Who’s the fastest horse around?
It’s the eternal question in horse racing. Traditionally, of course, the answer is settled with a race.
Still, when horses are unable to match up against each other- or when handicappers are making decisions prior to a race – it can be helpful to have other tools to compare. If you are a bettor and you want horse racing tips to bet on the Saratoga Stakes schedule by TwinSpires.com, these horses below might be some names to keep under close watch.
Raw times are not terribly useful when comparing the overall speed of two separate races. Track configuration, surface, and weather conditions can have a huge effect on how many ticks of the stopwatch sound before the horses cross the line.
Instead, many handicappers rely on speed figures. Calculating speed figures involves accounting for all of the biases of the track to produce a single number that, theoretically, shows which horse wins which races the fastest. The Daily Racing Form uses numbers called Beyer figures, named for their creator, Andy Beyer, and they regularly update their leaderboard with the highest figures in certain divisions.
The highest Beyer figure assigned for a sprint (less than one mile) performance- indeed, the highest Beyer figure assigned as yet in 2022- is a figure of 114 assigned to Speaker’s Corner for his win in the Grade I Carter Handicap.
Speaker’s Corner, a son of Street Sense out of a mare by Bernardini, seems at first to have the pedigree for classic distances, but all of his stakes wins have been at a mile or less. In the Carter- Speaker’s Corner’s first victory in Grade I company- he was going seven furlongs on the dirt at Aqueduct in New York. Second early in the race, Speaker’s Corner took over at the half-mile pole and didn’t look back, crossing the finish line 4 ½ lengths in front.
Great Grass Horse
Golden Pal earned 2022’s highest grass Beyer figure yet- 110- when he scored in Keeneland’s Grade II Shakertown Stakes on the very same day that Speaker’s Corner earned his 114 several hundred miles away.
Golden Pal, who is by Uncle Mo out of the graded stakes winning mare Lady Shipman, was last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner. He has won or finished second in every race he has run in America, and he placed in the Group II Norfolk Stakes at Ascot as a two-year-old. His Shakertown Stakes victory was a gate-to-wire performance over 5 ½ furlongs.
Sitting just under Golden Pal on the leaderboard for turf horses is Tribhuvan, a French son of Tornado, alongside Count Again, who is by Awesome Again. Both horses have earned Beyer figures of 108: Tribhuvan in taking the Grade I Manhattan Stakes at 1 ¼ miles and Count Again for his win in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita.
Dashing Dirt Router
Olympiad secured a Beyer figure of 111 for his winning performance in Grade II Stephen Foster Stakes on July 2nd at Churchill Downs. A slight favorite over official Kentucky Derby winner Mandaloun, Olympiad took over from Caddo River at the head of the stretch and held off a challenge from third-choice American revolution to win by 2 ¼ lengths at the end of the 1 ⅛ mile race.
Olympiad is a four-year-old who has come into his stride this year, winning his first five races of 2022, four of which (Stephen Foster included) were graded stakes victories. His sire is Speightstown, and he is out of the graded-stakes-placed Medaglia d’Oro mare Tokyo Time.
Two top-class four-year-old fillies hold the highest Beyer for their sex so far in 2022: Clairiere and Malathaat. Clairiere earned a Beyer figure of 106 in winning the Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, and Malathaat earned the same for her head loss in the race.
Both fillies are four-year-old daughters of Curlin out of multiple graded stakes winning mares who descend from the A.P. Indy line. The two went on to finish in the same order in their next race, the Grade II Shuvee Stakes, to cement their positions as leaders of the division.