Breeders' Cup Preview: Juvenile - November 1, 2013

Matt Carter

November 1st, 2013

The "in-between" race on Saturday in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita is the $2-million Juvenile for two-year-old colts and geldings.  The one mile and one-sixteenth race drew a field of 14 and the favorite, Havana, will not have an easy go.

Havana won his debut at Saratoga with a blistering speed figured then backed it up with another solid race in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park.  He would be a much lower price than his 5-2 morning line had he not drew post 13.  Good luck trying to work out a trip from there for a horse that has yet to be two-turns.

Havana also has the pace scenario against him as there should be others in the field motoring early.  New Year's Day is likely to show speed for trainer Bob Baffert with Martin Garcia in the irons.  New Year's Day broke his maiden at Del Mar over Bond Holder, who won the Grade 1 Front Runner over the track in his next start and is also in the Juvenile field.

Two others that could also vie for the lead are the "other" Baffert trainee Tap It Rich and the War Front colt, Diamond Bachelor.  Tap It Rich just broke his maiden at one mile over the track, but still looks green in the mornings and may be a handful early for Mike Smith.  Diamond Bachelor is making his dirt debut in the Juvenile after going two-for-three on the turf.  Not quite sure why the connections have opted to run him here and not the Juvenile Turf.

The other speed horse is Strong Mandate, who won the Grade 1 Hopeful over a muddy track at Saratoga then finished ten lengths behind Havana in the Champagne.  He drew post 14 and may be a throwout for many playing the pick-3 or pick-6.

Bond Holder is going to be running late and is a threat with a fair race track and not a speed favoring one that saw Shanghai Bobby hold his speed after looking like he would back up sharply in the stretch.  Bond Holder finished two and one-quarter length in front of Dance With Fate in the Front Runner and that rival may be ready to run out of his skin based on his gallops in the morning.  Dance With Fate has tactical speed and drew well in post two.

An interesting long shot in the field that has looked good in the mornings too, everyone seems to always say their horse looks good by the way, is the Birdstone colt, Mexikoma.  After a seventh place finish in his debut on the turf at Saratoga, Mexikoma demolished a field of seven at Delaware Park by just under 15 lengths.  He was then bought privately by Team Valor International and is another who drew well in post three.  Mexikoma may not win, but he could hit the board at a huge price.

Also, just a reminder that none of the two-year-olds will be racing with Lasix on Saturday and all of the colts have run with the medication to date.

Post time for the Juvenile on Saturday is 5:43 pm ET and is the second leg of the pick-6.