Breeders' Cup Juvenile Maiden Watch: Private Desire posts fast win

September 18th, 2023

Seven weeks out from the 2023 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, possible Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) contenders continue to emerge from maiden special weights around the country.

The big winner last week was Private Desire, a son of two-time Grade 1 winner Constitution conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. Previously fourth in his debut at Saratoga, Private Desire improved sharply while making his second start at Aqueduct, setting the pace and re-rallying after getting passed to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Private Desire’s margin of victory wasn’t flashy, but the runner-up pulled 11 1/2 lengths clear of the third-place finisher, and the winning time for 6 1/2 furlongs was a fast 1:16.68. The future looks bright for Private Desire.

Away from the spotlight at Horseshoe Indianapolis, Lightline impressed in a one-mile contest, pressing a slow pace from second place before accelerating down the homestretch to dominate by 13 3/4 lengths in 1:39.27. A son of Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light, Lightline hails from the barn of Brad Cox, who won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with champion Essential Quality.

The Churchill Downs September meet got underway last week and produced several noteworthy maiden winners, including Northern Flame. Third and fourth in his first two tries at Ellis Park, the Kenny McPeek trainee appreciated tackling 1 1/16 miles around two turns at Churchill, leading all the way to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:44.75.

Another winner over 1 1/16 miles was Parchment Party, a first-time starter from the Hall of Fame barn of Bill Mott. The son of Constitution trailed the field for six furlongs, but unleashed a giant bid as the pace decelerated down the homestretch, sweeping past the entire field to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:45.47.

In a six-furlong maiden special weight on Sunday, Stretch Ride sprang a 13-1 upset for trainer Dale Romans. Making his first start, the son of 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense tracked the pace before wearing down the leaders in the final furlong to score by half a length in 1:10.76.

On the same afternoon, first-time starter Shogun Be Fast won an identical race via disqualification. The Steve Asmussen-trained son of Distorted Humor set the pace while pressed by the Brad Cox trainee Orange Diablo, and a nice stretch battle was shaping up until Orange Diablo bumped with Shogun Be Fast and placed him in tight quarters along the rail. Orange Diablo wound up crossing the finish line first by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:10.69, but the stewards reversed the outcome and awarded Shogun Be Fast first prize.

We’ll wrap up with a mention of Where’s Chris, a debut winner dashing six furlongs at Aqueduct. Trained by Rick Dutrow, the son of Twirling Candy settled in third place early on, then advanced steadily and seized command in the homestretch to romp by five lengths in 1:12.58.