2023 Breeders' Cup Juvenile

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At $2 million, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is the richest 2-year-old race in North America. The 1 1/16 mile race, restricted to male 2 year-olds, is often a preview of the stars of the Triple Crown races for the following year.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile

Purse:$2,000,000Grade: 1
Distance: 1 1/16 MilesAge: 2

2023 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Contenders

2023 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Field & Odds

Race 8 at Santa Anita on Friday, November 3 - Post 7:00 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 The Wine Steward 8-1 Luis Saez
122 Lbs
Michael Maker
2 Prince of Monaco 4-1 Flavien Prat
122 Lbs
Bob Baffert
3 Wine Me Up 15-1 Ramon Vazquez
122 Lbs
Bob Baffert
4 Timberlake 4-1 Florent Geroux
122 Lbs
Brad Cox
5 Ecoro Neo 30-1 Yuga Kawada
122 Lbs
Hideyuki Mori
6 Locked 7-2 Jose Ortiz
122 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
7 Cuban Thunder (IRE) 30-1 Tiago Pereira
122 Lbs
Adrian Murray
8 General Partner 8-1 Manuel Franco
122 Lbs
Chad Brown
9 Fierceness 6-1 John Velazquez
122 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
10 Muth 4-1 Juan Hernandez
122 Lbs
Bob Baffert
11 Noted 20-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
122 Lbs
Todd Pletcher

The Wine Steward

Although he lost for the first time Oct. 7 in the Claiborne Breeders Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, The Wine Steward won over support with a gritty runner-up finish to heavily favored Locked.

Passed in early stretch, he dug in and proved a stubborn foe, losing by just a half-length in a 1 1/16-mile race timed in 1:44.62.

"He got beat by a good horse. That horse had a long race already," The Wine Steward's jockey, Luis Saez, said of Locked. "(The Wine Steward) got a little tired but next time we're going to be all right."

That next race could come in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.

In the Breeders' Futurity, The Wine Steward stalked the pace on the inside before angling out leaving the second turn and bumping with Locked down the stretch.

"I think a very good horse beat us - that was it," trainer Mike Maker said.

Racing for owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher, The Wine Steward had won his preceding three races, all sprints. He began by taking a debut May 28 at Belmont Park, followed that race by taking the July 2 Bashford Manor at Ellis Park and captured the Funny Ciide Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 27.


Prince of Monaco

No 2-year-old through the summer in Southern California was more successful than the Bob Baffert-trained Prince of Monaco. A debut winner at Los Alamitos July 9, he subsequently won the Best Pal Stakes (G3) and followed that up with yet another score in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). Those are two major races for 2-year-olds during the summer months at Del Mar.

In each of his stakes victories, he settled off the pace before powering to lead in the stretch. He won by 4 1/4 lengths in the Best Pal, in which he ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.19. He took the Del Mar Futurity in more measured fashion, winning by three-quarters of a length over stablemate Mirahmadi, but was always under confident handling from jockey Flavien Prat. Prince of Monaco was clocked in 1:22.65 for 7 furlongs.

With the Del Mar Futurity part of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Dozen, Prince of Monaco earned a $30,000 credit toward entry fees in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.

The dark bay or brown son of Speightstown fetched $950,000 at auction at Fasig-Tipton last year.


Wine Me Up

A son of Vino Rosso, Wine Me Up is short on experience, but not on talent. After scoring on debut at Del Mar Sept. 2, he moved up in company for his second start and finished second to heavily favored stablemate Muth in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 7.

No match for that rival late, losing by 3 3/4 lengths, he nevertheless finished well clear of the rest of the pack, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place Be You.

Quick fractions in the 1 1/16-mile contest, in which Wine Me Up posted splits of :23.30, :46.49 and 1:10.22 did him no favors in a race in which Muth ran the distance in 1:42.45. The winner had the experience of one more start than him.

Bob Baffert trains both Muth and Wine Me Up.

"It is nice when you have two nice colts. (Wine Me Up) definitely earned his way into the Breeders' Cup," Baffert said.

Wine Me Up races for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, who buy horses at auction as Three Amigos. They acquired Wine Me Up for $300,000 from the McKathan Bros. Sales consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June 2-Year-Old and Horses of Racing Age Sale this year.

Sire Vino Rosso won the 2019 Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher the most recent time that Santa Anita Park hosted the Breeders' Cup. Dam Deanaallen'skitten, by Kitten's Joy, was a restricted stakes winner on turf for trainer Chad Brown.


Timberlake

Making his stakes debut in the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Timberlake's eagerness may have proved his undoing. Pulling at jockey Florent Geroux when behind horses on the backstretch and through the turn sapped some of his late strength and the Into Mischief colt was outfinished by 54-1 longshot Nutella Fella.

