Race of the Week 2017

Four Trainers going for their First BC Juvenile Win

Fortify breaks maiden at Saratoga (8-4-12).
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
The 2012 Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries are in. While there is still time to come in late time is running out as Monday is the official entry deadline for all divisions. If the Juvenile field does not increase it will feature three accomplished trainers that will all be going for the very first Juvenile win.

Breeder's Cup Juvenile Pre-Entries
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
25Shanghai Bobby
Harlan's Holiday
T. Pletcher
1st, 2012 Champagne (G1)
36Know More
Lion Heart
D. O'Neill
2nd, 2012 FrontRunner (G1) View Video
Distorted Humor
K. McLaughlin
3rd, 2012 Champagne (G1)
108Power Broker
B. Baffert
1st, 2012 FrontRunner (G1) View Video
J. Sadler
1st, 2012 California Cup Juvenile (RS)
 He's Had Enough
D. O'Neill
11th, 2012 Breeders' Futurity (G1)
 Capo Bastone
Street Boss
J. Sadler
3rd, 2012 FrontRunner (G1) View Video
 Title Contender
B. Baffert
1st, SA MSW (9/29/2012-R1)
 Dynamic Sky
Sky Mesa
M. Casse
2nd, 2012 Breeders' Futurity (G1)
 Speak Logistics
High Cotton
E. Plesa
1st, 2012 Florida Stallion In Reality (LS)

Outside of Mark Casse, John Sadler or Kiaran McLaughlin scoring their first Juvenile there is one other big question; will Know More be running? The promising young colt has officially been pre-entered in both the Juvenile Turf and the Juvenile but right now the first choice is the turf dropping the Juvenile field to nine. If so, one thing is for sure; a smaller field means better odds that 2012 becomes a memorable Breeders’ Cup first for one of these three trainers.

John Sadler is set to play a strong hand this year. He has two horses pre-entered and being that he is a West Coast trainer he’s definitely in a better position to keep his Breeders’ Cup momentum going. In 24 lifetime starts Sadler has a record of 0-2-3 and earnings of $1,365,500. Before 2008 Sadler missed the board in his first eight starts. In 2008 however, he got over the hump when he finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Since then he hasn’t left a Breeders’ Cup without hitting the board including two 2nd place finishes in the last two years.

Believe or not another interesting fact about Sadler is that despite his previous 24 starts, 2012 will be his first Juvenile. What better way to get the ball rolling then by playing twice. In my opinion Capo Bastone has a better shot. By Street Boss and Fight To Love this young colt gets my vote because he is Graded Stakes tested. After breaking his maiden in his career debut, Capo Bastone returned at Del Mar for the G1 Del Mar Futurity. After a 4th place finish in the 12 horse field it was on to the G1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. Despite a shaky start Capo Bastone showed a lot poise for a 2-yr-old when he made a strong move from last to finish 3rd.

Set to go for Sadler as well is Monument, a pure California bred by Cindago and Grant Marty a Wish. He may not be as well known because he has yet to enter a Graded Stakes but he may be on the rise. In four lifetime starts Monument holds three wins and one second place finish. His most notable accomplishment was earlier this month at Santa Anita, a victory in the Bob Benoit California Cup Juvenile Stakes. The 2 ¾ length score over a 1 1/16 Mile was probably the effort Sadler needed to give him the green light for the Juvenile. But he got it so, Monument enters as a dark horse that we may need to keep an eye on and list as a potential spoiler.

Of the three Kiaran McLaughlin is without a doubt the most successful Breeders’ Cup trainer. In 21 lifetime starts he holds a record of 2-3-1. His two big wins, Invasor - 2006 Classic and Lahudood – 2007 Filly & Mare Turf, helped bring his total BC earnings up to 5,086,200. Even with his outstanding Breeders’ Cup record McLaughlin isn’t a Juvenile regular either. In fact, 2011 was his very first Juvenile when Alpha finished a disappointing 11th. Luckily for Alpha he will have the chance to rebound from that in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this year. As for McLaughlin he is also ready for a rebound in the 2012 Juvenile with Fortify.

Also owned by Godolphin Racing and by Distorted Humor and Kotuku, Fortify has so far had to deal with an unfortunate event on back to back occasions; racing against Shanghai Bobby. But to be the best you have to beat the best so maybe Fortify is waiting for just the right moment to settle the score on a runner-up finish in the G2 Hopeful and 3rd place in the G1 Champagne.

In ten career Breeders’ Cup starts Mark Casse is 0-1-1 with a lifetime earnings of $1,030,000. In his ten starts eight have been in one of the Juvenile divisions. Although the Juvenile Fillies has been the dominant race, 5 lifetime starts, Casse has had two previous entries in the Juvenile. He did not hit the board in 2006 or last year with Prospective but he’s back in 2012 with Dynamic Sky.

By Sky Mesa and Murani this Canadian bred colt will be heading out to the dirt for the very first time. We’ll see how that turns out but one thing I really like about this horse was his closing effort in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Coming around wide through the final turn he made a bold move on Joha at the front of the pack and came at him with everything he had. Although it was not enough  he still finished 2nd and I was impressed.

One of the biggest obstacles in the way of these trainers is a pair of horses that have shown the most 2-yr-old talent. What makes it even more challenging is that their trainers have already scored in Juvenile. Todd Pletcher, trainer of Shanghai Bobby, won his first with Uncle Mo in 2010 and Bob Baffert, trainer of Power Broker, won in 2002 with Vindication and again in 2008 with Midshipman. Despite the question mark on Know More Doug O’Neill is still certain to be going for his second Juvenile win with He’s Had Enough. His first was with Stevie Wonderboy in 2005.

Finally, let’s not forget about Edward Plesa Jr. Although Plesa has sent out the least amount of BC starters, just four, he still has a second and third place finish. This will be his first Juvenile and he looks to make a very big splash with Speak Logistics, winner of Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes at Calder his last time out.
With the field dwindling down to nine the opportunity is ripe so good luck to all four of our trainers that will go for their very first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win.


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Older Comments about Four Trainers going for their First BC Juvenile Win...

Yeah, I don't think Fortify necessarily has an advantage without knowing the actual bleeding histories (or lack thereof) of the other entrants.
IMPOSSIBLE to tell since I would wager that over half of those on furosemide did not need it to begin with.
There is only one horse in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile who has not been running on Lasix ... advantage Fortify?

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