BC Juvenile Centerpieces On The Table Saturday

BC Juvenile (Grade 1)- $2,000.000 Purse
DMR- For Colts and Geldings Two Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
November 4, 2017

The BC Juvenile is always one of the most anticipated races on our schedule given the added importance of two year old racing in our virtual world. It is, of course, the crowning moment for two year old males, and will provide our first chance to crown someone the first KYD favorite of 2018. Although no Juvenile winner has won the KYD as of yet, and in fact it was long considered to be a curse to win this race for the three year old season. Let’s take a look through the history of the race, and how Juvenile winners ended up faring in the KYD, if they made it at all. Of course, there have been KYD winners that were part of the Juvenile that may not have the best race in the BC. Here’s a trip down memory lane.

Our first winner of the BC Juvenile back in 2003 was a horse named Joey Atkins, running for Unreal Racing. Six months later, he would appear in the KYD, but that was about it, as he ran 12th that day. Joey Atkins was raced frequently by his trainer that day, and early in his three year old season his career tailed off. He would not win a graded stake at three, or older. However, the 2003 Juvenile did contain the 2014 KYD winner, Fuji Ninja. In the Juvenile, Fuji Ninja ran fourth.

The following season, the Juvenile was won by Triple K’s Commander Phil, in 2004. He would run well in the 2005 KYD, and may have been the closest Juvenile winner to winning that race, as he finished second in the Derby. Of course, he wasn’t that close, since KYD winner Sleepless Nights won the race by five lengths. Sleepless Nights participated in the Juvenile, but was a non-factor, finishing ninth, and sixteen lengths off the pace. Things certainly were different back then!

In 2005, Yahudi Stables became a BC Juvenile champion thanks to Gunga Din. He would participate in the 2006 KYD, but would be a disappointment, running 15th overall, and being beaten by sixteen lengths. The winner of the KYD in 2006 was Dani Dauntless, who edged out the soon to be legendary Dark Crown. Neither one of those two participated in the 2005 BC Juvenile.

Moving on, in 2006, Serenity Stables won the Juvenile with his horse Timepiece, one that would also become a good sire in the early days of breeding here. Six months later, it was all about Fusion, who somehow found a way to win the KYD from post #20, afer being a distant seventh in the BC Juvenile. Fusion also had Timepiece beat in the sire game over the next several years. In the derby, Timepiece finished fifth, but was beaten by ten lengths. That said, Timepiece found success later in the TC season, finishing second in the PRK, and then winning the BEL.

In 2007, the Juvenile would be won by Circumflex, for his trainer Acber Farms. He was not really able to sustain his career as a three year old, showing some signs of losing form during the prep season. He did go to CD, and finished 14th in the KYD, and would be retired after another disappointing run in the BEL. That KYD was won by Half Spirit, who did not run in the Juvenile as a two year old.

The next season saw the BC Juvenile won by Stylin, from Meat. This win was a career highlight, as he did not really do much else after, and would not win again. After a dismal showing in the FL Derby, he still ran in the KYD a month after, and was a distant 16th, losing by fifteen lengths. Unfortunately, he seemed to have been cooked well before that race. The Derby would be won the well known Ghost Walker, after that one had finished 7th in the BC Juvenile.

Next up we look at 2009, which would lead into the amazing year of Five Fives nearly winning the triple crown. The Juvenile of 2009 was won by Time Too Dream, however, by Eveshan All Stars. He would win a prep race in February, but his career hit the skids after that, and by the time we were to run the KYD, he was outclassed, running 14th. Five Fives had a good two year old season, but when it came time for the BC Juvenile, only would run fourth.

Triple K would become the first two-time winner of the BC Juvenile with his highly successful autogen, Halfing, in 2010. He had a fantastic two year old season, and would not disappoint in the Juvenile. He remained strong during the prep season, and even won the Wood Memorial heading into the KYD. However, when the first Saturday in May came, Halfing could do no better then 7th. Willow Grove was seen as an upset winner in 2011 of the KYD, and possibly the slop that day had a lot to do with Halfing’s run. Willow Grove ran in the Juvenile Turf as a two year old, and did run second.

The 2011 BC Juvenile holds a special place in my heart, as I had the third place runner, but the big winner that day was Copper Bottom, from Diablo Diablo. Happy to see that Copper Bottom has continued to be successful in the shed. The KYD was not kind to him, however, as he could do no better then 16th, which began the start of a sudden and rapid decline for him. The 2012 KYD winner, Sanny Village’s Cryptomagic, did not run in BC Juvenile.

