The fields for the 14 races that comprise the Breeders’ Cup World Championships really begin to come into focus in summer and fall and this regular feature will offer a snapshot profile of one of the previous weekend’s standout stars.
American Theorem punched his ticket to the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a win in the $402,000 Bing Crosby Stakes July 30 at Del Mar. The Sprint is the marquee race of the year for sprinters in the United States, with seven of the last eight winners going on to earn the Eclipse Award as champion sprinter.
Sometimes the lightbulb goes on for a racehorse and suddenly they “get it” – what it takes to excel at their job and be the best they can be – and sometimes it’s the racehorse’s connections that figure things out. For American Theorem, it might be a bit of both, but trainer George Papaprodromou has definitely figured out what this American Pharoah ridgling does best … and that’s sprinting.
American Theorem has won the seven-furlong Triple Bend Stakes May 29 at Santa Anita Park and the three-quarter-mile Bing Crosby Stakes July 30 at Del Mar in his last two starts while earning a 109 Equibase Speed Figure and a career-top 111 figure, respectively. He improved his Beyer Speed Figure from a 97 in the Triple Bend to a 104 for his 1 ½-length victory in the Bing Crosby.
Let’s take a closer look at his track record in sprints versus longer races:
- In races at seven-eighths of a mile or shorter, American Theorem has posted three wins and two seconds in six attempts.
- In six races at 1 1/16 miles or longer, he’s lost by 12 lengths or more on four occasions with one win and one runner-up finish.
- American Theorem’s three best Equibase Speed Figures (109,110,111) all came in sprints, while he’s only reached the triple-figure plateau (102) once in six races around two turns.
It’s understandable why Papaprodromou tested American Theorem at longer distances. He ran second in a Grade 1 race at 1 1/16 miles in his second career start and he’s by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out a dam (mother), Mighty Renee, who has produced four stakes winners. But now that the trainer has discovered American Theorem’s niche as an elite sprinter, the sky is the limit for him and we are beginning to see a blossoming standout in the division.
American Theorem has posed upsets at 13-1 and 7.80-1 odds in his two most recent races, but he should not surprise anyone moving forward. He belongs in the conversation with the best in the sprint division.