Fields and post positions were announced monday for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup. For the third year in a row, Santa Anita will host the two day event which will feature 13 Breeders’ Cup races. The races will be televised on NBC Sports Network .
Let’s take a look at some of the key players in the two-year-old dirt races that will take place on Saturday, November 1st.
– Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies: $2 Million 1mile 1/16th Dirt. Post time 3:04 ET
This years Juvenile Fillies is scheduled to take place on Saturday. It is scheduled as the 4th race of the card and is the first Breeders’ Cup race of the day. The most compelling aspect to this race may be to see if Bill Mott’s Puca is every bit as good as her 16 length victory at Belmont on October 1st.
Angela Renee – You know the drill, Todd Pletcher enters another high priced well-bred two-year-old in a juvenile stakes race. You don’t want anything to do with them because you know they will take a ton of money. The problem is that you can’t toss them out because year after year Todd Pletcher’s strike rate is always 27–30%. This filly is no different, sired by Bernardini, with Deputy Minister on the Dam side (Pifer) Angela Renee is a horse that will have no problem stretching out. Which she proved in her last race, winning the G1 Chandelier in professional fashion. That race, which is a two-turn dirt race, was run at Santa Anita in late September. Making it such an important race because that day she beat three other horses that she will be running against on Saturday.
Top Decile – The “Rosie” watch will begin Saturday when she takes the mount on Top Decile. She will have her work cut out for her, as she will break from post 11. Top Decile was a game second last out in the Darley Alcilibaides Stakes at Keenland. Coming from off the pace, Rosie guided Top Decile from 12 lengths back to take the lead in a deep stretch before she was overtaken by a much the better Peace and War. The bad post may punch her odds up a bit, and if the track is fair then Top Decile may be able to improve in only her third career start.
Puca – In the one year that he ran, Big Brown was a polarizing horse that had a flair for the dramatic. As a sire he hasn’t displayed quite the same punch as only 5% of his progeny has stakes wins to their name. However, earlier this month at Belmont Park, the Bill Mott trained Puca did put on a show reminiscent of her daddy. Under a lite hand-ride she drew away to win by 16 lengths. Now if this is an aberration, or if she beat a field of future claimers remains to be seen. Her speed figure was a respectable but not outstanding 80, but she hardly broke a sweat that day.
- Feathered (8-1)
- Angela Renee (3-1)
- Danette (20-1)
- Conquest Eclipse (4-1)
- Cristina’s Journey (6-1)
- Take Charge Brandi (30-1)
- Majestic Presence (20-1)
- Puca (6-1)
- Hennythelovepenny (20-1)
- Wonder Gal (12-1)
- Top Decile (10-1)
- By the Moon (6-1)
– Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: $2 Million 1mile 1/16th Dirt. Post time 5:43 ET
This is the race that unofficially ushers in early discussions regarding the Kentucky Derby. Although it almost always proves to be too soon, it is nearly an irresistible starting point for any Derby buzz.
This was also the race that was going to highlight Zayat Stables talent colt American Pharoah. Unfortunately he was pulled from contention today by trainer Bob Baffert. Citing a problem with the colts ‘left front foot’.
According to David Grening of DRF, even the seasoned Baffert was distraught over this one. “He’s something special. I hadn’t had a colt like this in a long time. It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. He’s going to be okay, but it’s just the timing – it’s a killer. It’s the most disappointing thing coming up to a race for a scratch like this I’ve ever been through.”
With American Pharaoh out, here are some other key contenders that will be running.
Dare Devil – Bob Baffert wouldn’t want to run a horse in the Juvenile without Todd Pletcher entering his best challenge in this race. The two trainers consistently send out top two-year-olds and this year is no different. In his last race, Daredevil was every bit the 6-5 favorite in winning the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. The only question remaining with this one is whether he can transfer his form on a dry surface. He has won both his career races convincingly, but both of them were on sloppy tracks.
Upstart – Dare Devil’s Champagne victory would have been by 14 lengths had it not been for New York bred Upstart’s impressive second place finish that day. The dark brown colt from the sire Flatter, was step for step with Dare Devil down the home stretch, getting beat just 2 ½ lengths. Upstart does have a state bred stakes win under his belt, and may get over looked in the betting behind the top two.
One Lucky Dane – The “other” horse for Bob Baffert is One Lucky Dane, out of the sire Lookin At Lucky. One Lucky Dane was impressive breaking his maiden at Santa Anita and it was the first time he ran on dirt. His previous two races before that were at Del Mar on synthetic. One Lucky Dane earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 in his last race. Any improvement should serve him well here, as that figure seems to be the cutoff logical contenders in this race.
Carpe Diem – Todd Petcher’s other horse is a one million dollar purchase co-owned by Winstar Farms and Stonestreet Stables. Sired by the great Giant’s Causeway, the dam is Rebridled Dreams, a mare from the sire Unbridled’s Song. Unlike most seven-figure purchases this one has yet to disappoint, as he is 2 for 2 in his career. His last race was a walkover in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keenland. With John Velazquez up that day, he cruised home to a 6-length victory.
*Morning line is subject to change from defection of American Pharaoh
- Calculator (15-1)
- Private Prospect (30-1)
- Blue Dancer (30-1)
- The Great War (12-1)
- Lucky Player (30-1)
- Texas Red (20-1)
- Souper Colossal (12-1)
- Carpe Diem (4-1)
- Mr. Z (20-1)
- One Lucky Dane (10-1)
- Daredevil (7-2)
- Upstart (8-1)