The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships take place today and tomorrow at beautiful Keeneland Race Course right here in central Kentucky. You would hardly know it driving around town. All fun has been cancelled in Kentucky this year, and the races will be run without fans. The bright side, however, is that the races will indeed be run. The quality will be the highest that can be found anywhere in the world, and somewhat remarkably, the weather will be ideal. Friday’s Breeders’ Cup program consists entirely of 2-year old races – 3 on the turf and 2 on the dirt. Here is a snapshot of the races featuring the stars of tomorrow:
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – Race 6
Most Likely Winner – Golden Pal broke his maiden last out in the Skidmore at Saratoga, geared down in the stretch, by 3 1/2 lengths. In a 5 1/2 furlong grass race, that margin may as well be the length of the stretch. His narrow runner-up finish in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot is probably the second most impressive performance of this group. The far outside post is certainly not ideal, but his early speed should severely limit the damage done at the post draw.
Value Play(s) – In addition to Golden Pal, the presence of others such as Bodenheimer, Into the Sunrise, Momos, and County Final will insure a lively pace. Cowan and Second of July both have the look of nice off-the-pace runners that could fill the exotics or even compete for the victory if the hot pace melts the frontrunners.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Race 7
Most Likely Winner – Difficult call in a wide open race, but Outadore has done nothing wrong in two previous outings. His stalking style lends itself well to this particular race, and his speed figures are tops in the field. If Cowan runs well in the sprint, Outadore’s 5 length thrashing of that foe over soft turf at Kentucky Downs should only embolden his supporters.
Value Play(s) – New Mandate has reeled off 3 straight, including the prestigious Royal Lodge at Newmarket. With the brilliant Frankie Dettori in the irons, something close to the 12/1 morning line would be more than fair considering what this horse has accomplished thus far.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Race 8
Most Likely Winner(s) – Dayoutoftheoffice and Simply Ravishing are a perfect 6 for 6 between them. Dayoutoftheoffice most recently vanquished the re-opposing Vequist, 9 1/2 length winner of the grade 1 Spinaway, by a clear 2 length margin in the grade 1 Frizette around a one-turn mile trip at Belmont. The figure makers clearly make her the fastest filly in the race, and she has trained superbly since her arrival in Kentucky. Simply Ravishing was a jaw dropping winner of the Alcibiades over this course and distance last month. The rail draw may not be ideal, as she was drawn outside in each of her previous 3 trips to the post.
Value Play – Girl Daddy has done nothing wrong in her 2 starts and may well find herself in front as she shaded 45 seconds for the first half of her facile Pocahontas score in September. She has trained quite well since, and is bred to appreciate the stretch out around a second turn.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – Race 9
Most Likely Winner(s) – The transatlantic campaign of Campanelle is the most impressive of any in this field. Her victories in the prominent Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and Prix Morny at Deauville mark her as the class leader in the field, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more formidable tandem than Wesley Ward and Frankie Dettori at the controls. She’ll be forced to use her speed from the ten post. It’s no secret that Aunt Pearl will be using her early lick to take control from the outset, just as she has in her two gate-to-wire victories – including the course and distance Jessamine stakes one month ago. The daughter of Lope de Vega looks a picture for Brad Cox and will be very tough to chase down in the lane.
Value Play – Madone has caught the eye getting over the track quite well since shipping into town. Her perfect record was likely earned against significantly weaker competition than she will face today, but the same can be said for most of the field. Her late running style often plays quite well over the Keeneland sod.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Race 10
Most Likely Winner – Jackie’s Warrior will be the heaviest favorite in any of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races over the two day meeting. His record and speed figures loom large as he has been simply untouchable in leading at every call in his last 3 races and easily finding the wire first in each of his 4 attempts. We’ll find out if there are any chinks in his thus far completely impenetrable armor.
Value Play – In a race with plenty of early speed and many runners stretching out, Rombauer could certainly juice up the exotics or potentially even contend for victory if the speed completely falters. In his first start on the main track, he bobbled at the break but recovered nicely to finish a fast closing second in the grade 1 American Pharoah going this same distance at Santa Anita. Further improvement in his second dirt start is likely as he hails from the highly capable Mike McCarthy barn.
Enjoy the finest juvenile racing the world has to offer and best of luck with your wagers.