Breeders’ Cup 2018 will feature 2-year-old racing on Friday, November 2nd as a focus on ‘Future Stars’

by Joe Kristufek

For the first time in event history, day one of the Breeders’ Cup on November 2 has been designated “Future Stars Friday.”

Boys, girls, turf, dirt, route and sprint – chances are if you’ve got a 2-year-old with a touch of class who can really run, there’s a Breeders’ Cup race for you.

2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships
(Official Race Order to be announced on October 24)

Friday, November 2 “Future Stars Friday” 

RACE

AGE, SEX

DISTANCE

PURSE

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

2yo c&g & fillies   

5 1/2 furlongs (T)

$1,000,000

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1)

2yo fillies

1 mile (T)

$1,000,000

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)

2yo fillies

1 1/16 miles

$2,000,000

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1)

2yo c&g

1 mile (T)

$1,000,000

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)   

2yo c&g

1 1/16 miles

$2,000,000

Game Winner and Bellafina are the household names, and Europe is sure to be well-represented in the grass races, but in this space, I will focus on some other juveniles worth watching on Future Stars Friday.

 

The Boys of Breeders’ Cup

Horse                                       Trainer                                     Race                 Bris Speed Figs*

Code of Honor                          Claude McGaughey III               Juvenile           95 * 93

Most recent race: Off a debut maiden wire job at Saratoga, he returned to finish second behind Complexity in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont, but an argument could be made that he ran the best race. Over a fair track playing track, he stumbled badly at the start, settled in at the rail, made a bold move on the turn, was hung six wide, and finished strongly into the fast pace.

Pedigree: Homebred RNA’ed for $70K as a yearling. By Noble Mission out of Reunited (Dixie Union). All seven of the dam’s starters have won, including Big League ($216K) and Crosswalk ($116K). The dam was a grade 3 winning sprinter who earned over $326K from just ten starts.

Thoughts: He has speed, but the late kick he displayed while overcoming adversity makes him that much more appetizing. He’s not bred to go long, but traveling 1 1/16 miles against the current competition shouldn’t prove detrimental. This will be the 30th anniversary of McGaughey’s 1988 Juvenile score with Rhythm.

Complexity                              Chad Brown                             Juvenile           99 * 96

Most recent race: Bet down to the favorite’s role in the Champagne (G1) off a stunning debut score at Saratoga, he only enhanced his lofty stature with a dominating win. Over a fair playing track, he set fast pace, switched leads perfectly off the turn, kept going and galloped out strongly.

Pedigree: $375K yearling purchase by Maclean’s Music out Goldfield (Yes It’s True). All four of the dam’s starters have won, including the graded stakes winning router Valadorna ($669K), who finished second the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at age two. The dam was unraced, but her half sister Springside won three races at age two, including the Demoiselle (G2).

Thoughts: He has speed, rates kindly, runs fast and keeps going. He bred to win early and to route. Can you say “total package”? Brown won last year’s Juvenile with Good Magic.

Champagne S. Race Replay:

 

Knicks Go                                 Ben Colebrook                         Juvenile           92* 75 * 73 * 76

Most recent race: Completely dismissed at odds of 70-1 in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, he looked absolutely phenomenal in paddock prior to the race. Over a fair playing track, he set clear and honest pace while in hand, found another gear off the turn and extended his stride nicely.

Pedigree: $87K yearling purchase by Paynter out of Kosmo’s Buddy (Outflanker). Three of the dam’s four starters have won, but this is by far the most successful. The dam won twice at age two and earned nearly $300K sprinting on both turf and dirt. None of her nine siblings to race earned more than $60K.

Thoughts: Already an overachiever based on pedigree, he took an unexpected and giant leap forward in the Breeders’ Cup Futurity, but looked good doing it. Chances are most bettors won’t take him seriously. If he trains well in the coming weeks, he may be worth including on race day.

Breeders’ Futurity S. Race Replay:

 

Current                                    Todd Pletcher                          Juvenile Turf    87 * 85 * 81

Most recent race: Sent off at 9-2 in a deep and competitive Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, he was forced to overcome a wide draw. Over a fair playing turf course, he was taken back into the first turn, was clear in the two path early behind an honest pace, he was caught in tight between horses nearing the turn, was roused off the bend, uncorked a rally while drifting, leveled off deep stretch and got up in time. It was an impressive rally.

Pedigree: $725K yearling purchase by Curlin out of Crosswinds (Storm Cat). Three of the dam’s four starters have raced, including $435K earner Weep No More, who won a fluky edition of the the Ashland (G1) at monster odds and has done nothing since. The dam only ran once, but she is a half to $670K turfer Filimbi and the millionaire granddam Flute won the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Thoughts: A big, good-looking individual with a serious turn of foot, the hope will be to track a fast pace while in the clear before uncorking that run. Aidan O’Brien has won the Juvenile Turf four of the last seven years, but Pletcher did get it done in 2010 with Pluck.

Bourbon S. Race Replay:

 

Strike Silver                              Mark Casse                               Juvenile Turf Sprint      88 * 89 * 88

Most recent race: In his first run on turf in career start number three, he was sent off at an overlay price of 5-1 over a fair turf in the inaugural running of the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland. Off slowly, he lost three lengths at the start, was clear at the back behind a fast pace, built momentum on turn, switched off heels and fired.

