Saturday, October 31, 2009

Next Year's Superstars

Another week has come and gone and on this Halloween Saturday I will give you all a quick look at the fields of the Breeders Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Turf. The winner of each of these races will likely return next year in the Triple Crown races, the Breeders Cup Mile or Dirt Mile, the Breeders Cup Turf, or maybe even the Classic.

In this year's Juvenile Turf the Euros have come loaded with some promising Juveniles in Pounced and Viscount Nelson. Normally we would expect the Euros to dominate this division, considering turf is by far their specialty, but this year we have Interactif. Winning three out of four starts this year he is our best hope at defending our U.S. soil from the European invaders. His win in the Bourbon Stakes marked him as something very special and a forced to be reckoned with. Running on soft turf, and having probably one of the widest trips of any other horse in the race Interactif had every reason to lose. Moving around the far turn he began his rally, picking off horses one by one. In the stretch he got the lead and refused to let it go winning the race surprisingly easy, considering his wide trip.

In three starts Pounced has only won one of them. His other two races were seconds, one of them being in the Grade one Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Trained by the same trainer who trained Raven's Pass, the winner of last year's Breeders Cup Classic, this colt merits respect. Viscount Nelson is trained by the great Aidan O'Brian, who always brings over a strong fleet come Breeders Cup. In four starts Viscount Nelson has won half of those, finishing second and third in the others. He ran first in the Grade two Coolmore El Gran Senor Hurricane Run and second in the Grade two DFS Champagne stakes.

The Breeders Cup Juvenile should be one of the most exciting races on the card. It is filled with some of America's biggest talents in D'Funnybone, Aikenite, Aspire, Lookin At Lucky, and Noble's Promise. Both Aikenite and Aspire haven't won anything of great not, but they are always right there knocking on the door. Aspire was third in the Grade one Champagne Stakes behind Discreetly Mine and Homeboykris, and was second in the Hopeful stakes behind Dublin. Aikenite, in his last start ran second to Noble's Promise in the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity and was third behind Aspire and Dublin in the Hopeful. These two are sneaking in under the radar and could very well steal the show.

Some of the better know horses coming into the Juvenile are Noble's Promise and D'Funnybone. D'Funnybone strung together two impressive wins in the Saratoga Special, where he crushed his foes by over ten lengths, and the Futurity Stakes, where he beat Discreetly Mine. His record stands at four starts, three wins and one second. His lone loss came in the Frank Gomez Memorial where he was nailed on the wire by the promising Jackson Bend. His only questions coming in are can he handle the distance and will he like the surface. Should those questions be a yes he will most likely be the 09' Juvenile winner.

Noble's Promise comes into the Juvenile with the same record that D'Funnybone has, but unlike D'Funnybone he garners a win over a synthetic surface. Beware though, that the synthetic Polytrack at Keeneland is not the same as the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita, and that Noble's Promise still has to prove he can be versatile enough to win over both types of synthetics. This year he has won the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity Stakes and the Fitz Dixson Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes.

These may not be the most prestigious races on the card, but as I said earlier the winner of these could come back next year as one of the best three year olds in America. Watch and enjoy next Saturday as you witness your potential stars of tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. It is a thrill to get an early look as to who may be on the road to Louisville, because of this, I have always enjoyed watching the juveniles. I am looking forward to tomorrow's race at Churchill as well, with Dublin, the Hopeful winner getting another chance.