It was four years ago at Del Mar that trainer Chad Brown won his first and only Breeders' Cup Juvenile with maiden Good Magic at 11-1. In this year's $2 million Juvenile at the seaside oval, the four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer has the current futures market favorite in Jack Christopher.
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By Munnings, Jack Christopher was a smashing 8 3/4-length winner on debut at Saratoga going six furlongs in late August. He returned five weeks later in the Champagne (G1) going a one-turn mile at Belmont Park and won easily, posting a field-high 104 Brisnet Speed Rating in the process.
Jack Christopher worked for the first time since the Champagne on Saturday with an easy four-furlong breeze in 49.05 at Belmont Park.
“He was great," Brown told NYRA publicity after the drill. "He was in control the entire way and galloped out super. He came back good."
Jack Christopher's main rivals figure to be Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner Rattle N Roll for trainer Kenny McPeek and two colts for Bob Baffert, American Pharoah (G1) winner Corniche and Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner Pinehurst.
In his debut going 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Sept. 4, Corniche rolled by 4 1/2 lengths on the front end as the odds-on favorite. He again was bet down to odds-on favoritism when stretched around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile American Pharoah on Oct. 1. The Quality Road colt, who was a $1.5 million auction purchase by Speedway Stables, again made the early lead and kicked clear in the stretch under Hall of Famer Mike Smith.
Corniche has posted Brisnet Speed Ratings of 99 and 100 in his two starts. He worked for the first time since the American Pharoah on Saturday at Santa Anita, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.6.
Pinehurst won his debut going five furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 1 and came back to go gate to wire when winning the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity (G1) by 4 1/2 lengths. The son of Twirling Candy, who was a $385,000 auction purchase as a yearling, has worked four time since the Futurity including a six-furlong drill in 1:14.40 at Santa Anita on Wednesday.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won two Juveniles, will try to match Brown's feat from 2017 with maiden Commandperformance. The Union Rags colt, a $220,000 auction purchase, was second on debut going six furlongs on a muddy track at Saratoga and came back to be beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Jack Christopher in the Champagne.
Commandperformance had his first work back on Friday at Belmont Park, breezing four furlongs in 50.24 seconds.
Rattle N Roll is slated to make the trip to Del Mar for trainer Kenny McPeek after his sharp 4 1/4-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders' Futurity (G1) on Oct. 9 at Keeneland. The son of first-crop sire Connect, who was a $210,000 auction purchase, earned his diploma in start No. 3 at Churchill Downs on Sept. 24 prior to the Breeders' Futurity.
Pre-entries for the Juvenile and all 14 Breeders' Cup will taken on Oct. 25.
|Jack Christopher||11-4||Perfect in 2 starts, including G1 Champagne|
|Corniche||4-1||Won bow at Del Mar, kicked clear in G1 American Pharoah|
|Rattle N Roll||5-1||Rallied and drew off in G1 Breeders' Futurity|
|Pinehurst||8-1||2 for 2 with both wins at Del Mar, including the G1 Futurity|
|Pappacap||11-1||Won Best Pal in Aug.; 4th in DM Futurity, 2nd in American Pharoah|
|Commandperformance||12-1||Second in bow; closed well to be 2nd in Champagne|
|Gunite||25-1||Won the G1 Hopeful, 5th in Champagne most recently|
|Oviatt Class||33-1||Earned diploma at Del Mar, rallied for 3rd in American Pharoah|
|Tough to Tame||**||Allowance winner at Indiana Grand a close 2nd in G3 Iroquois|
|American Sanctuary||**||2nd in 2 stakes including Sapling; recently 4th in Breeders' Futurity|
|Giant Game||**||3rd in bow at Churchill Downs, graduated next out at Keeneland|