Following that runner-up finish, trainer Brad Cox elected to remove the 2-year-old's blinkers and the change in equipment resulted in a change in outcome in the Oct. 7 Champagne Stakes (G1). More settled than he had been a start earlier, he was angled out for the stretch run and caught and ran away from pace-setting General Partner for a 4 1/4-length victory. He raced a mile on a sloppy track in a swift 1:35.90.

"He's not the quickest horse out of the gate, but he always puts himself in a good position," Geroux said.

With the Champagne part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, he earned an automatic, paid berth into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.

"He's a young horse continuing to learn and I think he put it all together today," Cox said after the Champagne.

Though Timberlake has yet to race two turns or 1 1/16 miles, the distance of the Juvenile, he is out of a Lookin at Lucky mare, Pin Up (IRE), who won in even longer turf races overseas.

He is 2-1-0 in four starts with earnings of $375,600. Prior to his two stakes starts, he won a July 21 maiden race in quick time going 7 furlongs at Ellis Park, which followed a race there June 15 when he raced greenly and finished sixth going 5 1/2 furlongs.


Locked

Since stretched out in distance to routes, Locked has been unbreakable in two starts.

In winning the Oct. 7 Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, he became a top-level stakes winner and one with the paid, automatic berth into the Nov. 3 FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). The Breeders' Futurity was part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Walmac Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Locked raced 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.62 under Jose Ortiz. Circling rivals on the second turn, he outslugged The Wine Steward late to win by a half-length.

"He was hung out very wide on both turns. He didn't have a real easy trip, but he's talented enough to overcome it," Pletcher said.

A son of Gun Runner, Locked had previously won a mile maiden race at Saratoga in fast time Sept. 1 after a debut third at 6 furlongs there Aug. 5.

"He's a colt that we always felt like the farther, the better," Pletcher said. "He kind of got a little bit of two-turn experience in that sort-of two-turn mile race at Saratoga, which is always a difficult race. But I thought he was super-impressive at Saratoga, and he's just been a colt that's done everything right since Day One."

The Rosa Colasanti-bred Locked, who is out of the Malibu Moon mare Luna Rosa, was a $425,000 purchase from the 2022 September Yearling Sale at Keeneland.

Six horses have pulled off the Breeders' Futurity-Breeders' Cup Juvenile double: Tasso (1985), Boston Harbor (1996), Favorite Trick (1997), Classic Empire (2016), Essential Quality (2020) and Forte (2022).


Cuban Thunder

European-trained 2-year-olds are typically plentiful in turf races on Future Stars Friday at the Breeders' Cup, less so in the day's two major dirt events.

But this year, an Irish-trained horse, Cuban Thunder (IRE), is under consideration for one of those major dirt races: the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).

His starts overseas have come on grass at distances ranging from 5 to 7 furlongs, making him an unknown in a dirt route.

The 2-year-old son of Profitable (IRE), who Adrian Murray trains for Amo Racing Limited, is seasoned from a starts perspective, having raced on six occasions. Four races have come in stakes.

After breaking his maiden second out when racing at York May 18, he finished 10th of 20 in the June 20 Coventry Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot before going unplaced in two other group events, running eighth of nine in the bet365 Superlative Stakes (G2) July 15 at Newmarket and last of four in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (G1) at the Curragh.

Shifted to Dundalk's all-weather course in the ungraded Irish Stallion Farms EBF Star Appeal Stakes Oct. 6 at Dundalk, he improved to finish third at 66-1 odds. Racing in midfield early, he made up ground to secure the show late in a field of 14.

Bred in Ireland by Mighty Universe, Cuban Thunder is also out of an Irish-bred dam, Grace Rafaela, whose lone win came on an all-weather surface at Dundalk.


General Partner

After running fourth when debuting July 22 at Saratoga when he chased the pace before fading to finish 2 ¾ lengths behind victorious Valentine Candy, Klaravich Stables' General Partner has shown improvement in two follow-up starts.

Blitzing to the lead in his second start Sept. 2, the 2-year-old son of Speightstown controlled the pace and drew clear for a 4-length tally, racing 7 furlongs in 1:22.33. Stepped up to top-level stakes a start later during the Belmont at the Big A meet, his speed was again on display and the colt responded with a runner-up finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1).

Though the lost the 1-mile Champagne, one of the most historic major races for 2-year-olds across the United States, he ran well in defeat. He set the pace through swift fractions over the sloppy going of 22.49, :45.44 and 1:10.41, before fading to lose by 4 ¼ lengths in a race in which Timberlake ran a mile in 1:35.90.

