Bob Baffert has three choices in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Note: This piece was written before Jack Christopher was scratched.
Race 9 on the card might well be the most anticipated of Juvenile Day as a clash of east and west coast are set to face-off as Jack Christopter and Corniche are expected to be the two shortest prices in the Juvenile.
Our man J.N. is out at Del Mar and will be handicapping the action from California. As for me, well I'm here at HR.net Towers very much not getting any early-winter sun.
We both have thoughts on the race as written out below and you can bet with any of our partners via the Odds Grid and take advantage of any of the sign-up offers from AMWager, BetAmerica, TVG and TwinSpires...
In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf I’ve taken a big price in a wide-open race but here in the Juvenile I’m taking a big price and opposing the two short-price favorites.
That isn’t to say that I don’t think Jack Christopher (#1) and Corniche (#12) are not the two most rounded horses in the field. They have both shown real class on either side of the country. Jack Christopher defeated a really nice looking field in the Grade I Champagne up at Belmont. I like Wit and Gunite who disappointed that day but this Munnings colt impressed as much as they didn’t.
As for Corniche, it is always tough to overlook the best Baffert two-year-old. He looked comfortable enough in the Grade I American Pharoah but when you look at the draw - neither he nor his biggest competition will be happy. One is on the inside so can be blocked out early and the other is very wide.
This is partly why I’m playing a big price and that is Japanese invader Jasper Great (#2). This Arrogate colt was staggering in his debut and wowed with his work at Del Mar earlier in the week. He has very real speed but he does feel a bit immature. He needs to get to the front and be allowed to do his own thing but if he gets to the quarter pole at the front then that 15-1 price is massive. I like taking longshots, I really do so I’m rolling the dice!
Main: 1, 2, 12
Backup: 9, 10
Order of Preference: 2-12-1-9
J.N.'s Take ...
The “signature” event on Friday is this race … the Juvenile! Last year, Brad Cox’s Essential Quality wowed what crowd was on-hand at Keeneland. Now, it is time to anoint a new champion, who will automatically ascend to the top of the initial KYD Contender chatter—always fun.
In this spot, I am high on Chad Brown’s Jack Christopher #1 … a colt who was impressive in the Champagne S. (G1) at Belmont in early October. This team, which includes Jose Ortiz, seems particularly zeroed in. If he makes the trip out West in fine order, then it should be all systems go. Much has been made about Brown and his dirt horses, so I am sure the NYRA-based trainer (who is known for grass racing) is looking to get this one home.
I will be “Singling” this one, but if he scratches for some reason, I have to mention the presence of Mori Hideyuki’s Jasper Great #2. The son of the now deceased Arrogate, just absolutely romped on debut in his home country of Japan. Winning by 10-lengths at Hanshin Racecourse made many awaken and take notice. Trainer Hideyuki is looking to score Japan’s 1st BC win, and if this runner takes to the track like he did breaking his maiden … lookout! I also quite like Double Thunder #5 at a big price, 20/1 on the M/L.