Breeders' Cup Juvenile Maiden Watch: Slider breaks through at Del Mar

September 11th, 2023

At this time of year, you can usually count on at least one juvenile per week to deliver an exciting maiden victory and emerge as a possible Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) contender. Last week, the excitement came courtesy of a bay colt named Slider.

Acquired for $240,000 earlier this year, Slider debuted in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on July 29 at Del Mar and carved out intense fractions of :21.23 and :44.51 before staying on to finish second by two lengths against Heartland, who prevailed in the quick time of 1:03.20.

This promising runner-up effort stamped Slider as the 3-5 favorite to win an identical contest at Del Mar last Saturday, and the John Sadler trainee didn’t disappoint. Under jockey Hector Berrios, Slider tracked fractions of :21.79 and :45.29 from second place before finishing strongly (final sixteenth of a mile in :06.07) to win by three lengths in 1:03.55.

Slider is a son of Malibu (G1) winner Jimmy Creed out of Blue Hen S. runner-up Days Like This. Jimmy Creed may have been a sprinter, but Days Like This achieved her stakes placing racing 1 1/16 miles and previously foaled Manitoba Derby third-place finisher Pete Marwick, who placed in a trio of stakes running long. There’s enough stamina in Slider’s pedigree to suggest he’ll handle stretching out around two turns, so the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile could certainly be a viable target.

We’ll also take a moment to highlight Bolt of Aurum, who won his debut in a six-furlong maiden special weight on Sunday at Monmouth Park. The son of two-time Grade 1-winning juvenile Bolt d’Oro broke slowly and raced as many as 8 1/2 lengths behind hot early fractions of :22.61 and :46.28 over a sloppy track, but Bolt of Aurum gobbled up ground down the homestretch to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:12.87.

Trained by Jorge Duarte Jr., Bolt of Aurum sold for $300,000 as a two-year-old in training and appears to have some talent. Dam Scenic Road is a daughter of Quality Road, a four-time Grade 1 winner racing one mile to 1 1/8 miles, so stretching out in distance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile should be within Bolt of Aurum’s wheelhouse from a pedigree standpoint.