The $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) will be run Saturday as race 9 at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds will be run on the main track and is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series where the nominated winner will gain an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Top Picks for the Breeders’ Futurity

  • #7 Calibrate
  • #4 Essential Quality
  • #8 Founder
  • #9 King Fury

Betting the Breeders’ Futurity

  • $20 win : 7 ($20)
  • $10 exacta: 4,8,9 with 7 ($30)

Breeders’ Futurity Contenders

#1 Super Stock broke his maiden in his second career start in a stakes race on dirt going short at Lone Star then was an even third going a one-turn mile in the Iroguois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. Son of Dialed In (who had a big 2-year-old winner in the American Pharoah [G1] going two turns last week) stretches out from the rail for Steve Asmussen, who wins 20% with his 2-year-olds.

#2 Upstriker looked great breaking his maiden at 11-1 odds in his career debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Ellis Park. He has trained well since then and the son of good, young sire Upstart is out of a dam that has produced seven winners including three stakes winners. Joe Talamo rides back and it looks like he has major cruising speed to get today’s distance.  

#3 Notary did little in his career debut then broke his maiden going a mile at Ellis Park in ordinary time. In the Iroquois, he showed good speed pressing the pace from post 10 before weakening and now tries two turns. Son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense is out of a dam by Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tabasco Cat so there is plenty of pedigree to stretch out for the legendary Wayne Lukas.

#4 Essential Quality looked great breaking his maiden in his well-bet career debut going 6 furlongs in fast time at Churchill Downs for Brad Cox, who wins 24% first time going long and 26% first start after a maiden win. Son of Tapit is out of a dam by Elusive Quality that is a half-sister to a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly (G1) winner and is training bullets for this. Luis Saez picks up the mount – 23% with his route rides.

#5 Keepmeinmind rallied for second first time out in an off-the-turf event going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs. He would have to improve a ton to get a piece of this, but has some pedigree and is a half-brother to seven winners.  

#6 Dixie’s Two Stents just missed by a head in his two-turn debut going 5 furlongs at Del Mar. It was a good enough effort for Doug O’Neill to try the Del Mar Futurity (G1) next time out but he was overmatched. Son of Quality Road was the cheapest of his yearlings for sale last year, but O’Neill has a way his 2-year-olds so he can’t be ignored.

#7 Calibrate raced up on the pace before drawing off to win easily at 2-1 in his career debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga. The time was much faster than it looks since that was Alabama S. (G1) day and the track was much slower than it was for most of the meet. He has a stout pedigree and is training brilliantly in Saratoga on the Oklahoma training track for Steve Asmussen, who wins 16% first time going long, and regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr. is back aboard.

#8 Founder rallied from way back over a muddy track at Saratoga to get up by a neck over another Chad Brown runner that came back to break his maiden next time out. Hard to gauge how much the muddy track either favored or hurt him, but he was very professional over it and Brown wins an amazing 32% first time going long. Joel Rosario picks up the mount.

#9 King Fury looked very professional breaking his maiden first time out going this distance at Churchill Downs in modest time. He raced behind an even pace and showed plenty of energy in the lane despite losing ground on both turns. $950K yearling purchase is by the mighty Curlin and is out of a mare that was a Grade 1 winner and cost $2.15 million after her 3-year-old season. Ken McPeek wins 19% first start after a maiden win and colt should be a major stretch factor.