Breeders' Cup: Trends for juvenile tilts
A handful of Breeders' Cup races for two-year-olds will be contested at Del Mar on Nov. 5 as part of the Future Stars Friday card. Below are a few trends of interest to me for each of the "baby" races.
Dating back to 2013, five of the winners were based in California during their respective juvenile seasons, with four exiting a top-three result in the American Pharoah (formerly named the Front Runner) S. (G1). Corniche, Pappacap, and Oviatt Class finished one-two-three in this year’s edition and must be respected on Nov. 5.
Three of the last four winners of the race have exited a strong performance in the Frizette S. (G1) at Belmont Park. The 2017 Juvenile Fillies queen Caledonia Road (second), 2018 starlet Jaywalk (first), and 2020 heroine Vequist (second) each parlayed a good run over Big Sandy into ‘Cup glory. That bodes well for Echo Zulu, the unbeaten Frizette winner. It would also be auspicious for Chad Brown’s Gerrymander, who completed the Frizette exacta, but she is reportedly not expected in the Breeders' Cup.
The Juvenile Turf has been mostly a European celebration, with eight of the 14 past winners based abroad, four of whom were sent out by conditioner Aidan O’Brien. Not a single horse based in California has come out on top in the event, which is surely worth noting. With a stout cast expected to invade Del Mar from overseas this season, we can expect more of the same in my opinion.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
No winner of the race since its inception in 2008 has been based in the Golden State prior to the Breeders’ Cup. A total of 11 domestic horses have been victorious in the affair, with an additional two shipping in from Europe. And it’s worth mentioning that conditioner Chad Brown has endured a lifetime’s worth of success in the contest, having saddled five of the 13 previous winners of the affair.
Juvenile Turf Sprint
Conditioner Wesley Ward has saddled the past two winners of the dash, with Four Wheel Drive and Golden Pal making good in recent runnings. And in two of the three editions of the young race, European invaders have finished third and fourth at big prices to spike hefty exotics returns. If you do land on a short-priced Ward pupil, and I wouldn’t blame you for doing so, then it is worth including imports for the vertical gimmicks.