In 2012, Blazing Angel would win the BC Juvenile for Alydar Stables, but would disappoint In KYD prep races, and would not end up at the race. He would be entered in the PRK, but had a double digit finish. Though when it seemed his fate was going to be like other disappointments, he did bounce back nicely and won the BC Dirt Mile in 2013. As for the KYD in 2013, that race was won by a name we all know, in Commanding. He would go on to have an amazing career, but never ran in the BC Juvenile. So, if you have a talented two who is not here today, just look at Commanding as inspiration!

The 2013 BC Juvenile saw Riggins Racing get the win with Greek God. He was somewhat of a surprising winner that day, and when it came to run the KYD, he was back in the 13th position. Fortunately, he did become resurgent over the summer that year. The corresponding KYD winner would be Laffin To Mia, who would be the fourth KYD winner in a row not to have run in the BC Juvenile, but Laffin To Mia had a good excuse. He was running in the BC Juvenile Turf, and won the race! Great result for him, but not the same race, so can’t call him a jinx-breaker!

Moving forward, Sanny Village would become a BC Juvenile champion thanks to Divine And Broke. It would be the last race that he would win in his career, though he remained in good form through the prep race season. A ninth place run in the KYD would become the final blow of his being a competitive threat, and being done. King Cobra would win the KYD for Aer Stables, six months later, but he did not run in the BC Juvenile, extending our streak now, to five.

In 2015, the BC Juvenile would be won by Carneyman, who would have a thrilling career resurgence, but when it came to the jinx of the Juvenile winner, he too, was bitten. He would not qualify for the KYD that year as between his Juvenile win, and his impressive BEL win, he did not have another finish in the money. Winning the BEL does lessen the blow of the curse this year. That KYD winner would be was Water Mummy, who did run in the BC Juvenile, ending our streak of those who did not, at five. His run there was fourth, and promising.

Last year, it was all about Ginger Haggis from The Sidley Stud. He had an outstanding two year old season, and he has carried that into this year with even greater success. However, when it comes to breaking the jinx in the KYD, even he was unable to do so, finishing 10th, and its really been the only time he was not competitive in the race. The Derby winner, Shootfromthehip, did not run in the Juvenile.

What did we learn from all this? Well, despite how we like to coin the Juvenile winner as a KYD favorite, that really has not been the case. You have to go way back to 2004 to find the only example of a BC Juvenile winner even being able to say they were close to a win in the KYD, as that one was second. Also of interest is that six of the last seven KYD winners did not even run in the BC Juvenile. So, that 2018 KYD winner might not even be here today, and by that trend, he is not (unless possibly he is racing somewhere in the Juvenile Turf). Enjoy the BC Juvenile for what it is, a great race for two year olds, but when it comes to the TC, it’s also a reminder that there still is a long way to go. Let’s meet the field!

#1- Edge Of Chai (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The trainer searches for their first career win in the Juvenile, and Edge of Chai is one of three chances they have. While I am more intrigued by another of their entries, Edge Of Chai can be the centerpiece of attention here as well if he runs as he did in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity, where he was solid second. The winner that day was Table Stakes, who is not going to be surprising anyone this time around. He is yet to have a bad race, and being on the rail will only help him here.

#2- Along For The Ride (Fractious, ridden by J J Hernandez)- He’s won just once in his career, but with just a little more luck with the headbob, it is conceivable that he could have three more wins as part of his five race career. That goes to show how tough it is to win these races. He was edged out by Gumshoe in the DMR Futurity, and then by Erupt in the Frontrunner Stakes, both Grade 1’s. He sees both of them again here, and while he is due to turn the table, the BC is not usually the place where that happens.

#3- Candy Fusion (Double Cross Ranch, ridden by C S Nakatani)- This gelding has been a complete steal from the December 2016 auction, acquired for only $2.350. So, with the new December auction on the horizon somewhat, keep that in mind that you don’t need to spend a ton. Candy Fusion likes to get out on the lead, and may try to do so again, but judging by the Champagne, where he was third but passed late in a shorter race, there may be a tactical adjustment considered. It would be that biggest win of the trainers career by quite a bit.

#4- Sweeping Italy (Drabfantasy, ridden by J L Ortiz)- He swept up the fields often in NM-bred stakes, proving the value of statebred races in areas other then the big states. It’s interesting that he required zero BC points to get here. That’s not meant as a slant on the horse, though 23 horses did earn Juvenile points. Though because rules one trainer from entering more then three horses, we get a horse with no points into this race. He’s done what he needed to do, but this is the toughest race he has been in, by far, and he raced just six days ago.

#5- Mistress Seeker (Aer Stables, ridden by J Alvarado)- Last month, this Holly Summer colt made his stake debut despite having a light resume to that point, and was victorious at the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, earning a strong 95 SRF in the win. Prior to that, not a lot else to really write about, so we can clearly see that this is a horse that was just waiting to run longer. His works look good, and it should make him a threat at prep race time as well. I don’t think this will be his race, but this is one of those ones that is going to be talked about more over the spring.

