Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf 2019: Projected field and odds

October 19, 2019 10:45am

European imports have won five of the last six editions of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf when run at Santa Anita Park, site of this year’s Nov. 1 renewal. While the shippers aren’t big in numbers, there’s a highly respectable pair in trainer Aidan O’Brien’s contingent that could lead the wagering in this 1-mile event.

Super Screener insight: U.S. horses that tend to perform best here exit races at Belmont Park. While that applies to Chad Brown’s entrant, note that he has yet to win this event, while his horses are typically over-bet board hitters. Click here for more secrets to winning on the Breeders’ Cup.

Below is a look at the prospective field with odds that will not balance given the field isn’t set, but instead reflect the type of price we expect each horse to go off at on race day.

Andesite, 12-1 [The Factor — Brad Cox — 3: 1-1-1 — $76,600]: Second most recently in Belmont’s Pilgrim (G3), he’s a maiden winner who also ran third in Saratoga’s With Anticipation (G3). Andesite could be considered a bit of an overachiever at this point having started his career at Indiana Downs, but he attracted jockey Javier Castellano for a return call in New York. While never much a threat to win the With Anticipation, he was just a head back in the Pilgrim to another Breeders’ Cup contender.

Arizona, 5-2 [No Nay Never — Aidan O’Brien — 6: 2-2-1 — £96,164]: If not for Pinatubo, Europe’s top-rated 2-year-old who won’t be traveling for the Breeders’ Cup, this Coolmore colt’s resume could look much stronger. Two back, Arizona ran third behind that one in the Vincent O’Bren National (G1) at the Curragh. Then he traveled much closer to Pinatubo over some heavy ground in the Dewhurst (G1) as a finale prep. Arizona looks like the one to beat from Europe.

Billy Batts, 30-1 [City Zip — Peter Miller — 6: 1-2-1 — $84,440]: Twice stakes-placed, this Rockingham Ranch runner has run much more competitively since stretched to a mile, a distance over which he’s now run in four straight races. If this race overfills, there’s a question of whether the committee would include him over some seemingly classier Europeans. But connections have said they’d like to go in here.

Decorated Invader, 8-1 [Declaration of War — Christophe Clement — 3: 2-1-0 — $180,375]: Woodbine’s Summer Stakes (G1) winner received an entries-paid berth in this race thanks to his Sept. 19 victory. A start before that, he broke his maiden going around two turns at Saratoga by 3 1/4 lengths, quite the winning margin on turf. West Point Thoroughbreds campaigns this colt, who will have to deal with the odd timing of 47 days between races.

Graceful Kitten, 20-1 [Kitten’s Joy — Amador Merei Sanchez — 3: 3-0-0 — $126,610]: You might not recognize the connections of this one, but the trainer does hit at 30% with 2-year-olds, and Graceful Kitten has registered speed figures that fit here while opening his career 3-for-3 over the summer at Gulfstream Park. His last out score in the Armed Forces, a gate-to-wire victory as the favorite, convinced his camp to take a shot.

Hit the Road, 20-1 [More Than Ready — Dan Blacker — 3: 2-0-0 — $96,951]: After a 4 1/2-furlong debut on Santa Anita’s turf, he switched to turf and has gone 2-for-2, winning a pair of mile events, including the Zuma Beach Stakes on Oct. 19 that should secure Hit the Road a spot in the Breeders’ Cup. He won’t factor in the pace, rather needing to get the trip. There’s at least the luxury that he’s been there and done that over the course.

Our Country, 20-1 [Constitution — George Weaver — 4: 1-0-1 — $87,900]: Stakes-placed, his most-recent work came over the dirt, and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile against a shorter field remains possible. But he has made all four prior starts on the lawn, running fourth in the With Anticipation before a third with a visually impressive rally in the Pilgrim. That run leveled off late, but he quickly advanced from ninth to third.

Peace Achieved, 10-1 [Declaration of War — Mark Casse — 5: 3-0-1 — $480,844]: He had just enough to hold on for a win in Keeneland’s Bourbon Stakes (G3) and, before that, prevailed in Kentucky Downs’ top race for juveniles. His speed figures are a tad below par, but he’s found a way to win three straight races on different tracks, and the mile trip looks like it should be the right fit.

Structor, 4-1 [Palace Malice — Chad Brown — 2: 2-0-0 — $159,500]: Here’s one of the few major turf races left that Brown hasn’t won. Structor emerged as his latest shot when winning the Sept. 28 Pilgrim by a head at second asking, improving his record to 2-for-2. He isn’t particularly flashy runner, grinding out a head victory, but in doing so turned back a rallying rival. 

Vitalogy, 5-1 [No Nay Never — Brendan Walsh — 4: 1-1-1 — $86,212]: Perhaps one of the most highly regarded last-out losers in this field, he’ll be looking for a better post position than the 14 from which he broke in the Bourbon. After traveling wide through the turn, this colt showed a sharp turn of foot to nearly erase an 11-length deficit at the start and run down Peace Achieved. That was in his first start for the Walsh barn after previously conditioned by Joseph O’Brien.

Wichita, 3-1 [No Nay Never — Aidan O’Brien — 4: 2-1-1 — £101,554]: He was third last time behind Pinatubo and Arizona in the Dewhurst but did carry first call rider Ryan Moore. Seamie Heffernan was aboard Arizona. Rider assignments are paramount in this barn, and it’ll bear watching who’s aboard in the Breeders’ Cup. Wichita is 2-for-3 otherwise with a Group 3 victory at Newmarket.

Also possible: Cadet Connelly, Encoder, Fighting Seabee, Flap Jack, Gear Jockey, Proven Strategies, Royal Dornoch.

 

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