Good Evening! Hopefully, all of you are having a good week – there were a couple of nice winners earlier for those who are jumps focused, a good way to impress new boss Oli Wagner on his first day at the helm. You can expect more jumps bets for tomorrow, although if you wish to quiz me about a race, then please tweet @KeejayOV2.
This has been up under Will’s Wisdom, but it seems better to release it now the event is close! Be mindful of Twitter updates, as the dirt track has dried beautifully and appears to be Sandy but fast, with winners from on and off the pace. We won’t know about the turf until a couple of races.
7.21 – 5½f (5f110y) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (Listed Race) (2yo) (Turf) (2yo): This is the second running of this race on the card and the first time it is part of the main card especially. Europeans took the first four places last year when the race was run around Del Mar and two deep closers took the spoilers.
Churchill Downs’ Turf Course is slightly less right than Del Mar, with a longer and wider straight and more generous turn, and that along with plenty of rain will be the two major factors in a race that will be fascinating if nothing else for telling us how the turf course is playing.
Soldier’s Call is a worthy favourite after his fine third in the Prix L’Abbaye when just going down to Mabs Cross and finishing ahead of Battash, but there is plenty of each/way value here and he was only a length ahead of Queen Of Bermuda when the pair met in the Prix d’Arenberg earlier on in the season. She then took the Firth of Clyde Stakes on heavy ground and whilst the Cheveley Park appeared to be too much, slower ground helped her out a lot in the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte when finishing second to Queen Youmzain. She will relish any lasting cut in the surface along with the typically strong pace and the addition of Flavien Prat is a boost too. Take the pair as a couple.
Aidan O’Brien has two strong chances in Sergei Prokofiev and So Perfect, both of whom do have form on slow ground. Shang Shang Shang, a winner of the Nofolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, has seen that form work out really well although both he and Bulletin, and who led all the way in a non-Graded stakes race at Gulfstream Park on debut in September on fast ground.
Pocket Dynamo would be interesting at a big price on decent ground whilst of the Wesley Ward Army, Chelsea Cloisters might cope best with conditions. She was run down late by Strike Silver in the Indian Summer at Keeneland.
Advice: 1 pt win Solider’s Call (7/2 general), 1 pt each/way Queen Of Bermuda (14/1 Boylesports, 12/1 general)
8.00 – 1m Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1) (2yo Fillies) (Turf) (2yo): This has been a staple of the home team thanks mainly to Chad Brown, who has dominated with three of the last four winners and in favourite Newspaperofrecord he has a contender who looks as least as good as his previous winners. Two of Brown’s winners of the Juvenile Fillies Turf have come into the race off the back of wins in a Saratoga maiden and the Miss Grillo Stakes (beating Vareka and Stellar Agent easily) – the same route she has taken – and on both occasions she won by more than six lengths. And what’s more, she handles yielding too – what’s not to love?
Chief international raider appears to be Just Wonderful according to the market, and as a winner on good to yielding ground in the Flame Of Tara Stakes the rain hopefully won’t scupper her chances. She’s hardly the only raider here though with a strong challenge in tow. Charlie Appleby has had a tremendous season and clearly had this race in mind with La Pelosa when taking the Natalama Stakes at Woodbine, as she ground out a game win over My Gal Betty and reserve Pivotina, and as a second in the Sweet Solera to Main Edition on good to soft, there’s no major worries over the surface either. Had she not been taken out at the July Festival it’s likely she’d never have been out of the top three.
A strong challenge includes plenty of French form, and Lily’s Candle, who improved a great deal to take the Prix Marcel Boussac at Paris-Longchamp when overcoming a poor run as the field were quickening, managing to just hold off the closing Mathematica. That was not an especially strong Group 1 but the turn of foot she showed was notable, the ground should be no issue and her draw in 3 is much better than that of the impressive East (14), whilst The Mackem Bullet has not run on slower than good, giving her leading claims of the raiders.
Everything went Concrete Rose’s way in Keenland’s Jessamine Stakes when beating Paket by three lengths with Belle Laura making some eyecatching headway into third. She deserves respect, although ideally the rain would have stayed away.
Advice: 3 pts win Newspaperofrecord (6/4 Betway, Coral, Ladbrokes), 1 pt each/way Lily’s Candle (12/1 Bet365)
8.40 – 1m½f (1m110y) Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1) (2yo Fillies) (Main Track) (Dirt) (2yo): One of the most difficult and deepest races of the weekend, with four Grade 1 winners taking eachother on. It’s extremely hard to pick between all of the Grade 1 winners.
The Spinaway that Sippican Harbour won from Restless Rider looked a strong renewal beforehand and when the runner up won the Darley Albicadies in fine style at Keenland afterwards, that impression was confirmed. Sippican Harbour is now 4lbs worse off for a two and a half-length beating, but the race here is likely to suit her as a strong pace is sure to be in the offing here.
Both can play big parts but Jaywalk’s ability to stalk the pace and her confirmed form in sloppy conditions (her maiden win came on a muddy surface) are two significant pluses here whilst her win in the Frizette at Belmont was a wonderful performance when she put the race to bed at the top of the home turn and won by nearly six. A pace burn up here is a worry, but she can hold back too and she was not stopping at the end of the Frizette either.
Sergeneti Empress got the rail, the lead, and then preceded to take apart her opposition in the Pocahontas Stakes, winning by nearly 20 lenghts. That performance is worthy of huge respect, although this is sobviously a different kettle of fish and the overall time is slower than her rivals. She is one of many front runners, including favourite Bellafine, who won the Debutante Stakes and then the Chandelier Stakes by a combined distance of more than 10 lengths, with Vibrance well behind in one of those two contests. She is a worthy favourite.
