By Sean Morris

Jackie's Warrior is a heavy favorite in the Juvenile

By Sean Morris
Steve Asmussen trains the heavy favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Steve Asmussen trains the heavy favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile

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The $2,000,000 Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile is Race 10 on the card at Keeneland on Friday. Below is our Race Card with all the Morning Line odds and links to our betting partners BetAmerica, TVG and TwinSpires where you can join today and take advantage of their excellent sign-up offers for new customers.

Underneath you'll find our race preview written by our in-house handicapper and originally published here on HorseRacing.net as part of his Breeders' Cup Friday Picks column...

Breeders' Cup Juvenile 2020

7

Jackie's Warrior

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario /
  • Trainer: Steven Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
5

Essential Quality

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Luis Saez /
  • Trainer: Brad Cox /
Morning Line Odds
3

Reinvestment Risk

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr. /
  • Trainer: Chad Brown /
Morning Line Odds
8

Classier

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux /
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert /
Morning Line Odds
9

Sittin On Go

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Corey Lanerie /
  • Trainer: Dale Romans /
Morning Line Odds
11

Next

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Gerardo Corrales /
  • Trainer: Wesley Ward /
Morning Line Odds
13

Rombauer

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano /
  • Trainer: Michael McCarthy /
Morning Line Odds
2

King Fury

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: B. Hernandez, Jr. /
  • Trainer: Ken McPeek /
Morning Line Odds
4

Likeable

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: John Velazquez /
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds
14

Calibrate

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr. /
  • Trainer: Steven Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
Show All Runners

He’s going to be a very short price, but I couldn’t get around picking Jackie’s Warrior (#7) in the Juvenile. I’ve been a fan of this guy since his debut on June 19 at Churchill Downs when he won a five-furlong dash impressively, and all he’s done since is win two G1’s and improve with each and every start. Despite a sprint-oriented pedigree, Jackie’s Warrior has actually gotten better with added ground, which was on full display last time in the one-mile Champagne.

As is his wont, he broke sharply and led the field through fast splits while just gliding effortlessly down the Belmont backstretch, and after taking a stern challenge from Reinvestment Risk (#3) leaving the turn he shrugged that one off with ease before being wrapped up in the final sixteenth. Simply put, it was one of the finest performances from a 2-year-old in recent memory. He may not be able to control the pace in this spot, but he doesn’t get too headstrong in his races and should be fine coming from just off the speed if need be. I don’t know if he’s a bona fide Kentucky Derby horse, but everything about him screams Juvenile winner.

Jackie’s Warrior’s main competition figures to come from the Kentucky-based Essential Quality (#5). This horse was also an impressive winner of his last race, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity over this track. He also has super trainer and Keeneland mainstay Brad Cox in his corner, but he’s going to need to take a big step forward here to eclipse the favorite. While he ran very well in the Breeders’ Futurity, the horses that finished behind him aren’t on the level of Reinvestment Risk, and the 88 Beyer he earned in victory leaves him with at least a few lengths to make up. He wouldn’t at all be a surprise, but it does feel like he’s going to take significant money and is not going to offer much value.

Instead, my preferred underneath option in this race is Sittin On Go (#9). This horse also has some local flavor as he goes out for Dale Romans and, like Essential Quality, took a massive leap forward in his second start, which was a win in the G3 Iroquois on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs. That effort was intriguing for a number of reasons, though what stands out the most from it was his ability to take dirt and rally from off the pace. It was an incredibly professional effort for a second-time starter, and as previously mentioned he improved big time in victory, upping his Beyer by 30 points from his debut win at Ellis Park going five furlongs. Furthermore, Sittin On Go gave the impression that he’s going to excel at longer distances, as he only really hit his best stride in the final eighth of a mile. If he can move forward again here and a hot pace unfolds in front of him, he may have a realistic chance at posting the upset.

Main:  7     Backup (priority):  5,9

Order of preference:  7-9-5-2

Breeders' Cup Picks

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Get up to $250 in bonus funds

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Up to $200 in Sign-up Bonuses
New Customers Only,21+
Up to $200 in Sign-up Bonuses
New Customers Only,21 +