Recently on Horse Racing Nation, Averie Levanti lamented about the dearth of top sprinters in American racing on her blog 31 Lengths. You can read Averie’s interesting take on our current sprinters here: Is the Male Sprint Division Losing its Luster?
While certainly not a positive spin on the state of sprinting in the United States, it is an opinion with which I agree. A quick peek at recent Eclipse Award winners shows; Benny the Bull, Kodiak Kowboy, Big Drama, Amazombie, Trinniberg, and Points Offthebench. Nice enough horses, but an honest evaluation of the past half dozen male sprint champions falls a good deal short of past champions such as Midnight Lute, Artax, Housebuster, and Groovy. Mere mention of a monster like Dr. Fager makes our current crew of top sprinters look all the more sad. And as Averie pointed out, it does not look like we are heading for any better in 2014.
OK, so our current and recent sprinters are not as good as they used to be. It only makes sense. As a nation that values stamina over speed, it only makes sense that our breeding practices would shortchange the quality pool of our sprinters. Wait a minute … that’s not right.
It’s funny that this time of a lack of outstanding sprinters comes simultaneously with a move in the last few decades of breeding for speed. It all forces me to ask … If United States breeders are indeed ruining our racing stock domestically by breeding for speed … where are all the fast horses?