Friday at the Breeders’ Cup is the juvenile day where we see a mix of dirt and turf stars of the future strutting their stuff. It promises to be an awesome day with the home team fielding a strong team and the Europeans also sending some of their very best two-year-olds.
There are five championship races on Fledgling Friday and we had the final draw on Monday so all the fields are set and gate positions confirmed. Let’s take a look at each race and select our main pick and a likely long shot you can add to your exotics (exactas and trifectas).
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Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Picks
We kick off with the sprint on the grass and the Europeans have the favorite here with riding sensation Hollie Doyle taking the ride on The Platinum Queen (+200, 2/1).
However, the British raider has been drawn out in the car park at gate 12 and this will definitely hinder her chances, so our main pick is the well-named Speed Boat Beach (+600, 6/1), who is exactly that (full of speed) and broke the track record on debut at Del Mar in September, has since won well again, and is the one we like to give the chalk most to do.
The Europeans have Dramatised, who won the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot (Wesley Ward’s Love Reigns in behind) and Persian Force (+1600, 16/1), and it is the Richard Hannon runner we like as a likely long shot to hit the board. This colt has not been off the board in seven starts and has a good gate draw in 6.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Predictions
This one is an all-home team affair with some very smart fillies lining up here.
Peter Miller’s And Tell Me Nolies (+800, 8/1) has really stepped forward since being stretched out in distance after an OK debut over five and a half furlongs. She has won her last three, including two graded stakes races on the last two starts. She seems to have stamina in abundance and is sure to be a strong closer here.
Chocolate Gelato (+300, 3/1) from the Todd Pletcher barn is 2-3 and won the Grade 1 Frizette last time out and is the current favorite on the boards. However, her gate draw in 10 makes it difficult and she is the second favorite we go against on Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
A possible long shot of interest is American Rockette, who finished behind Chocolate Gelato, You’re My Girl, and Leave No Trace in the Frizette, but she broke last and that ruined any chance she had. A better break and the morning line odds of +2000 (20/1) would be great value.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Picks
We are back on the lawn here and father and son Aiden and Joseph O’Brien both have horses entered and it is dad Aiden who holds all the aces in that battle with Meditate (+350, 7/2) a strong selection for the Europeans. This filly is 4-6 and her two losses have come in top-class European Group 1s. She won the Albany Stake (Group 3) at Royal Ascot over six furlongs and has since gone on to win a Group 2 over seven furlongs.
The home team’s main hope looks to be the McGaughey-trained Pleasant Passage (+800, 8/1), who is 2-2 and looks like a filly of outstanding potential. She has shown a gritty attitude and is one that will be guaranteed to be battling hard as they come down to the wire. She recently worked a bullet over four furlongs at Belmont and comes into this in great shape.
Looking at horses with an outside chance, Xigera (+1600, 16/1) could be on the radar. She won her first two starts and was not disgraced when running in the Alcibiades Stakes last time. She seemed outpaced but was rallying when badly impeded and finished fourth and was placed third after Raging Sea was disqualified.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Predictions
Returning to the dirt, it’s the two-year-old superstar Cave Rock (-135, 20/27) who is the clear favorite here after two awesome performances in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and last time out at Saratoga in the American Pharoah. Both of those runs were wide-margin wins and it will take a good one to lower his colors here. Looks like a banker wager for many handicappers.
Blazing Sevens is also a Grade 1 Sportsbook last out when taking the Champagne on a sloppy track at Belmont, so keep a weather watch for that one.
For those looking for a long shot to include in exactas and trifectas, the 2-2 Sportsbook HURRICANE J fits the bill and it is interesting that connections pulled him out of last week’s Bowman Mill Stakes. A beautifully bred son of Breeders’ Cup Sportsbook Nyquist, he could be the one to really shake up the top two, Cave Rock and Forte.
Breeders Cup’ Juvenile Turf Picks
Back on the grass for the last race on Fledgling Friday and it’s the Juvenile Turf.
As expected, the Europeans have a very strong hand in this race with Silver Knott (+175, 7/4) Cairo (+600, 6/1) and Victoria Road (+800, 8/1) and it might be difficult for the home team to even hit the board here.
Victoria Road, who has a plum draw in gate 1, is the choice of top jockey Ryan Moore and she comes into this in top form after winning the Group 3 Prix De Conde in France last time. After her third win on the trot, she gets a slight preference to win it for the raiders.
Top of the list for the home team is surely Packs a Whalop (+600, 6/1) and he has certainly been doing that on the track, winning three from four, including back-to-back Grade 3 races. He has been working very nicely in recent tryouts at Saratoga and should not be underestimated by the Europeans.
Breeders’ Cup Predictions Conclusion
This promises a great start to Breeders’ Cup Weekend with some potential superstars on show in The Platinum Queen, Cave Rock and even Packs A Whalop, who is improving rapidly.
The beauty about these juvenile races is that some horses are slower to develop and we are sure to see a few long shots either winning or hitting the board across the first day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Make sure to check out our Breeders’ Cup Contenders piece and watch out for our next article looking at Breeders’ Cup prop bets.