Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2019: Prospective field and odds

October 17, 2019 10:30am

A small but select group of 2-year-olds look ready to line up in the Nov. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, with Grade 1 winners Eight Rings, Dennis’ Moment and Maxfield to determine who will head into winter the early favorite for next year’s Kentucky Derby.

Super Screener tip: Horse Racing Nation’s handicapping system advises to look for a horse that has at least three races under his belt — “there’s no room here for ‘hurry up’ contenders” — and submitted a lifetime best performance last time, as the babies should only keep improving throughout their first seasons. 
Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Below is a look at the projected field and odds for the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile reflecting the type of price we expect to see once the morning line is set.

American Theorem, 10-1 [American Pharoah — George Papaprodromou — 2: 1-1-0 — $96,600] A debut winner Aug. 31 at Del Mar, he ran back to be second to possible Juvenile favorite Eight Rings in the feature named for his sire, Santa Anita’s American Pharoah (G1). This flashy gray took blinkers off when stretching out and may have suffered from an inside post that forced him to rush up for position into the first turn. In the end, American Theorem faded to be six lengths back of Eight Rings.

Dennis’ Moment, 3-1 [Tiznow — Dale Romans — 3: 2-0-0 — $147,800] A major player here, this colt is already carrying Kentucky Derby dreams for his connections. And why not? Aside from a first out performance in which he lost the jockey at Churchill Downs, Dennis’ Moment has been dominant, posting a 19 1/2-length victory to break his maiden at Ellis Park before winning Churchill Downs’ Iroquois Stakes (G3) geared down. His 97 Beyer Speed Figure remains the best of the crop so far. Romans will ship early to get a work over the track.

Eight Rings, 5-2 [Empire Maker — Bob Baffert — 3: 2-0-0 — $216,951] Also unscathed aside from when he lost his rider in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), this one could go favored over Dennis’ Moment given his connections and a home track advantage. Eight Rings has already proven he can get over Santa Anita’s dirt, which will be an unknown for shippers. Eight Rings will look to pour on speed after taking part in the pace at both 5 1/2 furlongs and 1 1/16 miles in his victories.

Maxfield, 5-1 [Street Sense — Brendan Walsh — 2: 2-0-0 — $354,412] This colt uncorked about as impressive of a rally as we’ve seen on the way to the Juvenile — twice, really. He circled his competition both in a Sept. 14 debut at Churchill Downs and again in the Oct. 5 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Given his running style, the short field is of a benefit. But will classier speed come back to him? The Godolphin homebred will look to follow in the footsteps of 2009 Juvenile hero Vale of York, who also ran in the blue silks.

Scabbard, 8-1 [More Than Ready — Eddie Kenneally — 3: 1-2-0 — $132,848] Formerly known as “Noose,” this colt’s name changed after his runner-up in the Saratoga Special (G2) once some obvious racial undertones were pointed out to connections. He returned as Scabbard in Churchill’s Iroquois, and Kenneally will point out had to steady just before the turn, losing momentum with a wall of horses in front of him. He re-engaged to run second, but by then Dennis’ Moment was waltzing to the wire.

Storm the Court, 15-1 [Court Vision — Peter Eurton — 3: 1-0-1 — $72,951] The theme of quality 2-year-olds losing jockeys continues here, as this colt was caught up in an early melee with Eight Rings in the Del Mar Futurity. A debut winner Aug. 10 at Del Mar, he returned to be third in the American Pharoah Stakes when running wide. While able to close a bit over a speed-favoring track, he didn’t show nearly the kick that day to look like a win contender here.

Wrecking Crew, 20-1 [Sky Kingdom — Peter Miller — 3: 1-2-0 — $136,600] A runner-up in both the Best Pal (G2) and Del Mar Futurity, this ridgling will enter the Juvenile fresh, with Miller electing to train up to the Breeders’ Cup from his last out on Sept. 2. Wrecking Crew has been arguably better around one turn than two, though it’s the smallest of sample sizes thus far. Still, they came home slow in the Futurity without two main contenders, Eight Rings and Storm the Court, there to run their races after losing riders near the start. We’ll see if the $875,000 acquisition can live up to that purchase price on the big day.

Decisions loom for a few other horses, among them Green Light Go, who suffered his first defeat in he Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens usually plays things conservatively. Our Country is stakes-placed on the lawn and has the Juvenile Turf as an option. And Shoplifted, who didn’t much factor when fifth in the American Pharoah, remains out west for the Steve Asmussen barn and may try again in the Juvenile.

 

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