Digging into the Data: Summer 2-Year-Old Racing

Into Mischief had multiple winners at both tracks.
Known as the traditional unveiling places of some of the best 2-year-olds in the nation, Del Mar and Saratoga’s 2-year-old races are closely watched every July and August as people try to find the next rising stars of the sport. But there’s more to the racing than just the names of the winners and the times they win in. Keep reading to find out 15 facts about this year’s 2-year-old races at the premiere summer tracks in North America.
  • Del Mar ran 73 2-year-old races with Saratoga running 80 2-year-old races.
  • At Del Mar, five 2-year-olds won two races each. They include Klimt (Quality Road), who won both the Best Pal Stakes and Del Mar Futurity and With Honors (War Front), who broke her maiden in late July at the track before winning the Del Mar Juvenile fillies Turf on closing day.
  • In Saratoga, four 2-year-olds won two races each. Coasted (Tizway) broke her maiden on turf on Aug. 7 then won the P.G. Johnson on Sept. 1. Practical Joke (Into Mischief) broke his maiden on Aug. 6 then won the Hopeful on Sept. 5 while Sweet Loretta (Tapit) won the Schuylerville on July 22 before dead-heating in the Spinaway on Sept. 3. New York-bred Syndergaard (Majesticperfection) took the New York-bred stakes route after breaking his maiden early in the meet, winning the Funny Cide on Aug. 26.
  • Fifteen sires had two or more 2-year-old victories at Del Mar. They were led by Into Mischief with four combined wins by three different horses. Minister’s Wild Cat and Pioneerof the Nile both had their runners win three 2-year-old races at the meet.
  • Eighteen sires had two or more 2-year-old victories at Saratoga. A.P. Indy’s son Bernardini and grandson Tapit led all sires with four victories each. Freshman sire Dialed In, New York sire Freud, Into Mischief, Majestic Warrior and the late Scat Daddy all had three wins each.
  • Ten broodmare sires had at least two 2-year-old victories during the Del Mar meet. Of those former Lane’s End stallions A.P. Indy (3), Dixie Union (4) and Smart Strike (3) all had more than two victories with Dixie Union leading all of them with four.
  • Saratoga saw 16 broodmare sires represented in the winner’s circle twice or more after 2-year-old races. Unbridled’s Song led all broodmare sires with five while Carson City and Distorted Humor both had three victories each as broodmare sires.
  • Seven freshmen sires had 2-year-old winners at Del Mar with eight freshman sires having 2-year-old winners at Saratoga. Dialed In had three winners at Saratoga while Gemologist has three combined winners between the two tracks (one at Del Mar, two at Saratoga).
  • Forty-four Del Mar 2-year-old winners went through the ring at least once. Of those, five RNAed in that sale. Twenty of the winners went through at least two sales with six going through three sales. Sixteen of the winners were bought out of a 2-year-old sale this year while one went through but was a $275,000 RNA at Barrett’s May Sale (Speightown’s Big League).
  • Fifty-eight Saratoga 2-year-old winners went through the ring at least once with six RNAing in that sale. Of those 58, 24 went through the ring in at least two sales (six RNAed in the second sale) and three went through the ring a third time with one of them RNAing then. Twenty-two of the winners sold at 2-year-old breeze sales earlier this year, including Fact Finding (The Factor), who sold at Tattersall’s Breeze-Up Sale for $524,606 before coming back to the United States.
The Factor
  • The most expensive winner at Del Mar was the $500,000 Keeneland September grad Plum Dandy (Medaglia d’Oro) while the cheapest was Slew’s Tiznow’s Red Apple, who was bought for only $2,200. The average purchase price (at the last sale they were bought at) for a Del Mar winner at auction was $141,407.
  • The most expensive Saratoga winner was Spinster dead-heat winner Pretty City Dancer (Tapit), who sold for $825,000. The filly she deadheated with, Sweet Loretta, was a $750,000 yearling. The cheapest winner was Kissin Cassie (High Cotton), who sold at the OBS April Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training sale for $5,000. The average purchase price at the last sale the winners were bought at is $231,687.
  • Keeneland’s September Yearling sale leads all sales with the number of Del Mar and Saratoga 2-year-old winners with 29 between the two meets. They are followed by OBS’ April sale with 11 and OBS’ March sale with 10.
  • Twelve trainers had two or more 2-year-old wins at Del Mar, led by Bob Baffert with nine victories. Baffert was followed by Doug O’Neill with six wins and Keith Desormeaux with five.
  • Bob Baffert with American Pharoah
  • Fourteen Saratoga trainers won at least two Saratoga 2-year-old races during the meet. Todd Pletcher led all trainers with 15 2-year-old victories with Mark Casse tallying a second best eight wins and Chad Brown rounding out the top three with five.
  • Twenty-nine colts, 33 fillies and six geldings won 2-year-old races at Del Mar. Thirty-six colts, 35 fillies and two geldings won 2-year-old races at Saratoga.


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