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The Kentucky Derby Post

2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Let's Do it Again


With 29 years in the books, you would think that a repeat win by a trainer has happened on more than one occasion. On the contrary, D. Wayne Lukas is still the only one who has scored consecutive victories in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.


In 1986, the 3rd annual Breeders’ Cup, Lukas scored his first with Capote and jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. The next year he returned to win with Success Express. In typical Lukas fashion, back to back wins was not enough. In 1988, he teamed up again with Pincay to complete his Juvenile three-peat. Taking him there was Is It True.


What’s curious about these three years is that they also represent the only time in Juvenile history that a Jockey and owner have also scored consecutive wins. Laffit Pincay, Jr. stamped his repeat first in ’86 after he scored the previous year with Tasso, and Neil Drysdale. 1986-’88 belonged to Lukas and in 1987-’88 Eugene Kline became the first owner to win the Juvenile in back to back years.


Since, it’s been a rotating door year in and year out. While it may not be surprising due to the unpredictable nature of Juvenile racing, it may be unexpected to some. In particular, the fact that no jockey has been able to score in this division two years in a row since the early 1980’s is astonishing.


As for the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, unless Todd Pletcher tabs Rosie Napravnik, the only repeat chance will belong to him.


Over the years, Todd Pletcher has been critically examined by his Kentucky Derby statistics. Last year he sent a record tying 5 horses to the Kentucky Derby, only to fall short and walk away with this unattractive record breaking stat: 1 for 37. While Super Saver remains his only win in the Derby, let’s not forget about the other 3-yr-olds that lived up to their expectations in May: Princess of Sylmar, Rags to Riches and Ashado (all Kentucky Oaks winners.)


And, let’s give him credit for how his Juvenile colts have been doing these past three years. Dating back to 2004 Pletcher has scored five times in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. In 2010, Uncle Mo became the first to go on and win the Juvenile, and last year, the now retired Shanghai Bobby, made it two.


Will Havana bring the total to three? Or will it be Corfu or We Miss Artie that makes Pletcher the second trainer to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile two years in a row?


One of the things I look at the most when handicapping a race is identifying who you beat last time out. This is especially the case when a horse is coming off of a win. Of course you have to consider if they’ll be game enough to do it again but none the less who you beat is still important to me.


In the case of Havana, I am very pleased with the crop of 2-yr-olds that he bested in the Champagne Stakes. Before we jump to the other BC Juvenile horse that everyone is talking about, let me point out what I think about Honor Code. In my opinion, this is a horse that will be talked about a lot in 2014. Although his connections have opted to skip the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in favor of the G2 Remsen Stakes I tend to like his chances of making it to the 2014 Kentucky Derby the most.


And then there’s Strong Mandate, the horse that failed to show up against Havana in the Champagne.  I’ll go ahead and throw that race out and look for the two to be in the thick of it when they make their way around the final turn of the BC Juvenile.


What makes this matchup so interesting is that Strong Mandate’s trainer is the only one to have won this race back to back. Not only does D. Wayne Lukas have the edge there, but after his latest resurgence in the Triple Crown, he may still be riding a hot streak that will take him to the Juvenile winners circle for a record sixth time, four more than any other trainer.


While the majority seems to be pretty high on Havana I’m starting to consider We Miss Artie as a very legitimate contender. After a disappointing 6th place finish in the With Anticipation Stakes he fired home after turning 5 wide to win the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Besides that, who else doesn’t want to be a part of Team Ramsey? With those winning silks in the saddle it also leads me to believe that We Miss Artie will be in the hunt.


Finally, there’s Corfu, a tested Graded Stakes Juvenile that has a proven record. Quickly following his inaugural Maiden victory Corfu came back out to win the G2 Saratoga Special Stakes. From there he took a sizable step back when he finished 9th in the G1 Hopeful. However, it didn’t take long for him to get back on track when he finished a respectable 2nd to In Trouble in the G2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park.


