The two-year-olds have the stage to themselves for a week on Friday, day one of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, and the latest in our series of overviews of the action concentrates on the main turf races. Godolphin runner Silver Knott is Europe’s big shot in the G1 BC Juvenile Turf against local G2 winners Andthewinneris and Major Dude, while in the G1 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf the home defense is strong, with Delight, Pleasant Passage, and Free Look going up against Irish trio Never Ending Story, Meditate and Basil Martini. Below is the 2022 Juvenile Turf Future Book & Juvenile Fillies Turf Top Horses.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
G1, $1,000,000, 1m turf, 2yo, Keeneland, November 4
The European challenge for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is often a two-pronged attack from Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien, who have each won it three times in the last ten runnings and will likely be strongly represented next week in a race that may lack a little quality compared to previous years.
Appleby won this 12 months ago with Modern Games and supplies a strong early favorite in Silver Knott, who is three-for-five and ran a career-best last time out to win the G3 Autumn at Newmarket over a mile.
The runner-up and third Epictetus and Holloway Boy were runner-up and third at G1 level on their next start and the form is beyond reproach. His barn mate Mysterious Night, winner of the G1 Pattison Summer Stakes at Woodbine, is not a certain traveler.
O’Brien has two under consideration with Cairo, winner of the G3 Killavullan at Leopardstown over seven furlongs, officially rated slightly superior to Victoria Road, who has won his last three culminating in the G3 Prix de Conde at Chantilly over a mile-eighth. Neither is among O’Brien’s top echelon but both bring good credentials.
Note should also be made of The Ridler, who sprang a 50-1 upset when winning the G2 Norfolk Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot. He has never been further than six furlongs but connections are confident of his ability to stretch out, although thus far he hasn’t shown the requisite class for this level.
Unlikely or definite non-runners from Europe include The Platinum Queen, Dramatised and Persian Force (all heading for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint), Blackbeard (retired to stud), Auguste Rodin, Chaldean, Lezoo and Proud And Regal (not traveling).
The home defense is deep, with Andthewinneris to the fore after a powerful performance in victory in the G2 Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes here over a mile-sixteenth, clearing away to win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Another big hitter is Major Dude, who made an impressive debut on the lawn when turning back I’m Very Busy to win the mile-sixteenth G2 Pilgrim Stakes at Aqueduct by a length. Major Dude is likely to move up for the experience, while I’m Very Busy may not have been suited by the yielding turf and could do better without rain.
Webslinger and Oxymore filled the exacta in a stakes at Monmouth Park over a mile, a half-length between them, and could figure, although the latter is also a contender for the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint, which is the destination for Love Reigns.
2022 Juvenile Turf Future Book Prediction
The best of the Europeans is likely to be Silver Knott, but MAJOR DUDE has a big chance of keeping this at home after winning a G2 on his turf debut last time.
|HORSE||JUVENILE TURF ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|The Platinum Queen||+350|
|Packs A Wahlop||+800|
|I’m Very Busy||+1000|
|Proud And Regal||+1000|
|Speed Boat Beach||+1000|
Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
G1, $1,000,000, 1m turf, 2yo fillies, Keeneland, November 4
For whatever reason, the European invasion has barely made a dent in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with just two wins in its 14-year history, whereas Chad Brown has won the race five times.
European hopes of turning the tide took a big hit when French filly and future-book favorite Blue Rose Cen was ruled out of the race with a foot injury, but her easy victory in the G1 Marcel Boussac at Longchamp could still have an impact on the race.
Five and a quarter lengths back in third and running arguably a career-best was Never Ending Story, a G3 winner at Leopardstown in the summer who is expected to represent master trainer Aidan O’Brien in a race he has yet to win. Her barnmate Meditate was runner-up in a hot version of the G1 Moyglare Stud at the Curragh and filled the same position in the G1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket, although she is yet to go beyond seven furlongs.
O’Brien’s eldest son Joseph is expected to send Basil Martini, winner of the seven-furlong G3 Weld Park at the Curragh when a half-length ahead of Gan Teorainn, who was then beaten much further by Blue Rose Cen in that Longchamp race, but the Charlie Appleby-trained Fairy Cross is not expected to travel.
The best British form belongs to Commissioning, who completed a hat-trick when a gutsy winner of the G1 Fillies’ Mile Stakes at Newmarket, although she has not been confirmed a genuine contender. Stamina is her main weapon and she finishes off her races strongly.
Brown’s main hope lies with Free Look, who could never quite get to grips with all-the-way winner Pleasant Passage in the G2 Miss Grillo Stakes at Aqueduct over a mile-sixteenth, going under by three-quarters of a length but finishing clear of Be Your Best, Alluring Angel and Im Just Kiddin. Brown’s other candidates Pink Hue and Tax Implications won their maiden but this is a huge step up.
Pleasant Passage and Free Look both have a leading chance here, although perhaps not as obvious as that of Delight, who ran the opposition out of town in the G2 Jessamine Stakes here over a mile-sixteenth, going gate-to-wire to win by five lengths with Happy Gal nearest at the finish in seventh.
The first three home in the G1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine over a mile are likely to reoppose, after Last Call sprang a shock when beating Cairo Consort by a length, with G Laurie three-quarters of a length away third. Canadian form doesn’t always translate well to the US and this trio needs a lot more to figure out here.
Irish import Comanche Country has thrived in California, going three-for-three since her move including the G3 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita over a mile, and fast conditions at Keeneland would be very much a positive for her.
2022 Juvenile Fillies Turf Future Book Prediction
On soft ground, the finger would point to Blue Rose Cen, but DELIGHT was hugely impressive in a G2 at this track and may even be capable of further improvement.
|HORSE||JUVENILE FILLIES TURF ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Blue Rose Cen||+350|
|Be Your Best||+1500|
|Im Just Kiddin||+1600|
|Never Ending Story||+1600|
|Showgirl Lynne B||+1600|
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