Having run well in all three of his races, the Chad Brown trainee is under consideration for the Nov. 3 FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). If he competes, the speedy colt will be racing two turns and 1 1/16 miles for the first time.

Many of the progeny of Speightstown have often shown a preference for short- and middle-distance races, and General Partner's dam, Fleeting Humor, recorded both of her wins in sprints.


Fierceness

Fierceness, a 2-year-old colt by City of Light, looked the part of a potential stakes horse -- maybe even in a Breeders' Cup horse -- in a blowout maiden win in his debut at Saratoga on Aug. 25.

Racing in a 6-furlong race for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, Fierceness shot to the lead and drew away to a 11 ¼ -length victory over a sealed muddy track, running 6 furlongs in 1:09.56.

Owned and bred by Mike Repole's Repole Stable, Fierceness is out of the Stay Thirsty mare Nonna Bella, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Outwork. His dam won her initial two starts of a five-race career for the same connections.

Fierceness likely will need to perform well in graded company next to earn a date at the Breeders' Cup. Pletcher indicated after the colt's maiden win that a race like the Oct. 7 Champagne Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct could be on deck next.

The 1-mile Champagne was next but a sloppy sealed track was not to the liking of Fierceness, who finished seventh beaten 20 ¼ lengths.


Muth

High expectations have followed Zedan Racing Stables' Muth since the 2-year-old son of Good Magic topped the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2023 March Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training at $2 million.

He is living up to the hype. The Bob Baffert trainee heads into the Nov. 3 FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) having won two of three starts, including the Oct. 7 American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.

As part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In, he earned automatic, paid entrance into the $2 million Juvenile, which like the American Pharoah Stakes, is at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.

Racing that distance for the first time in the American Pharoah Stakes, Muth rated kindly under Juan Hernandez before powering to 3 ¾-length victory in the lane. The Don Alberto Corporation-bred colt completed the distance in a swift 1:42.45.

"Today I think it paid off because he relaxed really well and was travelling really well," Hernandez said. "Around the turn I swung out to get him in the clear and as soon as I did that, he passed his company in the stretch like in the morning."

Earlier efforts from Muth were a runner-up finish in the Aug. 13 Best Pal Stakes (G3) and a victorious debut at Santa Anita in a maiden race June 18.

Muth, out of the Uncle Mo mare Hoppa, is named after Aaron Muth, a longtime friend of trainer Bob Baffert and his family and also one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Baffert's stable.


Noted

Bred in Kentucky by the late Brereton C. Jones, Noted looks to keep the breeder's legacy alive racing forward into the year. Owned by Repole Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Noted has been victorious in two of four starts, including a triumph in Monmouth's Sapling Stakes in late August.

Noted began his career at Belmont Park with a second-place finish, sprinting 5 furlongs on the grass. In that event, the colt encountered a ton of trouble at the start, both brushing the gate and being involved in a bumping incident. After a wide journey beneath Irad Ortiz Jr., Noted rallied belatedly through the stretch to garner the runner-up slot.

Noted returned a month later at Saratoga as the odds-on favorite, racing 1 1/16 miles, this time over the inner turf course. With a cleaner start this time around, Noted and Ortiz settled into a solid striking position, prompting the pace to the head of the lane. Noted accelerated to the front when asked. The colt then showed a good amount of courage in rebuffing a resurgent foe late and registering a half-length win.

In the Sapling, Noted took on a strong field of juveniles on the dirt and found the winner's circle the hard way. With jockey Jario Rendon replacing Ortiz, who was committed to mounts at Saratoga, Noted raced wide around both turns conceding substantial ground to most of his rivals. Entering the far turn, Noted began to gather momentum, ultimately spinning six wide into the stretch. Through the final furlong Noted out-gamed the runner-up, Dornoch, a full brother to Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage, to post a 1-length victory.

After the Sapling, Noted returned to the turf in the Bourbon Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on Oct. 8 and finished a hard-luck second, beaten a nose in the 1 1/16-mile race.


2023 BREEDERS' CUP RACE SCHEDULE

Breeders' Cup Race Grade Purse Date
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies I $2,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile I $2,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Sprint I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Mile I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Distaff I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Turf I $4,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Classic I $6,000,000 November 4

What is the Breeders' Cup Juvenile?

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) finally produced a winner that would deliver a Kentucky Derby (G1) victory with Street Saver winning the derby in 2007. With only one Kentucky Derby winner to date, this $1.5 million race of the Breeders' Cup thoroughbred championship events is regarded more as a measure of 2-year-old form, as it is basically intended to be among the Breeders' Cup races, and less as a reliable yardstick of classic potential.

