Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) drew a field of nine two-year-olds, with the winner likely to be christened as the early wagering choice for the Kentucky Derby next May at Churchill Downs.
There has been only one juvenile that has won both the Juvenile and the Run for the Roses, Street Sense accomplishing the feat in 2006.
Hansen won the 2011 running of the Juvenile, but faded to finish ninth in the Kentucky Derby this spring.
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This year’s betting favorite for the Juvenile is the Todd Pletcher trained Shanghai Bobby, who is undefeated in four starts, all in New York.
The son of Harlan’s Holiday, who was the lukewarm favorite for the 2002 Kentucky Derby (he finished seventh), the colt won the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park going a mile in his last outing.
There is one addition twist to this year’s running of the Juvenile. The Breeders’ Cup banned the anti-bleeding medication Lasix, which was used by eight of the nine starters in this year’s race. [ More Breeders Cup odds ]
The only colt that has not used Lasix is the Kiaran McLaughlin trained Fortify, who is the 9-2 third choice in the field.
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Play of the day for Saturday from the Breeders’ Cup:
Santa Anita Race 8 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile G1 (Post time 2:36 PT)
9 Power Broker 5-2
8 Fortify 9-2
7 Capo Bastone 15-1
4 Shanghai Bobby 2-1
Analysis: Power Broker overcame a tough post last out to win the Front Runner (G1) last out in his first go on dirt, drawing clear to win by 6 1/2 lengths. Two back on turf at Del Mar he was beaten just a neck in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf. The $360K purchase seems better suited to dirt, by Pulpit out of the stakes winner Shop Again ($122K). The colt came back with a bullet drill for the Baffert barn that has won this race twice, with Midshipman (2008) and Vindication (2002). The colt looks as if he should get a good trip sitting just off the pace and looks more than capable of moving forward off his last effort.
Fortify was no match for Shanghai Bobby in New York in his last two starts. However, this guy is bred to go long and this will be his first to around two turns. He is by Distorted Humor out of an A.P. Indy mare. I am trying not to let the Lasix ban influence my handicapping, but note this guy is the lone runner in the field that has not used the juice. The combo of no Lasix and two turns could help this guy turn the tables today, and he is going to offer more value than the Pletcher runner. McLaughlin is 2 for 21 in BC races, winning with Lahudood in the Filly & Mare Turf in 2007 and the Classic with Invasor in 2006.
Capo Bastone was third behind Power Broker in the Front Runner, beaten seven lengths. The colt lost some ground when he bobbled coming out of the gate, came with a four wide bid, drifted inward slightly and missed the runner up spot by half a length. It was his first go around two turns and first start on dirt. The colt has worked smartly since his last effort and looks like he is going to move forward, and he is going to get overlooked at the betting windows.
Shanghai Bobby is perfect in four starts, last out a career top winning the Champagne (G1) by five lengths. The question is whether he can handle to turns without Lasix and at a light price. He is out of an Orientate mare who was a stakes winner, and I am leaning toward him coming up short late. I just doubt he is going to offer much value for the top spot.
WIN: #9 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 4,7,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 4,7,8,9 / 2,4,7,8,9
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