Pedigree: $275,000 yearling purchase by Violence out of Frank’s Hope (Pulpit). Two of the dam’s three runners have won, but this is the good one. The dam won once from just four starts, but her family is loaded with talent. She’s a half to 17-time winner My Calabrese ($239K), $149K Liz on Polk Street and $270K Dreaming of Liz. Her granddam Silver Maiden was perfect from five starts at age two and one of those wins came in the Frizette (G1).

Thoughts: After showing speed on dirt in the first two starts, he was forced to close in the grass debut, and it looked like that was exactly what he was born to do.

Indian Summer S. Race Replay:

 

The Girls of Breeders’ Cup

Jaywalk                                    John Servis                               Juvenile Fillies 98 * 88 * 89 * 78

Most recent race: Off races at Monmouth, Parx and Delaware to begin her career, the bettors didn’t take her seriously enough in the Frizette (G1) at Belmont. Off slow losing two lengths at the start, she flashed natural speed in hand over a main track that did slightly favor forward types. She responded when asked and drew off as much the best.

Pedigree: $190K yearling purchase by Cross Traffic out of Lady Pewitt (Orientate). The dam has produced three winners from four starters including the versatile $312K earner Danzatrice. The dam only ran once, and she has only one sibling of consequence. The granddam Spin Room was unraced, but she has several classy siblings, including $1.2 million earner Mission Impazible.

Thoughts: If you weren’t a believer before, you should be now. She’s naturally fast, ratable and there are some distance influences in the pedigree.

Frizette S. Race Replay:

 

Restless Rider                          Ken McPeek                             Juvenile Fillies 92 * 88 * 91 * 81

Most recent race: Bet down like she was supposed to win the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland, she enjoyed a favorable pocket trip over a fair track, came out on the turn, took full command and won comfortably.

Pedigree: $150K yearling purchase by Distorted Humor of out Silky Serenade (Unbridled’s Song), who has two winners and two other who never made the races. The dam only won once from six starts, but she is a half to Private Vow ($491K), who won a pair of grade two stakes at age two and the talented $100K earner Watch Me Whip.

Thoughts: She’s displayed quite a bit of versatility in her young career, and she already has a stakes win at Churchill. With a clean break, she’s likely to sit an advantageous, stalking trip in the Juvenile Fillies.

Alcibiades S. Race Replay:

 

Serengeti Empress                    Tom Amoss                              Juvenile Fillies 92 * 98 * 81 * 81

Most recent race: Bet down to 4-5 in the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill off a romp in the Ellis Park Debutante, she got a clean break from the rail post, set the pace over a track that tilted slightly towards speed, took full command off turn, roused, responded, found another gear, was wrapped up just outside 1/16th pole and won in a gallop.

Pedigree: $70K yearling purchase by Alternation is the first foal out of the unraced Havisham (Bernardini), who has little quality in her immediate family. There is some Argentinian class deeper on the female side.

Thoughts: The Pocahontas didn’t come back fast, and there’s some question as to what she beat, but it’s tough to ignore how visually impressive she was. 

Pocahontas S. Race Replay:

 

Sippican Harbor                        Gary Contessa                          Juvenile Fillies             91 * 92 * 75

Most recent race: She debuted with an even effort around two turns on turf in advance of a 17-length romp in an off the grass race. The betting public wasn’t amused, sending her off at 16-1 in the Spinaway (G1). Off slowly losing four lengths at the start, she was a bit sluggish immediately thereafter and was last nearing the turn for home. She gained momentum on the bend and was hung eight-wide off of it, she leveled off and closed strongly into a fast pace, and the race did fall apart.

Pedigree: Sold for $260K as a weanling but RNA’ed for $110K as a yearling. By Orb out of Blossomed (Deputy Minister), she has three siblings who have earned over $100K. The dam was unraced, but she has lots of quality in her family, including the 12-time winner and $506K earner Cinemine.

Thoughts: She hasn’t run since September 1, and although Restless Rider’s return win in the Alcibiades was flattering, chances are she’ll be somewhat forgotten. Obviously two turns is a question, but if you like her, the risk should be worth the potential reward.

Spinway S. Race Replay:

 

Newspaperofrecord                 Chad Brown                             Juvenile Fillies Turf      99 * 87

Most recent race: Absolutely dominant in her career debut around two turns on turf, she was deservedly hammered down to even-money in the Miss Grillo (G2) at Belmont. Over a fair playing turf,  cleared easily in hand, was held in place under confident handling through a controlled but honest pace, switched leads perfectly off the turn, responded when asked and drew off as much the best.

Pedigree: Irish-bred sold for $278K as a yearling. By Lope de Vega out of Sunday Times (Holy Roman Empire). The best of the dam’s three foals to date. The dam was group one placed and there is some quality in her family and even more class another generation back.

Thoughts: Speedy and explosive – brings back memories of last year’s winner Rushing Fall and Brown has won the Juvenile Fillies Turf three of the last four years.

Miss Grillo S Race Replay:

* most recent figure listed first