Future Stars Friday kicks off the 2020 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland with five races restricted to juveniles getting the betting festivities off to a quick start.
The five Breeders’ Cup races will be televised on the NBC Sports Network from 2 to 6 p.m. ET.
Following Future Stars Friday, we have nine more Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday. The two-day championship event culminates with the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) that will be a showdown between Belmont Stakes (G1) Sportsbook Tiz the Law, Kentucky Derby (G1) Sportsbook Authentic and top older horses Maximum Security and Improbable.
Friday’s races will help determine early favorites for next year’s classic races including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
Let’s break down the five Breeders’ Cup races on Friday:
Race 6 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
A full field of 14 in a mad dash at five furlongs on turf is a fun way to kick off the Breeders’ Cup but a tough race to wager on. Trainer Wesley Ward won this race last year with Four Wheel Drive and will saddle at least four that drew into the field. He has three others standing in on the also-eligible list in case there are any late defections.
Among his quartet, Golden Pal is the deserving favorite, currently listed at +175 at Sportsbook. He was beaten just a neck in the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot and returned home to win the Skidmore at Saratoga in his last outing. The day could start chalky.
Into the Sunrise is also sent out by Ward and is going to offer some value, currently at +2000. The colt cuts back from a route where he set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth in the Bourbon (G2). The colt showed speed in turf sprints two and three back. Two back he was beaten just a neck in the Soaring Free at Woodbine going 6½ furlongs. The Sportsbook Gretzky the Great came back to win the Summer (G1) in his next start.
Race 7 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
This is a wide-open race that has been dominated by European invaders, winning nine while the U.S. home team has won this race four times.
We have seen plenty of prices in this race and one to consider is The Lir Jet at +2500. He goes a route of ground for the first time in his career. He won the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot back in June and was beaten just a nose in the Prix Robert Papin (G2) in his next start.
He then was third in the Phoenix (G1) and last out finished evenly in a fifth-place finish in the Middle Park Stakes (G1) behind a nice runner in Supremacy. He is bred to go longer and in good hands with Michael Bell with this being his first BC starter.
Cadillac (+600) was fifth in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1), a key race, and Aiden O’Brien will saddle the highly regarded Battleground (+400), who won a Group 2 at Goodwood in his last outing.
Race 8 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
This race drew the smallest field over the two days with just seven entered, but while it lacks quantity, there is no shortage of quality among these promising fillies.
Princess Noor won the Chandelier (G2) by 8¼ lengths and is the +150 betting favorite at Sportsbook.
She is no cinch as she faces a deep group that includes Simply Ravishing (+310), the Sportsbook of the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland, and Dayoutoftheoffice (+400), who won the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park.
Simply Ravishing gets the call, and a long shot to toss in the mix is Vequist at +800. She ran a good second in the Frizette, beaten two lengths.
Race 9 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
While the Euros dominate the Juvenile Turf, this race for the fillies has been won 10 times in a dozen runnings by U.S.-based runners.
Trainer Chad Brown has won this race five times and he has a live long shot in Editor At Large at +1400.
This gal is going to have to overcome a tough post but looks as if she is going to be a decent enough price. She broke her maiden in her debut at the Spa at +120, then last out stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the Miss Grillo (G3) where the pace was not brisk and she just missed catching the pace setter by a nose for the runner-up spot. She gets a jockey upgrade to Javier Castellano.
The Wesley Ward-trained Campanelle (+400) is an obvious threat. She is undefeated in three starts, winning the Prix Morny (G1) in France in her last start. She kicked off her career winning at Gulfstream Park back in May.
Aunt Pearl (+275) and Plum Ali (+500) are logical contenders to be in the mix.
Race 10 The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
The day concludes with the Juvenile, which likely will produce the early betting favorite for next spring’s Kentucky Derby.
Jackie’s Warrior is currently at +150 and may end up the shortest price among the favorites in the 14 races of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
The colt has won all four of his starts, an impressive victory in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park going a one-turn mile in his last start. The Juvenile will be his first start going around two turns, but he looks up to the task.
Reinvestment Risk checked in second behind the favorite in his last two starts and may end up the second choice here, currently at +650, and the Chad Brown trainee does look as if he can move forward off his last outing.
If there is a big upset, it could come from Sittin On Go (+1000), who won the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs in his last outing, or King Fury (+3300), who won the Street Sense at Churchill Downs for his first stakes victory.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Breeders’ Cup for Odds Shark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.