Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint 2018: Projected field, odds

October 20, 2018 11:11am

The inaugural edition of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint could otherwise be known as the Wesley Ward Invitational, as a trainer known best for getting precocious 2-year-olds out of the gate and to the winner’s circle could saddle more than one-third of the field if his five potential contenders make it in.

Along with other juvenile turf events in the Breeders’ Cup, however, this could wind up a crowded entry list with European connections eyeing the 5 1/2-furlong test as well.

Below is a look at the projected field and odds, which will not balance given entries aren’t finalized, but rather reflect the type of price we expect to see once the morning line is set.

Bulletin, 5-1 [City Zip — Todd Pletcher — 1: 1-0-0 — $45,570] Running for the WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing group that also campaigned Justify, this one made his debut count, taking the Hollywood Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park by seven lengths on the front end. His 86 Beyer Speed Figure leads this group.

Chelsea Cloisters, 4-1 [First Samurai — Wesley Ward — 5: 1-3-0 — $114,626] Since breaking her maiden in April at Keeneland, this filly has run in some big spots for the division, including an ill-fated trip to Royal Ascot. After finishing 11th in the Queen Mary (G2), she was second in three other sakes leading up to this spot.

Dragic, 12-1 [Broken Vow — Wesley Ward — 4: 1-0-2 — $103,600] Another Keeneland maiden winner, she switched to dirt for her last two starts, both third-place finishes in logcal preps for this race, the Kentucky Downs Juvenile and Belmont’s Futurity Stakes. She’ll cut back in distance a bit, which should be welcomed.

Its Gonna Hurt, 15-1 [Violence — Brian Koriner — 3: 2-0-0 — $81,945] Santa Anita’s Speakeasy Stakes winner doesn’t often break on top, but he doesn’t mind being pushed to the lead, where he has remained now in consecutive starts. Its Gonna Hurt has competed against fields smaller than his rivals.

Land Force, 10-1 [No Nay Never — Aidan O’Brien — 8: 3-0-3 — $246,523] After winning the Group 2 Richmond Stakes on Aug. 2 at Goodwood, he stepped up even further to finish fifth and then fourth in Group 1 fields. The trips were a bit rough by European standards, and this would also be a slight cut back in distance.

Moonlight Romance, 8-1 [Liaison — Wesley Ward — 4: 2-1-0 — $359,600] Another of Ward’s Royal Ascot runners who didn’t succeed, she came back to win the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes, beating the boys and proving herself Breeders’ Cup-worthy. It’s a positive that she pressed the pace rather than needing the lead.

Pocket Dynamo, 20-1 [Dialed In — Robert Cowell — 6: 2-2-0 — $76,953] Purchased mid-season by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, he has long been pointed here but hasn’t necessarily delivered needed results. Since his runner-up in Royal Ascot’s Group 2 Norfolk Stakes, Pocket Dynamo has run fourth and then fifth off the layoff.

Shang Shang Shang, 9-2 [Shanghai Bobby — Wesley Ward — 2: 2-0-0 — $101,524] He’ll come into this spot off works alone, it seems having broken his maiden in April at Keeneland before scoring for Ward in Ascot’s Norfolk. His breeze pattern shows one break, from Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, but has been otherwise consistent.

Soldier’s Call, 3-1 [Showcasing — Archie Watson — 7: 4-1-2 — $232,631] He was caught late in Longchamp’s Prix de l’Abbaye (G1) and entered that top test off consecutive scores in stakes competition. Solider’s Call shows nice gate speed and a tactical running style that should make him a threat.

Strike Silver, 6-1 [Violence — Mark Casse — 3: 2-1-0 — $180,600] He took the first running of Keeneland’s Indian summer Stakes to earn a fees-paid spot in this race. It didn’t appear he was getting a great setup in the switch to turf with the opening half mile just 45.25 seconds, but Strike Silver rallied from last of 12 to win by a neck.

Uncle Benny, 10-1 [Declaration of War — Jason Servis — 2: 2-0-0 — $104,100] This colt won the Futurity Stakes at Belmont to earn a free trip to this race, but connections may opt for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at a mile instead. He also closed from well back to win the prep race and would appreciate more ground.

Also possible: Big Drink of Water, Dakota’s Dude, Dugout, Hartel, Joyful Heart, Mae Never No, Stillwater Cove, Two Shakes, Whooping Jay.


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