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2012 BC Juvenile: Back to the Synthetics

Wide Open. The Breeders’ Cup Futurity has a strong history of winners that have gone on to win the BC Juvenile and Kentucky Derby. But if you can navigate this field of 14 to find a winner, please let me know.

  

One little known fact about this race revolves around its relevance for both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby. Specifically it has everything to do with the racing surface. In the summer of 2006 Keeneland switched to an All Weather Track, making the ’06 Breeders’ Futurity the first that was raced on synthetics.
 
 
Oddly enough that was the same year that Street Since began his epic charge towards to the unprecedented Juvenile Derby double. I mention this because since then there hasn’t been a single winner that has gone on to capture either race. In fact, there hasn’t been a Derby or Juvenile winner that made a stop at the Breeders’ Futurity.
 
 
So, the debate on whether Keeneland’s switch to Poly has affected its role in either of the big races can begin. However, my research tells me that it will only be a matter of time before this trend goes the other direction.
 
 
Last year we saw Hansen make a beautiful switch from the Poly at Turfway to the dirt at Churchill Downs. It was a big question mark regarding his chances of capturing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before he proved it to be a non-issue. Later in 2012 we saw I’ll Have Another capture the Kentucky Derby brilliantly. What is sometimes left out about him is that he began his career on the Poly at Hollywood and Del Mar.
 
 
Furthermore, let’s not forget the ultimate Kentucky Derby long shot Mine That Bird. Prior to him entering the BC Juvenile, where he was a non factor, he began his racing career on the Synthetics at Woodbine. After he nailed it in the Kentucky Derby we saw another Poly success story when Animal Kingdom romped home to win the roses after prepping on the Synthetics at Turfway Park. Actually, if you recall, Animal Kingdom became the very first Kentucky Derby winner that had never raced on dirt until the first Saturday in May.
 
 
Hopefully, these success stories will convince you that it’s only a matter of time before the Breeders’ Futurity on Keeneland’s All Weather Track will produce another eventual Juvenile or Kentucky Derby winner. The stats don’t lie, the majority of synthetic racers are no longer exclusive to the surface where they got their start so don’t discount the chances of tomorrow’s winner.
 
 
When that will be is still up in the air. If you haven’t noticed the stats I’m throwing out there have more to do with the Kentucky Derby than the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Hansen stands out as the horse that defies that but until another Futurity winner steals the Juvenile it will remain a questionable prep. It’s difficult to handicap the switch sometimes. Whether or not I’ll be convinced of this year’s winner is questionable but the likely outcome is that I won’t be because this year I'm already leaning towards the dirt racers. 
 
 
What’s great about this year’s Breeders’ Futurity is that the field is large and the chances of me being incorrect come November 3rd are getting better. So, who will it be? Great question because tomorrow’s race is wide open.  Again, this field is littered with potential and includes a full house. As it stands right now, there are 14 entries with two on the AE list in case any of the 14 decides to opt out.
 
 
So you’re probably wondering why a large field has any implications on the upcoming Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby next spring. You might not like the answer but it’s rather simple and in my opinion justified. It’s just a numbers game. Time will prove that and if you haven’t noticed I’m pretty confident that it will be sooner rather than later. But this year? I can’t guarantee that or even hint at it so I’ll leave it up to you.
 
 
Over the past few years I’ve come around to Polytrack racing. I might not be the best at handicapping it but I’ve learned the hard way to never discount a solid performance or prep that was raced on it. The numbers are always going to favor the dirt but from time to time the horse that recently ran on synthetics is going to shift things in the other direction.
 
 
Again, I like this field but I’m not betting on it to be a race on the resume for this year’s Juvenile or Kentucky Derby winner. But do you?
 
  
Here is the field for this year’s Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. 
 
PP Horse Jockey Trainer  Odds
1 Joha (KY) R Maragh M J Maker 6-1
2 Are You Kidding Me (KY) A O Solis R L Attfield 12-1
3 He's So Fine (KY) D Cohen K G McPeek 20-1
4 Java's War (KY) R E Eramia K G McPeek 12-1
5 Tizracer (KY) J Lezcano T A Pletcher 4-1
6 Pataky Kid (OK) P Lopez T F Proctor 12-1
7 Craving Carats (KY) K J Desormeaux D L Romans 12-1
8 Dipsy Drew (KY) J K Court W H Fires 50-1
9 Charming Kitten (KY) J Castellano T A Pletcher 5-1
10 Positively (KY) C H Borel P B Byrne 10-1
11 Balance the Books (KY) J R Leparoux C C Brown 5-1
12 Dynamic Sky (ON) L Contreras M E Casse 12-1
13 He's Had Enough (KY) M Gutierrez D F O'Neill 12-1
14 Tree of Life (KY) V Espinoza C Dollase 12-1
AE        
15 Hightail (KY) J Rocco, Jr. D W Lukas 20-1
16 Zoloto (KY) J Alvarado D Miller 30-1
 

 

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Older Comments about 2012 BC Juvenile: Back to the Synthetics...

Read The Durnkard's Walk to learn that correlations are not causations. Great book abut statistics and gambling too.
Also, there has been NO winners from the Alcibiades go on to take the BC Juvenile Fillies since the change to Polytrack, although there were only two from when the race was on dirt.
Wide open for sure! Craving Carats will be my long shot play.

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