So, what do all three of these possible Pletcher entries tell you? For me, I can’t compare it to the Kentucky Derby. Even though he will likely enter more horses than any other trainer I believe they all have a serious chance of winning. Secondly, I can’t ignore how wrong I was about Shanghai Bobby last year. Pletcher proved he had enough in his barn to head west and win. Finally, he's won two of the last three so he knows what it takes to win. If he does it again…….I will not be surprised.


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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Let's Do it Again...

I thought about making the same comparison (Matz > Shug too), but I feel that these horses are very different. Now if Honor Code keeps getting later... idk
I would rather run my horse in the Remsen then the Juvenile. The BC money is tough to ignore that is for sure, but I like the Champagne + Remsen route for 2 year olds. Good luck to the Juvenile field looks pretty competitive.
Geldedridgling (gelded1?), interesting take. Union Rags came 2nd to Hansen the year before, as well. In regards to juveniles, even at this stage, front runners still have the edge regardless of the track. Santa Anita's frequent speed bias, 85% of winners come on/near the pace, displays a clear-cut advantage. They will make the track fast, like on many big days, including last year's Breeder's Cup which was very favorable to front runners. Havana is my pick. Tap it Rich to follow.
I think the speed bias angle is overrated at Santa Anita. Shaghai Bobby was 1 jump away from being run down by O’Neil’s closer last year. Sometimes the best horse(s) in a race just have early speed. I think a pace meltdown is more likely this year, leaving an Action This Day type closer to blow up the tote board.
The juvenile is interesting but never a favorite of mine as most of the colts in it won't be showing up for the derby dance
  • geldedridgling · Not necessarily. The Lasix free BC juvenile, you’re right, but the 2011 juvenile produced 9 derby starters and every now and then, like 2006 & 2009, the derby winner. If a colt can be competitive at 8.5 furlongs at 2 and remains healthy you’ll probably see him at 3 in the triple crown races. · 1760 days ago
adding Bond Holder with pick Strong Mandate in the Juvenile..would like to see 8-1 or more for both.
I'm going with Havana. He's running with the speed bias, looks like a speedball, and should get 1 1/16. I don't particularly like Corfu or We Miss Artie. I have doubts about Corfu getting 1 1/16, even with the speed bias. We Miss Artie is a synthetics/turf runner, not the highway of Santa Anita. If Mr. Pletcher were to repeat, it will be due to Havana. In regards to Honor Code, Shug made the appropriate call in bypassing the Juvenile and pointing to the Remsen. The Remsen gives him a 9f prep, and I always like two 9f races. He gets to stay at home (New York) without traveling across the country (as a juvenile) to California. He does not need to run against the speed bias. He would have little chance ar Santa Anita, solely due to the speed bias, and I think he is the best juvenile in America. Not to mention, there was a speed bias on Champagne day. There is one colt possibly with a decent chance to defeat Havana, which is Tap it Rich. His maiden was impressive... we'll see. Should be a good race. Thinking of betting Havana (win-place).
sticking with Strong Mandate
I don't particularly care for Corfu or We Miss Artie. I think Havana is really talented, but couldn't tell if he wants to go longer than the 1-turn mile. He was really tired at the end of the Champagne, but he was pressed the entire way. Could he stretch his speed if allowed to go slower early on? Guess we'll find out next month.
Against the clock all of the 3 year olds mentioned in the article look distance challenged, not to mention they won't be using lasix. I'm looking for a mid pack or late runner, maybe New Years Day, to upset this race. I don’t think this is the chalk fest that it typically is. The favorites are very vulnerable.
The Juvenile is always one of my BC favorites. Once again the East looks strong with Pletcher leading the way.

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer 

Growing up across the river from the Bluegrass State I was able to spend a lot of summer days at Ellis Park in Henderson, KY. And, it was there that my attraction to the sport of Kings began. In the spring of 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance and the tradition continues annually because there is no other city in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 


Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about and a pleasure to cover. It all begins when Juvenile season starts and continues until the field is set, the picks are in and the roses are awarded. 

Twitter: @thederbypost



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