BC Juvenile (Grade 1)- $2,000.000 Purse
SA- For Colts and Geldings Two Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
November 1, 2019
The BC Juvenile is the championship race of the two year old campaign. There is no bigger race that a juvenile can win, and with two year old racing given such priority in our virtual world, it is arguably the second biggest race, in as far the anticipation for it, of the weekend. Fourteen horses are ready to run and hope to duplicate what Beach Dandy accomplished last year. There was some chatter in the form recently talking about a BC Juvenile jinx. There is none. Let’s get that out of the way real quick. The criteria used for the forum thread was to look at the BC Juvenile and then the BC Classic. Winning two BC races, and two different ones to boot is an extremely rare feat for any horse, so the fact that there is no horse that has not won both of them does not mean there is a curse on the Juvenile winner. The more applicable race to reference for Juvenile winners is the KYD, and Beach Dandy put a stop to that this year. Curse, over. Beach Dandy will be running in the Classic this year, and after running second in the PA Derby, he might be getting back to form. The 2019 BC Juvenile figures to be a thriller, because there are a handful of excellent horses in this field, and not just a few strong contenders. Let’s take a run through the field!
#1- High One (Gdp Inc, ridden by M J Sanchez)- Won the Champagne in his last start last month. Only twice in history has the Champagne winner ended up winning the BC Juvenile. It happened early in the game’s history, with Commander Phil back in 2004 and would not happen again for a dozen years. Ginger Haggis would complete the feat in 2016. This is a horse that I am high on, and not just because of his name, although it’s interesting that he has not been publicly worked for over a month.
#2- Sweet Sweat (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- Like High One, he is coming off a big win on October 5th, doing so at KEE in the Breeder’s Futurity. The Breeder’s Futurity winner has never gone on to win the BC Juvenile, but we can certainly leave it to Mb Stables to be the trainer of the first one that did. Last year’s winner, Get Jiggy With It failed to beat anyone in the BC Juvenile. Though 2017 winner Table Stakes at least did a little better. Mb won’t sweat it.
#3- City Sniper (John Henry, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Won the first three races of his career before a couple of private sales lines that are frustrating to look at. Surely, there was a some of “trade” involved when he went for just $10.000, but it would be cool to at least know the details of what the trade actually was. His last win was the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at CD in late June. In 2009, Time Too Dream became the first and is still the only horse to win both of those races. City Sniper was last seen finishing 2nd in the Grade 3 Iroquois.
#4- Better Party (Estero Farms, ridden by J K Court)- Relatively lightly raced, and his only win was when he broke his maiden on debut at ALB in July. What got him here was his third place finish in the Bashford Manor at KEE last month. Last year’s third place finisher in the Bashford Manor was a horse that is no longer with us a year later. Golden Boy ended up running 8th in the Juvenile, and would never win another race. It wouldn’t be a party for Better Party if he took that route.
#5- Milan (Smokey Stover, ridden by M Franco)- Despite being bred as a yearling, this horse would not make his debut until the end of August, so kudos to Smokey Stover for the patience he had with this one. He’s only raced twice, and got here thanks to finishing third in the Grade 1 Champagne last month. Last year’s third place Champagne finisher was a horse named Commanding Bee, who finished 10th for Serenity Stables in the Juvenile, and now currently races of John Henry. That one has not won as a three year old.
#6- Stark (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- The colt by Winter Is Coming has one maiden win in his five starts. After that win, he was elevated into the graded level, and did not show anything in either the Best Pal or the Iroquois. However, his fortunes would change in the Breeders Futurity last month, closing well to finish second and earning him this spot in the field. Scarlet Ninja was the Breeders Futurity runner up last year, and was a distant ninth in the Juvenile, though did go on to have a good first half of his three year old season.
#7- Spirited Stride (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The second entry by Mb Stables in this field ended up winning two races during the month of September: the Grade 1 DMR Futurity and the Grade 1 Pharoah. Both of those races have been great for the trainer, as he won in each of the last two years. So, he probably knows the Juvenile fates of those runners: Weak Sheik ended up running 13th while Questionable did much, much better, running second to Beach Dandy. This is a horse that looks like he is just going to keep improving, and I think he has an excellent chance in this race.
#8- Brittle (Aer Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- After being gelded in May, Brittle has been a perfect three for three, and that includes winning both the Best Pal Stakes and the Iroquois. Those results make him one of the top contenders in this field, though he has not worked publicly since the end of August. The Iroquois winner has never won the BC Juvenile, nor as the Best Pal winner. Aer Stables will hope to rewrite that history, and Brittle should have a great shot to do so.
#9- Orion Nebula (John Henry, ridden by T Gaffalione)- Here’s a horse that is still looking to find a stable home. He’s raced four times, and has already been owned by four different barns. Despite no one seeming to want to hold on to him, he’s been winning, taking his first three starts, which includes the Grade 2 SAR Special in August. He would be a non-factor in the Pharoah, running fifth in what was also his first race over a mile.
#10- Fancy This (Fractious, ridden by R M Hernandez)- This one was acquired from Mb Stables for $350.000 at the end of September, and made his debut for Fractious soon after. That was the Champagne, where he placed fifth. So far for his career, he has earned a reputation for being able to hit the board, but has just the one win in his seven career starts. With a little more lock at the wire at the Spa, he might have had two more wins, though.
#11- Intaglio (Arindel, ridden by D Van Dyke)- A winner of two races over his five starts, highlighted by the $100.000 Im Smokin for CA-breds in August. That result saw him earn his first graded start, and he made the most of it, placing second in the Grade 1 Pharoah. Last year’s Pharoah runner up was Chrystal Believer, who ran seventh in the BC Juvenile before a good campaign in KYD preps this year.
#12- Bound Bay (Gdp Inc, ridden by J I Velez)- Would love to have a similar career to Bay Bound, a former BC Champion (Juvenile Fillies), among other accolades. Bound Bay, meanwhile, has one win in five starts. What got him here was his second place effort in the DMR Futurity, but his seemingly flat performance in the Breeders Futurity is hopefully a throw out for the trainer. Works show that he will be ready to go, but must be better then he was last month.
#13- Dragster (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- So, both Dragster and Sail Away have finished in dead heats in each of their last two races. In the post position draw, they finished in a dead heat to be the last two horses to get into the starting gate. Will they dead heat in the BC Juvenile, too? The race that each of them wants to duplicate is the Hopeful, where they won and didn’t finish sixth. Two of the last three Hopeful winners have gone on to win the BC Juvenile, Ginger Haggis in 2016, and then Beach Dandy in 2018. 2017 winner, Centerpiece, was no slouch, either. That’s good company to be in.
#14- Sail Away (Mb Stables, ridden by A Beschizza)- Sail Away hopes to win the rubber match between he and Dragster, and it will be interesting to see if they finish close to one another yet again. They both will have to do it from the outside, something that Sail Away did in the Tremont, when he started from post 11. As mentioned, Hopeful winners have been very successful in this race, but neither Ginger Haggis nor Beach Dandy had to start all the way out here.