How to bet the 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Breeders’ Cup Friday at Keeneland wraps up with the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), a one-mile grass race pitting North America’s best two-year-old turf males against a pair of formidable raiders from Europe.
The home team has the advantage from a sheer numbers standpoint; 12 of the 14 entrants are based in North America. But horses based in Europe have won nine out of 15 editions of the Juvenile Turf, suggesting overseas shippers have the best chance for success.
Trainer Charlie Appleby has started four horses in the Juvenile Turf, and the results have been spectacular: three victories courtesy of Outstrip (2013), Line of Duty (2018), and Modern Games (2021), plus a wildly troubled sixth-place finish from future Derby (G1) winner Masar (2017). Appleby’s 75% strike rate points toward his accomplished colt #4 Silver Knott (3-1) as the horse to beat in the 2022 edition.
Silver Knott has won three of his last four starts, including triumphs in the seven-furlong Solario (G3) and one-mile Autumn (G3). The Solario came over the tight-turning track at Sandown Park, which bodes well for Silver Knott’s chances of handling the tight turns at Keeneland. The presence of jockey William Buick is another positive; Buick’s 5-for-24 record at the Breeders’ Cup includes Juvenile Turf wins aboard Line of Duty and Modern Games.
#1 Victoria Road (8-1) is the other European raider. Conditioned by Aidan O’Brien (a four-time winner of the Juvenile Turf), Victoria Road enters off three consecutive victories, including a stakes triumph over the future Group 1-winning filly Blue Rose Cen. But Victoria Road’s signature win in the Prix de Conde (G3) came over 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), and it’s fair to wonder if a fast-paced, two-turn mile might be a little sharp for Victoria Road.
Among the Americans, #8 I’m Very Busy (9-2) warrants respect. He crushed his debut at Saratoga over next-out stakes winner #11 Reckoning Force (20-1), then finished second against #13 Major Dude (10-1) over a yielding turf course in the Pilgrim (G2). A slow early tempo favored the pace-tracking Major Dude over the stretch-running I’m Very Busy, and the damp ground may have compromised I’m Very Busy as well. He’s eligible to rebound under more favorable circumstances in the Juvenile Turf.
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#2 Packs a Wahlop (6-1) can’t be dismissed either. The California shipper is 3-for-3 on turf, unleashing quick finishes to win the Del Mar Juvenile Turf (G3) and Zuma Beach (G3) by daylight margins. The gray colt has enough tactical speed to work out a clean trip from post 2.
MUCCIOLO: Breeders' Cup: Two-year-old trends
So how should we bet the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf? We’ll start with a $10 win bet on Silver Knott; thanks to the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup $10 Money Back promotion, we’ll receive a refund if Silver Knott settles for second or third place. Then we’ll play exacta and trifecta wagers keying Silver Knott on top.
- $10 to win on #4 Silver Knott
- $3 Exacta: 4 with 1,2,8 ($9)
- $1 Trifecta: 4 with 1,2,8 with 1,2,8 ($6)