What is the most exciting juvenile Breeders' Cup race of 2021?
Breeders' Cup pre-entries have arrived, and "Future Stars Friday" is all about the two-year-olds. On turf and dirt, in sprints and routes, the races drew some of the most thrilling young horses in racing.
Let's get familiar with each of Friday's Breeders' Cup races. We'll visit the leading contenders from all over the world, including all the "Win and You're In" entrants and the most likely to spoil their runs.
Then, let us know — which race on Future Stars Friday are you most excited about?
Juvenile Turf Sprint
The newest Breeders' Cup race drew an intriguing field of North American horses, international visitors, and even North Americans with a stamp or two on their passports. "Win and You're In" berths went to the undefeated Indian Summer S. winner Averly Jane, lightning-quick Speakeasy S. victor One Timer, and Futurity S. (G3) winner Slipstream, who has improved well in his last two starts (Slipstream has first preference in the Juvenile Turf, however).
Other interesting North American-based horses include Royal Ascot raider Twilight Gleaming and the improving Derrynane, who had a breakout effort at Woodbine last month.
Top international hopes include Queen Mary S. (G2) victress Quick Suzy and the consistent Hierarchy.
This race drew nine pre-entries, though Cairo Memories is likely to opt for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Four runners earned their berth through "Win and You're In" races: Frizette S. (G1) winner Echo Zulu, Chandelier S. (G1) winner Ain't Easy, Hidden Connection from the Pocahontas S. (G3), and Alcibiades S. (G1) victress Juju's Map. All four won those stakes decisively, all but Juju's Map are undefeated, and none have yet crossed paths, which makes for an exciting puzzle in the Juvenile Fillies.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
A pair of "Win and You're In" race winners headline the field for the Juvenile Fillies Turf — the exciting longshot California Angel, winner of the Jessamine (G3), and Hello You, who had her stakes-level breakthrough in the Rockfel S. (G2) at Newmarket.
Other top contenders for the race include stretch-out sprinters Bubble Rock and Malavath, the improving Consumer Spending, and Diamond Wow, who, as a winner on both dirt and turf, already looks as versatile as her three-quarter-brother, Diamond Oops.
Though this race is typically dominated by American runners, it has drawn an international field, with two entrants from Japan.
The flashy Jack Christopher headlines the field, after his dominant score in the Champagne S. (G1), but American Pharoah S. (G1) winner Corniche and Breeders' Futurity (G1) star Rattle N Roll also won "Win and You're In" races.
The race also features Grade 1 winner Pinehurst, Grade 3 winner Double Thunder, and improving maiden Commandperformance.
Ten-length dirt winner Jasper Great and grass victor Jasper Krone are both entered. Jasper Krone has first preference in the Juvenile Turf but is far enough down the eligibility list that he is likely to end up on dirt here.
This race attracted huge interest, with 14 in the main field and another six horses on the also-eligible list.
Two earned their way with "Win and You're In" races. Tiz the Bomb overcame breaking through the gate before the race to get up first in the Bourbon S. (G2), and Albahr followed up a trio of wins in Great Britain with a successful visit to Woodbine for the Summer S. (G1).
Slipstream, who won his way into the Juvenile Turf Sprint, also carries first preference here. Other top contenders include North Americans like undefeated Pilgrim S. (G2) winner Annapolis and With Anticipation S. (G3) victor Coinage, and European runners like Dewhurst S. (G1) second-place Dubawi Legend and Somerville S. (G3) winner Modern Games.
What Future Stars Friday race are you most excited about?
Last time, we asked you the horse to beat in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). Everyone had some backers, but with 32% of the vote, Belmont S. (G1) winner Essential Quality is your leading contender of the Classic division! Knicks Go (19%) and Max Player (16%) were the next across the line.