In the past 20-plus years, the Juvenile has only been able to field one Derby winner, and has only produced a couple classic winners - Preakness Stakes (G1) 1995 victor Timber Country and 2007 victor Curlin, have in fact, won this race. With regularity, however, the Derby winner and other classic winners have been in the beaten Juvenile field, suggesting that classic winners were either not sufficiently precocious to win the Juvenile or found its distance to be too short for their best efforts. The Breeder's Cup Juvenile has been run at 1 1/16 miles since 2003. It was originally a 1-mile race in 1984, 1985, and 1987, and was run at 1 1/8 miles in 2002.

Chief's Crown won in the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile held in 1984 at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. He finished second or third in all of the following year's classics, as well as triumphed in the Travers Stakes (G1) against 3 year olds and the Marlboro Cup Handicap (G1) against older horses. He had the 3 year old title and Horse of the Year honors in his sights until he finished fourth as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Classic (G1) in 1985.

Coming in at second to Chief's Crown in the 1984 Juvenile was Tank's Prospect, who won the following year's Preakness Stakes. Tiring to finish third, beaten only by 1 1/2 lengths, was Spend a Buck, the Derby 1985 winner, who was voted 3 year old male champion and Horse of the Year.

Subsequent editions of the Breeder's Cup Juvenile would see this pattern being repeated. Alysheba, finishing third in the 1986 Juvenile, won the following year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was also voted 3 year old male champion. Bet Twice, who finished fourth in that same year's Juvenile, triumphed over Alysheba at the Belmont Stakes (G1) in the next year.

Pine Bluff, who placed seventh in the 1991 Juvenile, won the following year's Preakness Stakes. Sea Hero, seventh in the 1992 Juvenile, won the 1993 Kentucky Derby. Tabasco Cat, finishing third to Brocco in the 1993 Juvenile, became a dual classic winner in 1994 for D. Wayne Lukas, the leading trainer of Juvenile winners. Point Given, who came off a close second-place finish in the 2000 Juvenile, won the 2001 Preakness, Belmont, and Travers Stakes. Retired with an injury after Travers, Point Given was voted Horse of the Year and champion 3 year old male in 2001.

The Juvenile event of the Breeders' Cup races held in 1991 at Churchill Downs was arguably the most memorable running of the series.

Losing an equally close decision was the best sire of the late 1990s, Storm Cat, who simply failed to last the one-mile distance of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1985 at Aqueduct. Capote, winner of the 1986 Juvenile, would never win again but would become a successful sire, getting 1996 Juvenile winner Boston Harbor.

The Juvenile event of the Breeders' Cup races held in 1991 at Churchill Downs was arguably the most memorable running of the series. French-trained Arazi broke from the outside post position, blew by the field on the final turn, and romped to a 5-length victory. Voted 2 year old male champion off that one North American start, Arazi was hampered by knee problems early in his 3 year old season. He finished eighth as the favorite in the 1992 Kentucky Derby.

Similarly, Favorite Trick was voted Horse of the Year in 1997 following an overwhelming victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. His contemporaries, however, would catch up with him at age three, leaving him to finish eighth in the Kentucky Derby.

At the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Wilko snagged the championship at 28.30 odds with jockey Lanfranco Dettori. 2005 Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes champ Afleet Alex won second at 3.00 odds with jockey Jeremy Rose, and Sun King placed third at 6.90 odds with jockey Edgar Prado.

In 2003, 27-1 longshot Action This Day made another memorable finish at the Juvenile event of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships when he shocked the crowd with a last to first run. Jockey David Flores kept him back in last early, then on the turn, split rivals passing seven horses in upper stretch. Inside the final furlong, Action This Day collared his stablemate 9-1 shot Minister Eric and won going away by 2 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:43 3/5.

Recent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time
2020 Essential Quality Luis Saez Brad Cox 1:42.09
2019 Storm the Court Flavien Prat Peter Eurton 1:44.93
2018 Game Winner Joel Rosario Bob Baffert 1:43.67
2017 Good Magic Jose Ortiz Chad Brown 1:43.34
2016 Classic Empire Julien Leparoux Mark Casse 1:42.60
2015 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill 1:43.79
2014 Texas Red Kent Desormeaux Keith Desormeaux 1:41.91
2013 New Year's Day Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 1:43.52
2012 Shanghai Bobby Rosie Napravnik Todd Pletcher 1:44.58
2011 Hansen Ramon Dominguez Michael Maker 1:44.44
2010 Uncle Mo John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 1:42.60
2009 Vale of York Ahmed Ajtebi Saeed bin Suroor 1:43.48
2008 Midshipman Garrett Gomez Bob Baffert 1:40.94
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