Trainer Charlie Appleby and Godolphin look to be holding a pair of aces for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in Modern Games and Albahr, the top two betting choices in the overseas future market for the one-mile event at Del Mar on Nov. 5.
Modern Games, the 3-1 offshore favorite, has won three of five starts in England. He was quickly ticketed to the Breeders' Cup by Appleby after winning the Sept. 23 Somerville Stakes (G3) going seven furlongs at Newmarket.
Albahr, priced at 4-1, has reeled off four straight victories in England, including a pair of stakes. Both Albahr and Modern Games are sons of premiere stallion Dubawi.
Albahr won the one-mile Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury in August and subsequently was shipped to North America to contest the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine. In the one-mile Summer, Albahr was near the rear of the field before launching a bid under Frankie Dettori and drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Juvenile Turf candidate Grafton Street.
The top domestic hopes include Annapolis for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher and Mackinnon for Doug O'Neill.
Annapolis is 2-for-2 for owner-breeder Bass Racing. By War Front out of graded-stakes winner My Miss Sophia, Annapolis was a sharp 4 1/2-length debut winner going two turns at Saratoga in early September. Stepped up to graded-stakes competition in the 1 1/16-mile Pilgrim Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park a month later, Annapolis pressed the pace and "gamely" prevailed by a head over Portfolio Company for Chad Brown, who is also targeting the Juvenile Turf.
Mackinnon has reeled off three straight wins, with two coming over the Del Mar turf course. The son of American Pharoah earned his diploma at the seaside oval on July 31, then came back to win the one-mile Del Mar Juvenile Turf on Sept. 6. Sent off as the heavy favorite in the Oct. 3 Zuma Beach next out, Mackinnon settled in mid-pack before unleashing a late surge to kick clear and win by 2 1/4 lengths.
Pre-entries for the Juvenile Turf and all other Breeders' Cup races will be accepted through Monday. The preliminary fields will be announced on Wednesday beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT, which can be viewed on TVG or Breederscup.com.
|Modern Games||3-1||3-for-5, won the G3 Sommerville at Newmarket last out for Appleby/Godolphin|
|Albahr||4-1||Favorite's stablemate 3-for-4 with win in Woodbine's G1 Summer most recent|
|Annapolis||5-1||Top domestic hope is 2-for-2 with win in G2 Pilgrim for Pletcher|
|Mackinnon||6-1||Winner of 3 straight for O'Neill including Del Mar Juvenile Turf, Zuma Beach|
|Dubawi Legend||7-1||3rd in a G3 at York and 2nd in the G1 Dewhurst most recently for Hugo Palmer|
|Bayside Boy||8-1||Group 2 winner was 3rd in both G1 Dewhurst and G1 Trophy last 2 for Varian|
|Tiz the Bomb||8-1||3-for-4 with wins in KD Juvenile Mile and G2 Bourbon for McPeek|
|Kiss the Sky||14-1||Graduated at Saratoga; close-up 2nd in KD Juvenile Mile for Maker|
|Coinage||14-1||Won G3 With Anticipation; 3rd in Monmouth's Nownownow most recently|
|Portfolio Company||**||Debut winner 2nd in both the With Anticipation and Pilgrim for Brown|
|Dakota Gold||**||Won bow at Saratoga then the Nownownow by 2 1/4 lengths for Gargan|
|Royal Spirit||**||Maiden son of Into Mischief was 2nd in the Nownownow for Pletcher|
|Slipstream||**||Graduated at Belmont, returned to win G3 Futurity going 6F for Clement|
|Stolen Base||**||Maker-trainee beaten 3/4 lengths by Tiz the Bomb in the Bourbon|
|Grafton Street||**||2nd in the Summer as a maiden; graduated next out at Woodbine for Casse|