field under jockey Flavien Prat, got away in sixth. Racing three wide into the turn, Dr. Schivel had to angle out even wider into the stretch.
After a half-mile in :44.67, Brickyard Ride still had the lead from the inside, but Law Abidin Citizen challenged him and took a brief lead past the eighth pole. Eight Rings also challenged, and as Dr. Schivel came up on the outside of them, the four horses surged toward the wire.
Favored C Z Rocket had an extremely wide trip and after getting outpaced on the turn, also came flying late. Dr. Schivel edged Eight Rings to win by a neck, and C Z Rocket just missed catching Eight Rings by a head to be third. Law Abidin Citizen was a half-length back in fourth, with Brickyard Ride fifth.
The smile says it all. pic.twitter.com/xCEYM1u39X— Del Mar Racetrack (@DelMarRacing) August 1, 2021
Dr. Schivel ran six furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.47.
"He's not the fastest horse in the world, but he can finish," said William Branch, co-breeder and co-owner of Dr. Schivel. "And that's what he does—he finishes."
Dr. Schivel ($6.80) not only had good Del Mar form, but he also had the track's hottest jockey in Prat. Leading all riders at the meeting, Prat added three wins on the card before the Crosby.
"He broke well, then when we went across the gap, he grabbed the bit," Prat said. "He was running well pretty much all the way around. He was game late—good win."
Mark Glatt, who won the 2020 Crosby with Collusion Illusion last year, trains Dr. Schivel.
"They went fast early—maybe not as fast as we thought," said Glatt. "This is a real racehorse. He beat the olders today, and hopefully in November he'll be able to do it again."
The conditioner last year was winning his first grade 1 race in the Crosby. Glatt had entered three in the race—Dr. Schivel, Collusion Illusion, and Law Abidin Citizen, who finished third in the 2020 Crosby.
Glatt scratched Collusion Illusion because "he grabbed a quarter yesterday and he wasn't just perfect this morning, so we decided to wait with him."
Glatt didn't train Dr. Schivel in 2020. Luis Mendez trained the Kentucky-bred son of Violence —Lil Nugget, by Mining for Money, for Branch and co-breeder Arnold Hill. Glatt recommended purchasing an interest in the colt to the Cohen family's Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal. They completed the deal prior to the Futurity, with Branch remaining in the partnership and bringing in his friend William Dean Reeves.
Mendez continued to train Dr. Schivel through the Futurity, and then the owners and Glatt gave the colt an extended vacation. Dr. Schivel spent time at the Cohens' Rancho Temescal in Piru, Calif.
"He's very classy," said Tim Cohen. "We turned him out at the farm. He let down easily. A good horse will take care of himself like that. He was fun to have at the farm. He has a little character, and it was a blast to have him."
Glatt brought Dr. Schivel back in a six-furlong allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita Park June 18 against older horses. As the 6-5 favorite, the colt won by a neck over fellow 3-year-old Canadian Pride.
"He sure seemed to pass with flying colors in that comeback race," said Glatt a few days before the Crosby.
Following the Crosby, Glatt wasn't immediately sure which race he might use as a prep for the Breeders' Cup. He is considering the Aug. 28 Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course restricted to 3-year-olds.
"He could be a grade 1 winner on both coasts—that could make a huge difference for him down the line in his stallion career," said Glatt.
Dr. Schivel is one of five winners of his dam's eight foals, all of whom have raced. Her most recent foal is Barsini Red, a Mendez-trained 2-year-old colt by Midshipman owned by breeders Branch and Hill. Barsini Red is a maiden that has a second and two thirds in three starts.