Meet the 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile contenders

October 27th, 2022

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson takes a horse-by-horse look at pre-entries for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland, exploring the pros and cons of each contender.

MUCCIOLO: Tipsheet: 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile

Awesome Strong

Pros: Undefeated colt is 4-for-4 with three stakes wins to his credit.

Cons: He’s raced exclusively at Gulfstream Park and has been facing fellow Florida-bred runners. Stepping into Grade 1 company is a sizable jump up the class ladder.

Blazing Sevens winning the Champagne (G1) at Aqueduct (Photo by Janet Garaguso/Coglianese Photos)

Blazing Sevens

Pros: Produced a big stretch rally to beat a quality field in the Champagne (G1).

Cons: He may have benefited from rallying over the best part of a sloppy track in the Champagne and has yet to contest a two-turn race like the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Blazing Sevens

Cave Rock winning the American Pharoah S. (G1) at Santa Anita (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Cave Rock

Pros: Undefeated colt has posted triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings in all three of his starts, including the American Pharoah S. (G1) and Del Mar Futurity (G1).

Cons: He’s never run outside of California, so shipping to Kentucky is at least a small question mark.

RELATED: Pedigree profile: Cave Rock


Pros: Showed tactical speed when scoring a 2 1/2-length victory in the Laurel Futurity.

Cons: Enters with light Brisnet Speed ratings and has never faced graded stakes competition.

Curly Jack winning the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Curly Jack

Pros: Unleashed a sharp rally to win the Iroquois (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Cons: Capitalized on a decelerating pace in the Iroquois and might not receive as favorable a setup in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Curly Jack

Forte (left) winning the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)


Pros: Defeated Blazing Sevens in the Hopeful (G1), then came right back to post a hard-fought win in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) over the same track and distance as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Cons: He’s yet to run as fast as Cave Rock on the Brisnet Speed rating scale.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Forte

Hurricane J wins at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)

Hurricane J

Pros: Son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist is 2-for-2 and recently dominated an allowance optional claimer at Keeneland.

Cons: He’s never run farther than six furlongs and comes in with modest Brisnet Speed ratings.

Lost Ark

Pros: Endured a troubled trip when sixth in the Breeders’ Futurity and previously dominated the Sapling S. by 7 1/2 lengths.

Cons: His 91 Brisnet Speed rating from the Sapling ranks him slower than the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorites.

National Treasure

Pros: Earned a strong 101 Brisnet Speed rating when chasing Cave Rock to a second-place finish in the American Pharoah S.

Cons: He finished 5 1/4 lengths behind Cave Rock in the American Pharoah and may find it difficult to turn the tables at Keeneland.

Tyler’s Tribe

Pros: Undefeated colt boasts five consecutive blowout victories, including four at the stakes level.

Cons: He’s never run farther than six furlongs and has been facing easier ungraded competition at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.


Pros: May have raced over the slowest part of the track when finishing second against Blazing Sevens in the Champagne.

Cons: He hasn’t contested a two-turn race and has yet to post a triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating.

Wound Up

Pros: Gained a lot of ground despite a troubled trip to finish fifth by 2 3/4 lengths in the Speakeasy S. last time out.

Cons: He’s never run on dirt and produced his two best efforts in five-furlong sprints.