The Breeder’s Cup Juvenile is one of the easiest to handicap of all of the Friday events for 2-year-olds, with only a 10 percent win rate for long shots. Seven of the last 10 Juvenile winners won their previous race.
Breeders' Cup champs and Triple Crown
Seven of the last 10 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winners, five of them undefeated, earned year-end championship honors.
Nyquist (2015) was the last Juvenile-Kentucky Derby winner, although Juvenile winner Good Magic placed second in the Derby, bested 2 1/2 lengths by Justify.
Two Juvenile winners hit the board in the Preakness Stakes. Classic Empire (2016) was second, and Nyquist (2015) finished third.
Last year's 2-year-old champ Essential Quality placed fourth in the Derby and won the Belmont Stakes. He was the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner to contest the Belmont Stakes since the inaugural victor Chief's Crown finished third on Long Island in 1985.
Notes about Del Mar
At only 919 feet, the Del Mar stretch is the shortest of all the current Breeders' Cup host tracks. For comparison, Santa Anita is 990 feet. The shorter stretch gives horses that are closer to the lead the advantage. Del Mar has hosted the Breeders' Cup once, in 2017.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile at a glance
All stats are for the last decade (2011–2020)
Division debut: 1984
Key prep-race winners:
American Pharoah Stakes (G1) — Corniche
Champagne Stakes (G1) — Jack Christopher
Breeders' Futurity (G1) — Rattle N Roll
Del Mar Futurity (G1) — Pinehurst
Average win payout: $20.29
Lowest: $4.00 Game Winner (2018)
Highest: $93.80 Storm the Court (2019)
40% in the money
Last to win: Game Winner (2018)
Del Mar: The favorite, Bolt d’Orok finished third after bobbling at the start and was wide throughout.
20% in the money
Last to win: Essential Quality (2020)
Post 5: 4 winners
Post 4: 3 winners
Posts 6, 7 and 12: 1 each
Rail: The rail is the kiss of death. None has hit the board in the last decade, and only two have won since the Juvenile inception in 1984.
Del Mar: The winner broke from post No. 6, the second-place finisher from post No. 2 and third-place from post No. 11.
Determined by position at the half-mile:
2 pacesetters — wired the field.
2 presser-setters — within a half-length of the pacesetter.
3 pressers — one to four lengths behind the pacesetter.
3 closers — five or more lengths behind the pacesetter.
Del Mar: Winner and runner-up were pressers. Third-place finisher closed.
5 Juvenile winners were undefeated.
5 winners had 2 previous starts.
4 winners had 4 previous starts.
1 winner had 3 previous starts.
No Juvenile winner has finished worse than third in their final prep.
7 Juvenile winners won their final prep.
4 winners prepped in the American Pharoah (G1).
2 prepped in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
2 prepped in the Breeders' Futurity (G1).
1 prepped in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile.
1 last-out maiden winner has won.
Del Mar in 2017:
Winner Good Magic was second in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
Second-place finisher Solomini was second in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1), now known as the American Pharoah.
Third-place finisher Bolt d'Oro won the FrontRunner.