Headlining's Ride to Victory?

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

June 22nd, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

Relocated to Santa Anita for the 2014 winter-spring meeting, the rechristened Santa Anita Juvenile will be run Sunday afternoon at the Great Race Place. Formerly known as the Hollywood Juvenile, the $125,000 stakes race drew a field of seven talented 2-year-olds.

Headlining the race is my top pick, one who was extremely impressive first out. Story to Tell won his debut under a hard hold last month after breaking from the outside post in a field of six. Joe Talamo navigated the son of Bluegrass Cat to the rail that day, where he showed his class by fending off an early challenger and winning in as visually-pleasing a fashion as one could ask for.

He should sit a much better trip today. Talamo rides back for Dan Hendricks, his worktab is very solid (it includes a five-furlong bullet last week), and all signs point to a sharp performance on Sunday afternoon. 2-year-old races this time of year can be tricky, but there’s a ton to like about Story to Tell, and that’s why he’s my top selection.

One can never dismiss a flashy Bob Baffert colt in a race like this, and that’s why Holiday Camp is my second choice. Unlike several of his foes, his debut came at five furlongs (not four and a half), and it was swift, as the son of Street Boss stopped the timer in :57.47 two weeks ago. He worked four furlongs in :47 and change earlier this week, which is his best four-furlong time on record, so it appears that he’s ready to go.

I’ll round out my trifecta with Wake Up Nick, who comes in off a six-week layoff for Doug O’Neill. He overcame a shaky start in his 4 ½-furlong debut early last month and won by more than nine lengths in track-record time (:51.22). Why don’t I like him as much as my top two? Well, the layoff is a concern, and his works, while consistent, haven’t been spectacular. Additionally, there may not be value here, and he may be overbet due to the fast time he ran in his debut. Still, if he’s ready to run, he’s definitely a major player in the Santa Anita Juvenile.

SELECTION: Story to Tell, Holiday Camp, Wake Up Nick