The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) not only usually produces the champion two-year-old, the winner will be the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
The Juvenile -Derby double is not an easy one. Street Sense was the first to sweep both races in 2006. Nyquist was the second in 2015.
The highlight of the first day of the Breeders’ Cup, the Juvenile last year was won by Essential Quality who went on to win Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1) this year and is one of the major players in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
This year’s edition figures to draw another large field. The likely favorite is the Chad Brown trained Jack Christopher. The colt is the current betting favorite at BUSR in early Breeders’ Cup Juvenile betting at 5-2.
He colt broke his maiden in his debut and then won the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park, a very productive Juvenile prep race.
Brown won the 2017 Juvenile at Del Mar with Good Magic, who was still a maiden, having run second in the maiden ranks and in the Champagne (G1) before his Juvenile victory.
Betting Trends for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
|Juvenile by the Digits: (last 11 years)
Avg. Win payoff: $21.18
Avg. Exacta payoff: $201.75
Avg. Beyer Speed Figure: 94.7
Betting Favorites All time: 12 for 37
|2020 Winner: Essential Quality ($9.40)
$2 Exacta: $599.80 $1 Trifecta: $3,829.60
Winner final prep: Won Breeders’ Futurity (G1)
Runner up: Hot Rod Charlie
Runner up final prep: Won Maiden Special Wt.
The betting favorite has won just once in the last eight years, as it has become tough to predict the winner with two-year-olds running less over the last decade.
Last year’s winner Essential Quality ($9.40) was making just his third career start and longshot Storm the Court ($93.80) was making his fourth career outing in 2019. Game Winner ($4.00), the only favorite to win over the last eight runnings was making his fourth start. Good Magic ($25.00) won in 2017 at Del Mar and was still a maiden, his juvenile victory just his third career start.
The recent runner ups have lit up the toteboard. Last year the runner up was Hot Rod Charlie at 94-1. Anneau d’Or was 28-1 in 2019 and in 2018 Knicks Go was the runner up at 40-1.
Last year Jackie’s Warrior was sent off at 4-5 and had to settle for fourth. In 2019 Eight Rings was sent off as the 3-2 favorite and was sixth. The 2017 chalk was Bolt d’Oro at 4-5, who checked in third.
Jack Christopher Wins Champagne
The Storm the Court-Anneau d’Or exacta was a record breaker, the $2 payoff coming back at $976.40. The previous high was in 1998 with Answer Lively (5-2) on top of Aly’s Alley (76-1), returning $631.40.
The Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park has been the most productive prep race with nine winners. The American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita has produced eight winners and the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland has produced seven winners including last year’s victor Essential Quality.
It is possible to win the Juvenile off a maiden score. New Year’s Day in 2013 and Action This Day in 2003 accomplished the feat, and Good Magic was still a maiden in 2017 at Del Mar but was G1 placed.
The window for the prep race should be between 28 and 35 days which accounted for the last seven winners. New Year’s Day ($23.00) has the biggest break at 63 days when he won the Juvenile in 2013.
We have seen only three winners that have gone sprint to route— Brocco (1993), Johannesburg (2001) and Stevie Wonderboy (2005).
There have been 11 Juvenile winners that have wired the field and three of those came in the first five runnings. That last to do so was upset winner Storm the Court in 2019.
Eight of the last 11 Juvenile winners won their final prep race. The last Juvenile winner that did not land in the money was Unbridled’s Song in 1995 who ran fourth in the Champagne (G1).
Trainer records: Chad Brown 1 for 5, Bob Baffert 4 for 28, Todd Pletcher 2 for 21, Ken McPeek 0 for 9, Mark Casse 1 for 7, Dale Romans 0 for 10.