#6- Gumshoe (EasyMoney Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- There has been no gum on his shoes over the course of the season, as he is showing quite a bit of success. He’s won three of six, including the DMR Futurity on this race track in September. His last race was the Champagne, where he faced several of these, and put together a solid fourth place performance. I do have the feeling though, that he is going to need a little more to be in the money in this race. Expect him to contend, but he needs to be a little better when the race hits the stretch, then he was in the Champagne.

#7- Point Of Royalty (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- This is a name that just sounds like one that would a big race like this. His career has gotten off to a fantastic start, with three wins in his four races thus far. The last race, the Grade 3 Futurity at BEL, he earned a 96 SRF in the win. As great as that all sounds, the problem is that he has yet to go more then six furlongs. He hasn’t done that in a public work, either, so it’s hard to get a handle on him. Regardless, to have the first race going long being the BC Juvenile is asking a lot.

#8- What Have You Done (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- After a stunning performance at the Grade 3 Iroquois in mid-September, What Have You Done will have everyone looking over their shoulders in the stretch. Six furlongs into that race, What Have You Done ran 10th, and still had nine lengths to make up on the leader. That said, quick fractions were set by an Mb Stables teammate, but What Have You Done still had to pass ten very good horses and not just the leader, and was able to do so.

#9- Wicked Orange (Allinthegate, ridden by R Bejarano)- He is also coming out of the Grade 3 Iroquois, and made a similar stretch run that we saw from What Have You Done. For Wicked Orange, he was running in the 8th position at the time, a length ahead of What Have You Done. So while he also closed very well to get up for third, he still lost a length in the stretch to that rival. Thankfully, he altered his strategy a little for the Grade 1 Champagne, being closer to front, and actually leading late, before winding up second. That could be the way for him to go in this race as well.

#10- Centerpiece (Mb Stables, ridden by J J Castellano)- This is an impressive horse, and one of the two main favorites in this race. In his young career, this Anybody Home colt has done absolutely nothing wrong. He’s won three out of five races, and has always been part of the top two. More importantly, though, is that two of those wins were in big races, winning the Grade 1 Hopeful at SAR, and the Grade 1 Champagne at BEL. Last year, Ginger Haggis came into the BC Juvenile having accomplished the same exact thing. Centerpiece also seems to like a trip that puts him somewhat close to the lead, but not really contesting the pace, and saving his best for late, and that should serve him well. He’ll be my pick.

#11- Psychotic Ruler (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- The second entry from D J C Racing Stables also ran in the Hopeful at SAR, and after setting the pace early, he held on for a third place finish. That would be the first race that he would not win, as he won his previous three, which included a win in the Grade 3 Sanford. Psychotic Ruler is working well at longer distances, so I expect to see him be a threat in this race and be the best chance for the trainer, who has quite a few talented two year olds right now, to win the Juvenile.

#12- Subutai (EasyMoney Stables, ridden by G L Stevens)- This is another entry that is probably going to look to come from off the pace. Early in his career, he did this impressively to win the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at CD in late June. Since then, he has not hit the board as he began to take on stronger competitive, though does have a pair of fourth place runs. I thought he looked a little flat in the Breeders Futurity (Grade 1) until very late, and that’s just not going to get it done here. He’ll need to find a little more speed. He’s a promising horse, but I don’t think this is his race.

#13- Erupt (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by D Moran)- The great Niagra proudly gets one of his foals into the BC Juvenile, and there were a couple others on the cusp of getting in. Erupt has two wins in five career starts, with two other second place finishes. He had not run in at the stake level, however, until his last start, which was the Grade 1 Frontrunner at SA. Erupt was not star-struck there to say the least, as he took home the victory. I’m a little concerned about this post with him, and the way I think a couple others might be starting that are near him in the gate. That will be key.

#14- Table Stakes (Barcelona Farms, ridden by Van Dyke)- It’s very impressive that Table Stakes has been able to get here, and a little unfortunate that he will have to start from the outside like this. While most of his rivals were racing as soon as they could this year, Table Stakes did not debut until September 23, at PLN. He destroyed that field, so two weeks later, Barcelona Farms entered him in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at KEE. It wasn’t the same kind of rout, but his win there was very convincing as well. He showed that he belongs here, but thankfully time did not run out on him to do so. Based on that effort that I was privileged to cover, I have to consider him a favorite here, he was that impressive.

Prediction: 10-14-9-1

— NS



Categories: BC 2017, Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, The Breeders' Cup

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