Day 1, Friday, of the 2018 Breeders' Cup is all about the future. The Breeders' beaks and bigwigs have long scratched their heads about the best format for the overture to Saturday's main card and they may, finally, have hit their mark with the equivalent of Newmarket's Future Champions Day. Indeed, they're calling it 'Future Stars Friday'. Genius.
The card consists of five races, of which - notably - three are on the turf. Below are some race trends which may assist in sifting the fields.
Big kudos to Progressive Handicapping's Crushing the Cup (order it here, it's brilliant) and to the awesome trove of stats on breederscup.com, without which the below could not have been constructed.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
A new race, which was run for the first time on the undercard last year, and is now afforded full Breeders’ Cup status.
- First four home were all Euros last year, 1st/3rd coming from the very back of the field
- Wes Ward’s trio led then faded to 6th, 8th, 12th of 12
- Extra half furlong and longer straight likely to suit Euro sprinters
- Peak RPR’s of 105/110/98/104 for 1st 4 Euro’s home. Winning RPR at Del Mar:105
- Euro 1234 and 7th ran 7-8-6-7-7 (average 7) times. US 5th, 6th, 8th ran 3-4-3 times
- Draw: 9-5-8-7-10-11 (12 ran)
- Run style of 1st 4: Rear, midfield, rear, midfield
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
10 renewals so far, eight of which have been won by the home team. It may be more than coincidence that Team Europe scored only on the two occasions when raceday medication was banned.
- 7/8 US winners ran in Miss Grillo or Natalma, ’17 winner exited Jessamine
- US 8 Euro 2 (both Euro in the two non-Lasix years)
- 9/10 finished top 3 or within 1.5L of the winner last time out (exception ran in Miss Grillo)
- 9/10 won at 1m+ (exception, Flotilla, 1.5L behind in Arc weekend G1)
- All 10 finished top 3, or within 1.5L of the winner, in a Stakes race
- Frontrunners 1, Prominent 5, Late runners 4 (CD: both ran prominently)
- Layoff: 3wks-2 / 4wks-2 / 5wks-4 / 7wks-2 (Euro 4-5wks)
- Prior Runs: 2-5; 3-1; 4-2; 5-1; 6-1
- 80+ Beyer – 6/8 recorded 81+ (other 2 had only 2 starts)
- 2 Euro winners prepped in G1 races (1st, 1.5L 4th)
- Chad Brown has trained four JFT winners (all in California) , incl. three of the last four
- All US exacta: 5/10 All US trifecta in both CD renewals (Euro 4th both times)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
11 iterations of the Juvenile Turf to date, and a role reversal from the fillies' equivalent, with Euro entries having the best of it so far.
- Euro 7 US 4 (2-1 in Kentucky)
- 2-6 runs (9/11 had 3 to 5 runs - Prior Starts: 2-1/3-2/4-5/5-2/6-1)
- 3/4 US won at 1m+, only 2/7 Euro won at 1m (incl ’17 winner, Mendelssohn)
- 1st-3rd Fav 5 from 33 (11 renewals) – Mendelssohn was favourite in ‘17
- 11/11 Top 3 LTO or within 2L of winner
- 0 Front Runner winners (7 CLOSERS, 4 PROMINENT)
- 6 of the 8 Euro winners plus Hootenanny had recorded an RPR of 110+; 2016 winner 108 LTO
- 7/7 Euro winners placed in G1/2 LTO, or won ungraded stakes; 3 of last 4 Euro winners placed in Dewhurst LTO
- 4/4 US winners had won a Stakes and were placed 123 in all Stakes runs
- Euro winners 20-42 days absent (5/7 20 or 21 days); US 20, 35, 49, 68 days absent
- Pilgrim Stakes considered a key prep: got 1st win in ’16, Oscar Performance
- Only 4 WAYI races have produced Juv Turf winner; only ONE WAYI winner has won Juv Turf (Sum=Summer Stakes, Pil=Pilgrim, Bou=Bourbon, Cha=Champagne)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
One of the 'founder races', the Juvenile Fillies has been run every year since inception - that's 34 times.
- 14 of the last 16 had 3-5 career starts (exceptions, 2, starts, ’07 and ’17)
- Last 16, career runs: 2-2,3-6,4-5,5+-3
- Layoff: 29/34 were running within 30 days (31/34 5 weeks off or less)
- 27/34 (79%) had a Grade 1, 2 or 3 win, from c.60% of the runners. ’17 winner G1 2nd on 2nd 3/7 non-qualifiers placed in Frizette (incl. ’17 winner)
- 18/23 fillies improved Beyer when racing 7f+ for 1st time (excludes pre-Beyer BC's and winners with no 7f+ form)
- 90+ Beyer = very strong, 80+ 1 or 2 starts = strong
- 31/34 were top 4 or less than 4L behind the winner last time out
- Favourite is 18/34 (53%), 5/8 at CD (63%)
- 21/34 (62%) had NOT won at the distance
- "Look beyond the obvious when the trials were slow", favour lightly raced improver
Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Like its sister race, the Juvenile has been run since the first Breeders' Cup in 1984.
- 32/34 ran 123 or within 4L of the winner last time out
- 17 of the last 25 winners posted a new Beyer speed figure top LTO
- 16 of last 22 winners improved their speed figure racing at 7f+ for the first time
- Uncoupled entries (i.e. trainers with multiple runners, not coupled for mutuel betting purposes) won in 2010, 2013 and 2015
- 4/8 Juvenile favourites have won at Churchill Downs Breeders’ Cups
- Champagne Stakes and Breeders’ Futurity were responsible for 5/8 CD Juvenile winners
- American Pharoah Stakes (formerly FrontRunner/Norfolk) 0/8 at CD
- Prior runs of US winners since 2000: 2: 5 (including 3 of last 7), 3: 4, 4: 6