Throughout the week, our team at In The Money Media has been assigned various races throughout the Breeders’ Cup World Championship to dissect and give their opinions. From the Juvenile to the Classic, the team will have you covered on the ITM blog. First up, we take a look at the feature race on Future Stars Friday as Howard Kravets dives into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile!
TVG Juvenile Presented by TAA
By Howard Kravets
One of the most anticipated races of the weekend, the Juvenile on Friday is expected to have a full field of 14 vying for 2yo Male division honors. The winner will most likely be the morning-line favorite for the 2022 Kentucky Derby in the ante-post betting pools.
This very deep and talented group is led by Chad Brown’s Jack Christopher, winner of the Win-and-You’re In G1 Champagne S. at Belmont. A fast son of Munnings, he figures to be up close early and be tough to run down if he runs to his best effort. He is clearly the fastest on paper right now. But he will have company up front in the form of Bob Baffert’s Corniche, the best hope from the local West Coast contingent. Last time out, Corniche won impressively from gate to wire in the G1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita, a Win-and-You’re-In for this Breeders Cup tilt. Baffert also has two others planned to run from his barn, including Pinehurst and Barossa. It should be noted that Mike Smith has chosen to ride Corniche over Pinehurst.
But the contentious field does not stop there. Midwest-based horses could have a big say in the race. Rattle N’ Roll and Double Thunder, the 1-2 finishers in the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland, are both talented and will be coming from midpack/behind to make their presence known. Rattle N’ Roll, a son of freshman sire Connect trained by Ken McPeek, originally planned on skipping the Juvenile to stay at their home-base of Churchill, but changed their mind after the horse recovered so well from his last win. Double Thunder, trained by perennial 2yo master Todd Pletcher, is a long-winded son of Super Saver who figures to get better as the races go longer, but could be a factor here with the right trip/setup.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing horses in this year’s Juvenile is still a maiden. Todd Pletcher’s “other” entry, Commandperformance, looks to get a standing ovation from his connections for his efforts. This son of Union Rags has two impressive 2nd place finishes in two starts, the most recent to the probable favorite Jack Christopher. Sporting the 2nd highest Beyer figure in the race and wanting more distance, Commandperformance might be the one to take most advantage of a pace meltdown with his outstanding closing kick. It’s never easy to close and win going two-turns on the dirt in a race on the West Coast like Del Mar, but I expect Commandperformance to make his presence known in this race, and on the Triple Crown trail next year. Remember the last time the Breeders Cup was at Del Mar? A maiden named Good Magic won the Juvenile with a similar profile. Will history repeat itself?
From a betting perspective, especially your horizontal bets (Pick 4, Pick 5, etc…), it seems to me you either single Jack Christopher or spread widely. This should be a great race and a fun one to watch and bet!
For more in-depth analysis and final answers from the ITM Team make sure to check out the exclusive content for our ITM Plus service. For a better idea of what we have planned, check out this post.