Fayette County Looks to Rebound in BC Juvenile

The 21st Running of the G1 BC Juvenile

Friday, November 3, 2023

SA Race #14 $2,000.000

2YO Colts & Geldings 122 Lbs 11/16

Track Record-1:38.57 (Icicle-2005)

Stakes Record-1:41.46 (Divine And Broke-2014)

The G1 BC Juvenile will be held for the 21st time (9th at SA) on Friday.  The $2,000.000 11/16 main track event has drawn a championship-level field of 14 of the best juvenile runners in all of HRP and all will carry 122 lbs.  The resurgent Riggins Racing qualified the maximum number of runners for one stable and is well represented with his three entrants, and the powerful barns of Fractious and Mb Stables will each have two contestants (Mb Stables also has a 3rd entrant sitting in the first slot on the AE list).  Seven (Fractious, Jive Inc, Riggins Racing, La Canada Racehorses, Mb Stables, The Sidley Stud, D J C Racing Stables) of the 10 barns involved have tasted BC glory before.  Williams9, Royalty Stables, and Dmc Racing will be attempting to break their BC maidens.  Riggins Racing (2013) and The Sidley Stud (2016) are the only trainers in the race that can equal Triple K (2004, 2010) as multi-time winners of the G1 BC Juvenile, should one of their runners reach the wire first.  K.J. Desormeaux (2012, 2013, 2017) is the only HRP pilot to boot home three winners of this prestigious event.

Interestingly, the final G1 BC Juvenile leaderboard got it right as the 14 runners were the 14 top point getters.  It’s an excellent group, as it should be, and whomever wins will cement themselves as likely 2yo champion as well as secure 30 points toward 2024 KYD qualification.  Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line for this one, so let’s meet the field for this year’s G1 BC Juvenile:

 1   Imperious (Fractious/M. Franco): Broke his maiden at 2nd-asking before visiting the vet.  Returned in the G1 Pharoah where he would be the runner-up and earned his place in the gate for this.  Has the tactical foot to utilize this rail draw to his advantage and gets a positive jockey switch for this appointment.  Barn has been winning their fair share of these events and comes in here with both barrels loaded.

 2   Puppy Plex (Jive Inc/F. Pennington): Winner of the G3 Iroquois at CD in mid-September, he’s trained-up to this engagement.  Retains the pilot from that one and is riding a two-stake winning streak into this.  Appears to break well enough; however, he likes to settle into his stride before giving his best.  Public worktab is a little light, so have to think they’ve put him through his paces on the farm.  

 3   Gold Vault (Fractious/F. Geroux): Stablemate to the rail horse, he gives the conditioner a solid one-two punch in here.  Only the one win from six starts, but he’s been right there on multiple occasions against some of these very same foes.  Have to believe the jockey switch is a positive, and he should be hitting his best stride when the money is on the line.

 4   Lion Command (Riggins Racing/L. Saez): First of three combatants from this outfit has two wins from six starts this season with three other ITM finishes to his credit.  Debuted right here in April and that strong runner-up effort has proven to be no fluke as he’s never run a bad one.  Just missed with this same pilot at KEE and have to believe they’re itching for the opportunity to turn the tables here.

 5   Max Party (La Canada Racehorses/S.X. Bridgmohan): Speedball has been very prominent in the early portion of his races, and, with all of those being sprints, have to see him as a major pace presence here.  Just missed in both graded tries, but he is 2-for-2 locally, including an overnight stake, so he enjoys running on this strip.  Pilot could become just the 2nd jock to secure three wins in this event if he can get this one home.    

 6   Hot Boy (Williams9/Jo. Dominguez): Showed little in his first two starts but has come back a different beast since visiting the vet.  Reeled off consecutive wins after the equipment change, including the G2 SAR Special (DH); however, he hasn’t responded as well in his last two tries.  He was able to erase four lengths off of his deficit last time, so perhaps a more well-timed ride could aid him in making an impact here. 

 7   West Of The Bay (Riggins Racing/M.E. Smith): Barn’s 2nd runner was already a G1 winner when he was purchased for $480.000 in late September.  Didn’t fire his best effort in the first run for this barn, but this conditioner is a quick study, and you have to feel like he’ll have a better handle on what he has this time around.  Easy to envision him in a variety of spots early on, but, regardless, think he runs a good one here.  

 8   Falling For You (Mb Stables/P. Lopez): Broke his maiden in a FLSS before taking the G1 Breeders Futurity at KEE.  Colt has won his last two with vastly different tactics, so he’s another that will play a role in how this race is run.  Trainer has kept him intact even after failing against maidens on four separate occasions, so you know the barn is high on his potential, and he enters here full of confidence.

 9   Inviting (Mb Stables/F. Prat): Colt is drawn directly outside of his stablemate after failing to catch that one at KEE.  Did some excellent work sprinting, so it’s easy to give him a pass for that effort in his first start at a route of ground.  Interestingly, pilot from his last two jumped ship to the stablemate.  Could prove a costly move if he improves in this second match-up.

10  Lucky Brandy (The Sidley Stud/Mario Gutierrez): Shared the victory in G2 SAR Special, and, like the “other” winner, he has struggled in two runs since.  Conditioner knows what it takes to win this, so it’s a positive sign to see him give this one another shot here.  Should be in contention when the money’s on the line, but he’ll need to find his finishing kick.

11  Baffert (Royalty Stables/J.R. Velazquez): Colt was a daylight MSW victor before getting an ideal setup in the G1 Champagne.  Now, he was good enough to take advantage that day; however, he doesn’t figure to get that lucky twice.  Nothing wrong with the way he’s working, and the trainer has no excuses if he doesn’t get the job done here.

12  Ocean Storm (Riggins Racing/P. Husbands): Third, and final, entrant for this outfit, gelding won the G1 Pharoah here with a late rally last out.  Got a big fig for that effort and he has been screaming for the opportunity to stretch his legs since he arrived in the barn.  If he replicates that most recent effort, he’s strictly the one to beat.

13  Fayette County (Dmc Racing/J. Lezcano): Colt had a four-race winning streak snapped last out in the G1 Champagne; however, he did not get a similar trip to the winner, and he still almost got to the wire first.  Didn’t get any favors with this post, but he’s a two-time graded winner for a reason and have to have him on all of your tickets if you’re looking to cash.

14  Awad (D J C Racing Stables/J.C. Ferrer): Bashford Manor winner deserves a ton of credit for that effort at BEL last month as he was the only runner who stayed-on after being close-up early.  He’s yet to run poorly in six starts as he hasn’t been beaten by more than a length since his debut.  Draw doesn’t help his chances, but he may prove even tougher to get by this time if he can work out a trip.

15 (AE) Freakie The Ghost (Mb Stables/TBD): Would be the barn’s third entrant should he get in, and he’d be coming back on just two weeks’ rest after running here in an allowance on 10/21.  Hasn’t won since the KY Juvenile, but he hasn’t embarassed himself in any shape, form, or fashion when he’s entered the gate.

16 (AE) Jetstream Blues (Nakamura Stables/TBD): Broke his maiden at ELP in his second start before just missing in the $200.000 Sapling at MTH.  Unfortunately, hasn’t been seen since August, but there’s talent here, and he may have the speed to clear this group if he draws in.  

Final Analysis: True example of settling championships on the racetrack.  This one could go in any number of directions; however, removing the 11 for obvious reasons, we’ll call it 12-13-8 in a terrific renewal of the G1 BC Juvenile.  Good luck to everyone in all of your races this weekend!

Categories: BC 2023, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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