This is a race that has shocks more often than not. Four of the last five winners have returned at odds of 20/1, 28/1 40/1 and 66/1, so looking for a big price is a necessity, and Casssies Dreaming jumps off the page. A winner of her Maiden Claimer at Saratoga on a muddy surface in excellent style, she was a closing third in the Spinaway when just behind Restless Dreamer and she then stumbled when third in the Frizette behind Jaywalk. She ought to get strong fractions to ru at once again with the Grade 1 winners likely to look for the lead or at least a share of it, and with the track sure to be no problem, she has to be taken.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Jaywalk (6/1 general), 1 pt each/way Cassies Dreaming (66/1 Paddy Power, 66/1 Bet Victor), 40/1 general)
9.22 – 1m Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1) (2yo Colts & Geldings) (Turf) (2yo): Europe has a strong hand here and it’s no surprise that National Stakes second and Dewhurst third Antony Van Dyck is favourite for Aidan O’Brien, who has won this on four occasions. He’s been steadily progressive and has form on slow ground, so hopefully the surface won’t be an issue for him, although stall 14 gives Ryan Moore a nightmarish tactical dilemma. However, he is taken on with Line Of Duty, who bypassed the Racing Post Trophy to come for this specific target. Representing 2013 winner Charlie Appleby, he would have won the Prix De Conde (1m1f, Deauville, good to soft) much more easily had he gotten a proper run and that form was boosted big time when the third Wonderment went onto take the Criterium de Saint-cloud next time with a late run. He is better than he’s been able to show so far and all his collateral form has worked out strongly, and he should have enough speed for this test.
It’s 11/1 the pair, with Current the joint third favourite. A maiden special weight winner, he just about got the better of Henry’s Joy by a nose in the Bourbon Stakes (WAR Of Will a well beaten fourth) although he had to come from the very rear of the field and after running green, flew late to take the race on the line. That was no mean feat of fractions of 23.59 and 48.82, and he should get a better pace to run at here.
Forty Under is 2-2 on the turf and crucially did not find the yielding turf an issue when taking the Pilgrim Stakes, a race won by Oscar Performance before his Juvenile Turf win two years ago. He had the With Anticipation Stakes 1-2 Opry and Somelikeithotbrown. Both would have been much better suited by a faster surface but won’t get it, giving Forty Under a serious advantage over much of his domestic rivals.
Uncle Benny looked like a serious horse when coming from 12 lengths back to take the listed Futurity Stakes. The sustained run he showed to get up was deeply impressive and he ought to be capable of stretching out further, but slow ground looks sure to blunt his speed.
Of the other European raiders, Arthur Kitty was disappointing in the Royal Lodge and has a question mark over slow ground. That is not the case with Marie’s Diamond, who has form on both soft and heavy whilst also having finished fourth in the Middle Park, but a stall of 13 is a huge stumbling block. French raider The Black Album, who got the better of a tight finish to the Prix la Rochette, will handle the cut and has had that form boosted to boot, so is an interesting raider. Much Better and King Of Speed, the 1-2 in the Zuma Beach Stakes, must improve.
Advice: 1 pt win Line Of Duty (7/2 general), 1 pt each/way Fourty Under (11/1 general)
10.00 – 1m½f (1m110y) Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) (2yo Colts & Geldings) (Main Track) (Dirt) (2yo): Always a favourite race at the meeting with the big challenge of East and West Coast form lines meeting. Seven of the last ten winners have come from the top three in the betting, with three going off favourite and three going off second favourite.
This brings top west coach juvenile Game Winner a winner of the 7f Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and 8.5f Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes, to face top east coast rival Complexity, a taking winner of the Champagne at Belmont. Slight preference is for the Champagne winner, who always looked comfortable and in control before beating Code of Honour by three lengths. The runner up won’t be running here today but Grade 2 winner Call Paul was six lengths behind and as long as he doesn’t burn himself out looking for the lead he can take the beating.
Knicks Go romped home in the of Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland (8.5f, fast) but was gifted the race by allowing to set his own pace early and another soft lead seems to be an impossibility. Signalman comes here after finishing second to him but the most interesting contender from that race by far is Standard Deviation, who was 11th after a furlong compared to Knicks Go’ (1st) and Signalman (4th) and made a huge move just past the ¾ pole to try and get back into the race. Being five wide and more than 10 lengths back eventually took it’s toll in the straight but he managed to finish a hugely creditable third and things will surely be more in his favour here in pace terms. It is especially interesting to note that when he took his maiden at Saratoga the track was described as good but was actually wet, adding a significant positive to his chances.
Derby Date was also much better than the result suggested in the Breeders’ Futurity – his career best run by a distance – and could outrun outsider of the field quotes.
Mind Control, a game winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, deserves plenty of respect and he comes here fresh although his connections would have preferred he ran in the Breeders’ Futurity last week. The form of that was well represented when the fourth Sombeyay was also fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity, but he will obviously face a lot more speed this time.
Well Defined was an impressive winner of the FTBOA Florida Sire In Reality Stakes but that was state restricted and the same applies to Topp T, who won twice at Prairie Meadow but over sprint trips. Mr. Money progressed to take a course and distance maiden but must do more here and the same applied to Dueling, who looks safely held by Game Winner on their Del Mar meeting. Top Ten won a 6f maiden here on debut and has been beaten twice, including in a course and distance Grade 3.
Advice: 1 pt win Complexity (7/2 general), 1 pt each/way Standard Value (16/1 general)