The $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) will be run at 1 1/16 miles for two-year-olds on the main track at Keeneland on Saturday. A field of 10 is expected, and the race is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series that will guarantee the winner a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) as well as a points race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1).
#1 TAP IT TO WIN showed high speed in his well-bet career debut going six furlongs on the turf at Woodbine then he shipped down to Saratoga and won going away in fast time going six furlongs on the dirt. He has trained well since then for Mark Casse who wins 24% when he rides Tyler Gaffalione. Son of Tapit is out of a multiple stakes-winning dam by Medaglia d’Oro so the two turns should not be a problem and he has enough gate speed to use post 1 to his advantage.
#2 BY YOUR SIDE broke his maiden first time out going 5 ½ furlongs then went to Saratoga and won a Grade 3 stakes race by three lengths. He did little in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) there going seven furlongs on a sloppy track and now tries two turns for Eddie Kenneally who wins 19% stretching out.
#3 LIFE ON THE ROAD was a sharp winner in his career debut going seven furlongs at Ellis Park. Considering how fast the pace was that race, the final time was on the slow side and he is going to have to improve a lot just to be in the picture here. I do like the fact that his sire, Street Sense, and his dam sire, Big Brown, both won the 1 1/4 -mile Kentucky Derby.
#4 KING THEO raced evenly in his career debut on a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park going five furlongs then he came back there and broke his maiden by over eight lengths going seven furlongs in an off-the-turf event. He has stayed in the heat of Florida before shipping here so the son of More Than Ready should be right at home.
#5 ENFORCEABLE placed second and a distant third in his first two career starts but then tried two turns on the turf at Saratoga and could not make up any ground. He came back in a nine-furlong dirt race there and won from behind when blinkers were added so he has already proven himself going two turns on the dirt. Son of Tapit is out of a multiple graded stakes winner that has already produced New Year’s Day, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Mohaymen (also by Tapit), who won three graded stakes races going two turns on the dirt.
#6 MAXFIELD rallied from way back to win going away in a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs at 10-1 and now tries two turns. He comes back on only three weeks’ rest for Brendan Walsh who wins 18% first start after a maiden win. Son of Street Sense is out of a dam by Bernardini so the extra distance will not be a problem. Jose Ortiz rides back – 23% with his route mounts.
#7 AMERICAN BUTTERFLY broke his maiden second time out at Saratoga at 22-1 when Wayne Lukas added Lasix then showed speed for about five furlongs before tiring in the Hopeful Stakes going seven furlongs. Since then, he shows a good, five-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs and the American Pharoah offspring seem to be able to do anything.
#8 AJAAWEED did little in his career debut going six furlongs then stretched out to a one-turn mile at Belmont Park and after having some traffic problems, burst through the stretch to win by over four lengths in good time. His finish that day puts him in the mix here for Kiaran McLaughlin. Son of Curlin is out of a stakes-placed dam and he gets Joel Rosario back.
#9 JANUARY WON broke his maiden by a length going 5 ½ furlongs in his well-bet career debut then he could not overcome post 10 in the two-turn Iroquois Stakes (G3) when Ken McPeek added Lasix. Just don’t see him being good enough to fit with these.
#10 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS was highly touted for his career debut at Saratoga and he lived up to the expectations, and then some, when he stalked a fast pace out in the middle of the turn over a sloppy track and won by nine lengths as easy as could be. Javier Castellano picks up the mount from the red-hot Johnny Velazquez who rides at Belmont Park (his mounts include another juvenile for Todd Pletcher). Son of hot young sire Constitution cost $600,000 as a two-year-old in training and has trained brilliantly for this.
Top Picks for the Breeders’ Futurity
- #10 Gouverneur Morris
- #1 Tap It To Win
- #5 Enforceable
- #8 Ajaaweed
Suggested Breeders’ Futurity Bets
- $20 Exacta
- #10 with #1, #5, #8
- $20 Exacta Box
- #1, #10
Gouverneur Morris romping in his debut at Saratoga (c) NYRA/Coglianese Photography