- The Breeders’ Cup World Championships begin Friday in Lexington, KY
- The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile highlights Friday’s best of the best among the two-year-olds card
- If you can beat Jackie’s Warrior in the Juvenile the price will be right. What are the top values on Friday?
During the nearly four-decade history of the Breeders Cup, the races have been configured in a variety of ways. Since 2007 it has been a two-day event, and this year all of the two-year-old races are on Friday, with older horses running on Saturday. Inexperienced horses often lead to upsets.
While Saturday’s card will garner most of the attention, and Breeders Cup Classic odds have seen significant movement over the past couple of months, Jackie’s Warrior is a clear favorite in Friday’s BC Juvenile.
Let’s look closely at Friday’s feature, and then summarize what to look for and who to consider in the other opening day events.
2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Odds
|Sittin On Go||+900|
|Hot Rod Charlie||+5000|
Odds taken November 2nd at Bet365
The Juvenile is slated to begin at 5:10 pm EST. It will televised by NBC Sports Network. The two-year-olds will go a-mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track at Keeneland with a purse of $2 million up for grabs.
Last year the Juvenile was won by Storm the Court who paid $93.80 to win on a $2 wager. Two years ago Game Winner paid $4.
Jackie’s Warrior is not just the favorite, but one of the more impressive two-year-olds in recent memory. He’s four-for-four and has consistently won in stylish fashion.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Jackie’s Warrior is coming off an easy victory in the Champagne Stakes, the same prep that Tiz The Law won last year. The question on Jackie is not whether he is a deserving favorite, but is the price justified or is there more value elsewhere.
Godolphin is the stable owned by the ruling party of Dubai. For over a decade they have invested and developed horses with the goal of winning the world’s biggest races. Essential Quality gives them a major contender. He is two-for-two in his career.
Essential Quality is trained by the red hot Brad Cox, has been well bet in each of his races, and may be special.
Reinvestment Risk has made one error in his career. Twice he has run in the same race as Jackie’s Warrior, and each time he has been the runner up. He won his only other race for top connections, trainer Chad Brown and owner Klaravich Stables.
Classier has run just once and won easily for trainer Bob Baffert.
While his win was a dominating one, it is very weird for a Baffert horse not to get bet really heavily on debut if he is special. He cost $775,000.
Next is a wildcard. The worldly Wesley Ward trains the two-year-old who got bet heavily and ran poorly on a synthetic surface in Canada in June, then returned to win a turf sprint at Churchill Downs in September, and followed it up with an 11 length win on a wet dirt surface at Keeneland two weeks ago.
Essential Quality has done everything right in two starts and offers value. He needs to improve to win on Friday but very much looks capable and even likely to do so.
Friday’s Breeders Cup Races
Juvenile Turf Sprint
Ward’s Golden Pal is the favorite and will break from the extreme outside in this 14 horse field going 5.5 furlongs on the grass. Golden Pal was bet heavily and ran second in his debut at Gulfstream Park on the dirt, went to Europe and finished second in a top-notch race at Ascot on turf, and returned to win at Saratoga easily.
Three other Ward trainees, After Five, Into the Sunrise, and Amanzi Yimpilo are viable. After Five has not won in two starts but has been close in each. Into the Sunrise consistently is on the lead, can he hold on against top competition? He has one win in four starts. Amanzi Yimpilo is two-for-three and has tactical speed.
Three horses shipping from Europe may offer good value. Mighty Gurkha has two wins in six starts, all taking place in Great Britain. Lipizzaner has been running in the UK and Ireland and is coming off a win. He is two for seven but cost $650,000. Ubettabelieveit has three victories in five races and shocked a grade 2 field at 40/1 in September.
Two-year-old turf races are a good place to search for a price. There are lots of variables, and sometimes the imports are pretty strong.
This mile turf test appears wide-open. Among the top North American horses are Gretzky the Great, who has won three of four races in Canada, Ward’s Outadore who is two-for-two but trying two turns for the first time, and Todd Pletcher’s Mutasaabeq who is coming off a win in his turf debut at Keeneland.
The European entrants are numerous. They include Go Athletico who has been first or second in all five career starts but has never run this far. Also, Sealiway, who is adding distance but just won a grade one race by eight lengths. New Mandate, is a winner of three in a row, and Cadillac, who is always bet heavily and has won twice in four tries will run too. Finally don’t count out Battleground, who comes from top connections and has won his last two races though hasn’t run since July.
Pick: New Mandate
This is the smallest field of any Breeders Cup race. Seven girls go a-mile-and-a-sixteenth on dirt and combined they have won 16 of 21 career races. Princess Noor is three-for-three and the deserving favorite.
Princess Noor cost $1.35 million, is trained by Baffert, and looks the part. That said, Simply Ravishing is three-for-three and hasn’t been challenged, and the same is true for Dayoutoftheoffice. Girl Daddy was a $500,000 purchase, is two-for-two, and liked her first try around two turns to the tune of a decisive win at Churchill Downs in a grade three event.
Pick: Princess Noor
Juvenile Fillies Turf
This race features young ladies going a mile on the turf and the field looks balanced. Among the horses who have been running in America, Aunt Pearl is two-for-two with a sharp win last time out at Keeneland, and Plum Ali is three-for-three with two wins in New York and one in Kentucky.
The shippers include Ward’s Campanelle who is three-for-three with wins at Ascot and in France but won on debut in Florida. Mother Earth is a longshot who has just one victory in seven tries but has been facing monster competition in Great Britain and Ireland.
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