Keys to handicapping Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

Keys to handicapping Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Here is how to handicap the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – pick the fastest pacesetter in the race, add a couple of long shots, and there is your trifecta. It doesn’t hurt if the fastest pacesetter is trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at a glance

Division Debut: 2018

Key race prep winners

Norfolk Stakes (G1) — Perfect Power (IRE)  

Darley Prix Morny  (G1) — Perfect Power (IRE)

Belmont Futurity (G3) — Slipstream

Speakeasy Stakes — One Timer

Indian Summer Stakes — Averly Jane


Average win payout: $6.40

Lowest: $3.60 Golden Pal (2020)

Highest: $10.60 Bulletin (2018)


66 percent win

0 percent in the money

Last to win: Golden Pal (2020)

Second favorite

33 percent win

0 percent in the money

Last to win: Bulletin (2018)

Post position

Post 5 — 1 winner.

Post 9 — 1 winner.

Post 13 — 1 winner.

Rail: One finished second, the others placed seventh and eleventh.

Winning style – determined by position at the half-mile  

3 pacesetters — wired the field.

Previous starts

2 winners were undefeated.

1 winner had three previous starts.

1 winner had two previous starts.

1 winner had one previous start.

Prep races

3 winners won their final prep.

1 winner prepped in the Belmont Futurity Stakes (G3)

1 winner prepped in the Skidmore Stakes (SAR)

1 winner prepped in the Hollywood Beach Stakes (GP)


European races are timed differently from those in the U.S. and Canada. In Europe, they are timed from the gate, and track configurations vary widely.

In the last three years, Europeans have had a 15: 0-0-2 record in the Juvenile Turf Sprint.


Wesley Ward is known for conditioning precocious sprinters, and he is in his element with the Turf Sprint, with an overall 8: 2-1-0 record.


Irad Ortiz Jr. has paired with Wesley Ward for back-to-back victories.

Meet Laurie Ross

 HRN Pedigree Analyst 


 Published Author

 Pedigree Research/Consultation/Sales 

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 Member – NTWAB

Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

Twitter: @IMTBreds
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