The Breeders’ Cup gets underway with Future Stars Friday, five championship races for juveniles that all drew wide open competitive fields and is a good tune up for Saturday where we will have nine more Breeders’ Cup races.
The 10-race card at Santa Anita on Friday starts at 10:45 PT and the first Breeders’ Cup race is the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) which drew a field of 13 (12 can start) going five furlongs.
Trainer Wesley Ward sends out a trio of runners including Kimari (3-1), winner of the Indian Summer at Keeneland in his last outing.
The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) drew another full field, 15 entered and 14 to start in the one-mile test. The Aiden O’Brien trained Arizona is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
O’Brien has won the race four times. The Euros hold an 8 to 4 edge of the home team. The best of the U.S. runners may be the Christophe Clement trained Decorated Invader (4-1). The French born trainer now based in New York is looking to get off the duck this year. He is 0 for 36 with his Breeders’ Cup starters.
The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) has seen some huge upsets in recent years including Caledonia Road ($36.60) last year, Champagne Road ($69.20) in 2017, Take Charge Brandi ($125.40) in 2014 and Ria Antonia ($66.60) in 2013.
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Nine go to the spot this year led by Donna Veloce (3-1) who is the morning line favorite despite having just a maiden race under her belt. She won by 9 ¼ lengths and earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.
She will face the more experienced British Idiom (7-2), winner of the Alcibiades (G1), Frizette (G1) winner Wicked Whisper and Bast (7-2) who won the Chandelier (G1).
Brown Dominates Juvenile Fillies Turf
The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) has been dominated by trainer Chad Brown, who has won the race in four of the last five years including with Newspaperofrecord last year. He will saddle Selflessly (8-1) this year. The filly drew the 13 post and is coming off a victory in the Miss Grillo (G2) in her last start.
The morning line favorite is Albigna (9-2) who won the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) at Longchamp in her last outing.
The marquee event on Friday is the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The race marks a much-anticipated showdown between the Dale Romans trained Dennis’ Moment and the Bob Baffert trainee Eight Rings.
The field was reduced to eight with the scratch of Maxfield.
Let’s head out to Santa Anita for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Santa Anita Race 9 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile G1 (Post time 4:03 PT)
1 Dennis’ Moment 8-5
5 Scabbard 8-1
2 Wrecking Crew 20-1
6 Eight Rings 2-1
The Dale Romans trainee is perfect in two starts after clipping heels and dumping the jockey in his debut. Her broke his maiden at Ellis Park by 19/1 lengths earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure, the top number by a juvenile so far this year. He stretched out to two turns for the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs and passed the test, tracking the early pace and taking command heading for home, winning for fun by 1 3/4 lengths and the margin could have been much larger The colt is making a very good impression here this week. The fifth-place finisher in the Iroquois was Rowdy Yates, who came back to win the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile in his next start at Remington Park. The $400,000 purchase is by Tiznow out of an Elusive Quality mare, her first foal to race. Romans is 0 for 8 in the Juvenile, the best finish a second in with Not This Time in 2016. The Iroquois has not been a key race for the Juvenile, but we will overlook that small fact. He draws the rail so Irad is going to need to get him out and clear early and this guy is fast enough he could wire this field or sit off of it. With Maxfield out and Eight Rings not making nearly as good an impression this week, this guy is going to get hammered in the betting.
This colt was second in the Iroquois and while he was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths that was a misleading margin. The colt stalked the early pace while saving ground, had to steady at the half mile pole and was making up ground late while no real threat to the winner. He was better than five lengths clear of the rest of the field. He ran second in the Saratoga Special (G2) two back in his first start against winners, racing under the name Noose. He looks capable of moving forward in his second route. He is by More Than Ready out of a stakes placed Gone West mare. He is in good hands with Kenneally who is 0 for 5 with his Breeders’ Cup starters. He picks up Smith which is a plus and should be a decent price.
Trained by Peter Miller, this colt stretches out to a route for the first time here. Three Juvenile winners have gone sprint to route—Brocco (’93), Johannesburg (’01) and Stevie Wonderboy (’05). The colt made a good late rally to finish second in the Best Pal (G2) two back in his second career start and then was a good second last out in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). This colt was a $875,000 purchase, a big number for a Sky Kingdom runner who stands for just $5,000. The Yes It’s True mare has dropped just one other runner, not ye a winner. The Miller barn is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. He will be forwardly placed and can be in the mix if he avoids mixing it up early with our fourth choice.
The Baffert trained was a much the best winner of the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita last out, a race that has produced three of the last five winners of this race (was previously the Frontrunner). The $520,000 purchase is by Empire Maker out of the stakes winner Purely Hot ($426,925). He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and figures to be in the mix early. The colt is not getting the best reviews this week for his morning work and I was not crazy about his last work where it looked like he was getting tired late although it was over a deep track. Baffert has won this race four times including last year with Game Winner, but this guy has the look of an underlay here and we will try and beat him for the top spot.
WIN: #1 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6