Things to Come: A Look at the Breeders’ Cup JuvenileWritten by Jon Stettin
While true that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hasn’t been a Kentucky Derby winner factory, it still gets me enthused to peruse the past performances and think of things to come. With that in mind, I’ll look at some horses who have caught my attention so far for either good or bad reasons. We’ll see how they do in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and how they progress or if they progress to the oh-so desired Derby Trail.
Remember it was right here some weeks back I wrote Code of Honor was most likely to assert himself to the top of the three year old division and I think he has done that.
You don’t expect Blaine Wright to have an early Kentucky Derby contender, especially one with only one grass start under his belt. Anneau d’ Or comes to Santa Anita with a route win on the grass at Golden Gate in his debut. It wasn’t particularly fast, but he did it like a horse with talent and he cost $480,000 in Ocala so someone saw something they liked. He is by Medaglia d’ Oro out of a Tapit mare. If he handles the dirt and runs ok being thrown in with the wolves, he has quality. Real quality. I’ll be watching with interest and maybe using him if I like his looks.
Dennis’ Moment brings a ton of hype with him. Dale Romans has a tendency to get very high on some of his horses. Everyone loved his last workout and is raving about it. It looked good to me, but not as outstanding everyone else seems to think it was. His Iroquois was a nice race, and I expect he should run well, but he will be a possible underlay and I have a suspicion he is overrated.
King Neptune is a sneaky horse to me. He has only sprinted primarily on grass with one synthetic start. He is never far back but seldom wins at just 1 for 9. He stretches out on dirt, for connections as sharp as a new razor, who are also Derby hungry. Danzig influence on top, Speightstown on the bottom. As I said, sneaky.
Maxfield looks legit and checks every box for me for the Juvenile and as an early Kentucky Derby watch horse. He could very well be Godolphin’s best Derby shot yet. If he doesn’t bounce off the big list race I think he’s the horse to beat.
Scabbard is another with a lot of hype. He has the ability for sure and comes off a troubled trip second to Dennis’ Moment. I won’t be surprised if he turns the tables.
Eight Rings is trained by Bob Baffert and that just about makes him an automatic. He was authoritative against softer last time. He’s got plenty of speed and I see no reason to think he’s not this good.
Wrecking Crew is interesting also. Bred to run all day, he has sprinted somewhat evenly three times at Del Mar. He moves to Santa Anita and stretches out here. He was another lofty purchase and was bet strongly in his debut. I think we can see a forward move here right into the picture.
American Theorem is by the hot American Pharoah. I believe in the sire, but not so much in this guy despite his two good starts to date.
Billy Bats has been on turf in all his starts to date. I’d leave him there.
Full Flat barley won in Japan. He will be a huge long shot and probably over bet at 100-1.
Shoplifted has disappointed since a nice win first out. The Juvenile is a tough spot to turn things around. Not impossible but very tough. If anyone can do it, that might just be Steve Asmussen. He’s an Into Mischief and we all know they come to run.
Storm the Court doesn’t look like he can catch Eight Rings.
Maxfield and King Neptune interest me the most as Derby type horses. King Neptune is eligible to make a fool out of me but he will get no prize for that as he won’t be the first or last horse to do so. Both of these guys are from foreign connections who have been such in all their racing endeavors except the Run For The Roses. Maybe it is one of their times.