My Theory on…Theory

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

October 25th, 2016

Todd Pletcher is once again well-armed for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita on November 4-5, with a nice mix of standout performers heading west for the marquee event. The set includes a pair of prime-time players for a deep rendition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

A precursor for next spring’s Kentucky Derby, the Juvenile often determines champion 2-year-old male as well and is always a target for the Pletcher stable. The seven-time Eclipse-Award winning trainer has captured two previous runnings, sending out Uncle Mo in 2010 and Shanghai Bobby in 2012.

I’ve already spoke well of Pletcher’s Syndergaard, who brings quality speed to the Juvenile field following a nose second in the Champagne (G1), and my focus now turns to the unbeaten Theory

A $335,000 two-year-old purchase, Theory is a son of hot freshman sire Gemologist and did not disappoint when being hammered down to 3-5 odds at first asking at Saratoga, rolling home an easy winner. A foot bruise forced him to wait 11 weeks for his second start, the October 15 Futurity S. (G3) at Belmont Park, and the bay colt sat in second before exuding his class in midstretch, quickly seizing control as he won going away in handy fashion under Javier Castellano.

I was particularly impressed by how Theory galloped out after the wire in the 3 ½-length decision.

The Kentucky-bred was favored at 1-5 in the 6-furlong race and it was easy to like how the China Horse Club and WinStar Farm colorbearer rated and took over late. Based on what I’ve seen in two starts, Theory appears well-equipped to handle two turns and is ready to tackle high-class company.

My thinking is that while the West Coast youngsters have a pair of legitimate hometown prospects in Klimt and Gormley, the juvenile crop in the Empire State is the deepest and most talented, overall. 

I do not spend a lot of time falling in love with a horse’s pedigree at this stage of their development, as many a past winner of  this race were more of the one-turn or miler variety, but I do try and determine which animal might possess the most raw talent. While more foundation would be a bonus, Theory appears to have as much ability as most, or all, of his foes. And that’s my theory!