Hi everyone, we're exactly 2 weeks out from the Breeders' Cup World Championships being held at Santa Anita on Friday, November 2nd, and Saturday, November 3rd. Trackman has returned with another preview look at the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, which is entering into its second year of existence and once again will be held on Day 1 of the two-day event.
In our first preview, we listed 2 groups of horses: Those runners that Horse Racing Nation felt were seriously targeting the race as their goal, and other horses who were possibilties to participate, but for a variety of reasons, could end up in one of the other juvenile races. Since then, a few of the names from our first preview have fallen off the Breeders' Cup trail, but we have picked up some exciting new prospects that were not with us initially. See how things change!
Now, even with all the prep races "in the books," the projected lineup is difficult to solidly assess as there are so many possible 2-year olds who might show up for this 6 furlong shootout. However, here are the names that are high on the list.
-BEHOLDER: Richard Madella - We have yet another filly. And a very FAST one! She tore up the Santa Anita surface earning a 108 Beyer speed figure in her most recent outing. That number is the fastest of any juvenile race in 2012. The final time of 1:09 is the quickest 6 furlong clocking at the Santa Anita meeting. Only losses have been to Executiveprivilege, the top Juvenile Filly favorite.
-KAUAI KATIE: Todd Pletcher - Dynamite filly who so far has performed super. Undefeated with a pair of Grade 2 victories (Matron & Adironadack) to her credit. She has won all of 3 of her starts ranging from 5 1/2 to 7 furlongs by a combined 22 1/4 lengths.
-RECKLESS ABANDON: Clive Cox - The only horse to qualify for this race through the "Win and You're In" series with a victory in the G1 Middle Park Stakes at Newcastle. Remains undefeated after five starts, amassing 4 stakes wins, inclunding two at the G1 level.
-SCHERER MAGIC: John Sadler - Former claimer scored in the G3 Hollywood Juvenile, but he hasn't won in three subsequent starts, with a third place showing sandwiched in between two 5th place finishes. Santa Anita is his home track, so he'll be afforded another chance.
-BABY J: Rick Dutrow - This girl has been on the board in all her outings this year. Most recently, she finished second in the G2 Matron Stakes after having set the pace, but was no match for Kauai Katie. Led the way in the G3 Schuylerville before succumbing very late.
-SPECIAL JO: Steve Asmussen - After an impressive 6 length maiden victory, he's competed in graded company four consecutive times. In those efforts, he's been an "in and outer," meaning, a good race followed by a poor showing. That pattern should produce a good race for the Juvenile Sprint.
-CARRIED INTEREST: Richard Violette - Light on experience with just two starts. After being shelved due to sore shins following his maiden debut win, he returned with a decent effort in the G1 Futurity. He finished second in that race after having the lead at the top of the lane.
-DRUM ROLL: Todd Pletcher - Ran to his 4/5 favoritism in his maiden debut at Monmouth and drew off to a two and three-quarter length win. Since then, things haven't gone as well as expected. In three graded stakes, a well beaten third-place finish in the G3 Sapling is his best showing.
-HANDSOME JACK: Wesley Ward - Speedy front-runner certainly wasn't disgraced in his two attempts in graded company as he slugged it out on the front-end in both races, which produced a runner-up effort in the G2 Sanford, and a fourth place finish in the G2 Hopeful.
-MERIT MAN: Bob Hess - California based runner is now 2 for 2 following his easy 5 1/2 length win over four rivals in the Tim Conway Stakes at Santa Anita. Was a maiden winner at Del-Mar in his first start.
There are literally plenty of other names that could still find their way into this race and any of the names above could end up elsewhere too. I'll return Breeders' Cup week with a final look at the official field and offer my selections.