Juvenile Turf a wide-open contest

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Alastair Bull

November 1st, 2017


If you correctly pick the trifecta or superfecta for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, chances are you’ll get a very good payout.

You’ll probably get good money just for the winner, for that matter, if the morning line is at all accurate.

A very even 14-horse field is entered for the one-mile event, and the morning-line has eight of them at 8-1 or shorter, with favorite Masar as long as 9-2.

That may be very different on race day – some British bookmakers rate Mendelssohn the favorite – but there’s still great odds to be had.

Masar, trained by Charlie Appelby for Godolphin, is favored on the morning line on the strength of his win in the Solario Stakes (G3) and a fighting third to Juvenile Fillies Turf candidate Happily in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1). Mendelssohn, from the Aidan O’Brien stable, also has top-level form, finishing second in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) behind stable companion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile candidate U S Navy Flag. He’s an 8-1 morning-line chance.

Mill Reef Stakes (G2) winner James Garfield is second favorite at 6-1, while others flying in from Europe include Beckford, second in the Phoenix Stakes (G1) and the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (G1), Coventry Stakes (G2) winner Rajasinghe, and Gimcrack Stakes (G2) winner Sands of Mali.

The North American team is made up of Untamed Domain and Hemp Hemp Hurray, first and second in the Summer Stakes (G2) at Woodbine; Pilgrim Stakes (G3) runner-up Voting Control; the first two in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes, Encumbered and My Boy Jack; With Anticipation Stakes (G3) winner Catholic Boy; Kentucky Downs Turf Showcase Juvenile Stakes winner Snapper Sinclair; and Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3) winner Flameaway.

It’s a difficult race to pick, with all of the contenders showing ability but none looking outstanding as yet. Masar, Mendelssohn, and Beckford have group one form to support their claims, and the midfield draw that Masar has could get him to the line. Keep a good eye on the market when deciding where to invest.