Breeders' Cup Sprint: Who might be faster than Jackie's Warrior?

Breeders' Cup Sprint: Who might be faster than Jackie's Warrior?
Photo: Dom Napolitano

The 2020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile was supposed to be a coming-out party for Jackie's Warrior on the road to the 2021 Triple Crown. Although he ran a disappointing fourth at odds of 4-5, that effort helped set the stage for a dynamic 2021 as it was the first sign to his connections that he is at his best around one turn.

Jackie's Warrior will get a second chance at Breeders' Cup glory, and this time he will do what maybe no horse in the world is better at than him: sprinting.

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Pace typically is the main factor when favorites falter in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, but Steve Asmussen's speedy 3-year-old has shown the rare ability to survive fast paces and keep going. He has won two races this year after setting a sub :44 half-mile. At first glance there does not appear to be any horse who can keep up with him early or late in this year's field, but we turn to Beyer, Brisnet and TimeformUS Speed Figures below for a more in-depth look.

HorseBest/Last BeyerBest/Last Brisnet FigureBest/Last Timeform Figure
Jackie's Warrior110, 110107, 107132, 128
Firenze Fire 105, 89 104, 92 120, 113 
Dr. Schivel103, 103104, 104114, 114
Lexitonian102, 42106, 58124, 74
Aloha West102, 100107, 101118, 116
CZ Rocket101, 95 108, 98121, 112
Flagstaff101, 95103, 99120, 111
Special Reserve 101, 101105, 102124, 119
Following Sea100, 100108, 100123, 120
 Mucho96, 95 98, 98114, 114

Who is the fastest? On the Beyer and TimeformUS scales, this is not even close. Jackie's Warrior's Beyer has risen in six straight races, and the 110 number he earned last time is five points higher than Firenze Fire's career best despite the fact that Firenze Fire has run 37 times. Jackie's Warrior's best Timeform figure is a full eight points better than any other horse in the field. Those looking to upset the favorite can lean on Brisnet Figures, which are much more competitive. Seven horses are within three points of Jackie's Warrior best mark, and Following Sea has a higher figure from earlier this year.

Who is the most consistent? Jackie's Warrior is a neck away from being undefeated in nine starts around one turn, and he is one of many consistent runners in this field. Special Reserve has run four straight races with 100+ Beyer and Brisnet Speed Figures. Flagstaff could be a useful exotics contender as he has run nine consecutive races with a Beyer of 94 or higher. Firenze Fire had eight straight Brisnet Figures of 96 or higher prior to his last start. 

Vulnerable contenders: CZ Rocket will take his fair share of money after running second in this race last year, but he has not been quite as good lately. He has suffered four defeats in a row and appears to be better with Lasix and at seven furlongs. His recent speed figures across the board are a step behind the best of the division. 

Value play: Do not discount the rapidly improving Aloha West. He proved his lofty 102 Beyer and 107 Brisnet Speed Figures two races back were not a fluke with a visually impressive second last out to Special Reserve.

2021 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1)

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