Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Trends
In the first six instances of this fairly new contest, four have been won by the European raiding party, two each by John Gosden and Aidan O'Brien. Moreover, all three Santa Anita prizes went through customs headed for Britain or Ireland. And in the two years Europe didn't win, they were second in the Monmouth mud, before striking out in 2010.
With the lasix ban in this juvenile race also favouring Europe, this looks a very strong race for the raiders.
However, the same note of caution for all turf races applies: jockeymanship is key, and there will be hard luck stories aplenty once more in 2013. Last year, Ryan Moore got a charmed split a furlong out, which won him the race.
Of the home winners, one of the two - Pluck - arrived via Woodbine, and that Canadian track seems to be a magnet for precocious juvenile turfers.
Other Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Trends to consider
Look for fairly experienced youngsters here. Pounced did win off just three starts, but the other five all had between four and six career efforts, and that seems optimal.
George Vancouver ran third in the Dewhurst on his previous start; Wrote ran third in the Royal Lodge on his previous start; Donativum won the Tattersalls Million on his previous start. Connection? All three were at Newmarket. Pounced, the other Euro winner, ran an excellent second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Moreover, Sleep Well, second in that first Monmouth Juvenile Turf, also ran second in the Royal Lodge.
Look to a recent Group-placed effort from a Euro prior to this.
The Royal Lodge and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere are two of the six Win And You're In (WAYI) races, and they've been responible for two winners and a second.
Key Prep Races for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf
As mentioned, the Jean-Luc Lagardere and the Royal Lodge are the two key Euro prep races. But note that no winner of that pair of qualifiers has won the Juvenile Turf. Rather, placed horses have bagged the spoils twice, and silvered once.
A third European BC Juvenile Turf trial is held at Leopardstown. The impressive Australia reserved his spot in California, but is unlikely to take up that reservation, instead having an eye to two British Classics early next summer.
There are three more WAYI races Stateside, and they are the Pilgrim Stakes, the Bourbon Stakes, and the Summer Stakes, won this year by Bobby's Kitten, Poker Player, and My Conquestadory. The last named followed up in the Alcibiades, itself a strong trial for the BC Juvenile run on dirt (though the Alcibiades is a polytrack race).
Nownownow, winner of the 2007 Juvenile Turf, had run second in the Bourbon Stakes on his prior start; and 2010 winner, Pluck, strolled home in the Summer Stakes en route to Juvie Turf glory.