Friday 6th November 2020
A big welcome to my Breeders Cup Preview for 2020, coming from Keeneland this year it’s a meeting that divides opinion within the racing world but it’s always been one of my personal favourites. It also gives me an excuse to share American Pharaoh’s win in the Breeders Cup Classic again.
I’m going to start with the Juvenile action that kicks off on Friday and as ever will be sharing my idea of the winner of each race.
The first race I’ll be looking at is the 7.30 which is the Juvenile Turf Sprint, a Grade 2 contest over five and a half furlongs. I think this race is all about GOLDEN PAL for Wesley Ward and Irad Ortiz Jr. He was unlucky not to win the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the year when narrowly denied a neck by the rallying The Lir Jet. He’s had one outing since then where he bolted up in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga looking mightily impressive, I think he could very well be another top-class speedster for the Ward stable.
Up next is the 8.10 which is the Juvenile Turf over a mile and the first Grade 1 race of the weekend. This race has got a strong European presence, Battleground will be tough to beat for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, with Cadillac and New Mandate also worthy of serious consideration. I’ve actually gone with one of the home contenders though in MUTASAABEQ for Todd Pletcher and Luis Saez. He’s got a bit to find on ratings with the Europeans, however, despite his last run not being all that impressive on the clock, he made up a lot of ground in taking style in a decent Grade 2, which was at this track. I think there’s considerable improvement in him which we could well see here.
It’s more Grade 1 action next at 8.50 in the form of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies which is ridden over a distance of mile and a half of a furlong. There’s several unbeaten horses here and I’ve sided with Bob Baffert’s PRINCESS NOOR who’s the mount of Victor Espinoza. She won a Grade 1 at Del Mar on her penultimate outing by the best part of 6 lengths and then followed up with a eight length demolition of a Grade 2 at Santa Anita. I think she’s a serious horse, representing serious connections.
The 9.50 is the Juvenile Fillies Turf and is another Grade 1 affair this time contested over a mile. The unbeaten Aunt Pearl and Plum Ali will be big players here, however, it’s another unbeaten horse I’ve sided with in CAMPANELLE for Wesley Ward and Frankie Dettori. She’s won all three of her starts to date, with the last two coming from Europe with wins in the Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and a Group 1 success in the Prix Morny in France. I think there’s a lot more to come from her and she seems to get on very well with Frankie.
Concluding the day at Keeneland is the 10.15 which is the Breeders Cup Juvenile. A race ridden over a mile and half of a furlong and I think this revolves solely around JACKIE’S WARRIOR for Steve Asmussen and Joel Rosario. He’s won all four of his starts to date with the last two coming in Grade 1 company at Saratoga and Belmont, seemingly going from strength to strength there’s no saying where his limit lies having bolted up by over 5 lengths the last day. If turning up in the same form he’ll prove tough to beat.