The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races are an important stop along the Triple Crown and Oaks trail and they’ll highlight the Friday card at Keeneland. Veteran horseplayer Jack Jenkins (@VOLJACK79) was kind enough to give a thorough analysis of both dirt races. Thanks to Jack!
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
Likely favorites: Dayoutoftheoffice – Simply Ravishing – Princess Noor
This year’s Juvenile Fillies is a much-improved version of the past few years, a very contentious race filled with promising fillies that could easily produce the next Songbird (2015 winner) or Beholder (2012 winner). Trying to punch holes in the past performances of these fillies, four of which are undefeated, is akin to judging a Miss America pageant. They all look amazing!
Dayoutoftheoffice – comes into the race with the highest Beyer speed figure (95) when winning the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park, when notching her trainer Tim Hamm his first-ever Grade 1 victory.
Simply Ravishing – is another magical bargain buy (50K yearling) for Kenny McPeek. She turned the G1 Alcibiades into a paid work after getting away to an easy early lead four weeks ago. No doubt that a win over the same track and distance will serve her well as she looks to give McPeek his first-ever Breeders’ Cup win. The runner-up finish for Restless Rider in the 2018 Juvenile Fillies was his latest close call, to give him six seconds and eight thirds on his Breeders’ Cup stat sheet.
Princess Noor – While conceding an edge in the speed figure department, there is little doubt that the bettors will still be drawn to this undefeated $1,350,000 buy that will be saddled by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. She has yet to pay more than 3/5 in her three starts but they’ve all looked like walkovers in short fields out west. While there definitely looks to be more in the tank for this daughter of Not This Time, she will need to improve upon her Beyers of 76,79, and 78 to beat this talented group.
Girl Daddy – a perfect two fo two so far, she overcame an awkward start in the Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, eight weeks ago. Her trainer Dale Romans bypassed the last round of preps to come in fresh. This 500k daughter of Uncle Mo should have no trouble with two turns.
Crazy Beautiful – This stunning grey by another hot freshman sire Liam’s Map (250k yearling) has shown her versatility while winning over turf and dirt. While she was favored in all four of her previous starts, she will be an outsider in the betting this time around.
Vequist- The G1 Spinaway winner earned the second highest Beyer in this field while being no match for Dayoutoftheoffice last out. By hot Freshman sire Nyquist who won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile over this same track. She is not without a shot.
Thoughtfully – This 950k Tapit filly faded in the stretch run in her prep over the track. Even a minor placing looks unlikely.
SCRATCHED: Princess Secret -Queen of the Florida-bred 2YOs, she’s never met a field of this quality, but have to admire her versatility and her will to gut out a couple of long stretch duels coming into this.
The Juvenile Fillies has been a lucrative betting race over the past decade with a number of overlooked long shots lighting up the tote board.
No less than four Juvenile Fillies resulted in a major upset, with the prior big-priced winners being Ria Antonia (32-1 in 2013), Take Charge Brandi (61-1 in 2014), Champagne Room (33-1 in 2016), and Caledonia Road (17-1 in 2017).
I will go value hunting again this year with Crazy Beautiful. The “other McPeek” may be overlooked in the betting after coming up short in her last two stake attempts. Both times she got less than an ideal setup. I expect that she will find race dynamics more in her favor this time around cap what has been an amazing 2020 for McPeek, one of the few people that can say that!
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
This race probably doesn’t merit a horse by horse analysis, though with young colts, anything is possible.
Jackie’s Warrior projects to be the heaviest favorite of the weekend. And based on his past performances, that makes sense. The one question mark is his ability to race around two turns. Visually, it doesn’t really look like that should be a problem and to my eye, he looks to have progressed from his race at Belmont. That said, his pedigree is hard to ignore. He’s out of hard-knocking mare that won 19 races – though none were past 6F. In multi-race wagers, I’ll use him as an “A” but I’m going to take a small shot against him in verticals.
I’m going to take a shot with Reinvestment Risk for trainer Chad Brown. The horse has a Good Magic feel to him. While he’s been no match for Jackie’s Warrior, I expect this horse to move forward and hope that the favorite is softened up by some of the other pace types. I’ll focus on keying him in the top slots.
Elusive Quality also has a familiar look. The path and connections remind me of British Idiom. He has tactical speed and is very likely to run his race.
Rombauer is another one that I’ll use prominently underneath. He will benefit from a fast pace as he was making up ground in the Grade 1 American Pharoah, galloping out best. He’s proven around two turns and trainer Mike McCarthy is 9/33 (27% $3.20 ROI) with domestic shippers in Graded Stakes.