The 2023 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Tipsheet
A fine field of 11 two-year-olds will vie in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita (G1). In addition to the race’s major purse and the importance towards determining championship honors at the end of the season, the 1 1/16-mile endeavor on the dirt will also reward the top-five finishers with qualifying points (30-15-9-6-3) on the 2024 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Picks
- #10 Muth
- #3 Wine Me Up
- #6 Locked
- #1 The Wine Steward
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Wagers
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Contenders
#1 THE WINE STEWARD (8-1): The Mike Maker pupil is 3-for-4 with his lone setback coming when a close second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on Oct. 7. The $340,000 son of Vino Rosso is perfectly drawn on the rail for his toughest test to date, and I give the Empire State-bred colt a chance at a fair price from off of the early pace. Luis Saez will ride.
#2 PRINCE OF MONACO (4-1): Unbeaten Bob Baffert trainee skipped the local prep in order to be fresh for this endeavor. The Del Mar Futurity (G1) star is a question mark going two turns at this stage of his development, but he drew well and is obviously good enough to upend this cast on his best day. Regular pilot Flavien Prat will be up.
#3 WINE ME UP (15-1): Vino Rosso colt handled the move to two turns well last time when runner-up in the American Pharoah S. (G1), and I consider him to be a live longshot for Baffert. The $300,000 chestnut has a lot of room for improvement with just two races to his credit, and the colt has trained well all season on this strip. Ramon Vazquez retains the mount.
#4 TIMBERLAKE (4-1): Impressive Champagne S. (G1) victor from the Brad Cox barn ran a lifetime best at Aqueduct in advance of Friday. Second in the Hopeful S. (G1) two prior, the $350,000 son of Into Mischief will be stalking the pace from the early going and will be well positioned at the top of the lane with Florent Geroux in the silks.
#5 ECORO NEO (30-1): The Japanese import is a maiden and a wild card in the field, but he does hail from the mighty Mori shedrow. It might be wise to consider him in his U.S. debut. The $300,000 Bernardini colt is bred to route on the main oval, and the Kentucky-bred could be almost any kind at a big number. Yuga Kawada will guide the juvenile.
#6 LOCKED (7-2): The morning-line choice from the Todd Pletcher shedrow has surely looked the part in his last pair of assignments, led by a fine tally in the Breeders’ Futurity S. (G1) at Keeneland in preparation for this event. The chestnut son of Gun Runner has good route experience, he has finished with fine energy in each of his three races, and the one to beat also lands in a field with a lot of early pace in the fold. Jose Ortiz will be in the stirrups.
#7 CUBAN THUNDER (30-1): The Irish-bred makes his first start on the dirt and would be a major surprise in the event. The Profitable colt has been outrun in each of his trio of graded stakes to date, and it is difficult for me to envision him taking down this field at huge odds.
#8 GENERAL PARTNER (8-1): The Speightstown colt was a sharp maiden winner in his second career try, which preceded a runner-up performance in the Champagne S. (G1) last time out. The $250,000 weanling purchase might appreciate the move to two turns, and he wouldn’t be a major surprise with a forward move in the event under the guidance of Manny Franco.
#9 FIERCENESS (6-1): The Pletcher pupil was a sensational debut winner on Aug. 25 at Saratoga, but the bay showed little when finishing 20 lengths back in the subsequent Champagne S. (G1) over a sloppy, sealed oval at Aqueduct most recently. The City of Light homebred did put in a solid half-mile drill leading up to Friday, and he will be a major contender with a repeat of his unveiling. John Velazquez has the call.
#10 MUTH (4-1): The Baffert charge did everything right when dominating the American Pharoah S. (G1) on the course and at the trip last time out. The $2 million son of Good Magic has speed combined with a turn of foot, and if the top prospect can navigate a sensible trip from the post slot, then he will be formidable in the stretch. Regular pilot Juan Hernandez will be in the irons.
#11 NOTED (20-1): The Pletcher pupil draws widest of all but has been in excellent form this campaign, which includes a nose second in the grassy Bourbon S. (G2) in his latest appearance. The talented son of Cairo Prince was victorious in the Sapling S. at Monmouth Park in his lone dirt try, and he will need a big step forward off of that event to challenge late on this occasion. Irad Ortiz Jr. will take the reins.