Europeans Invade for Juvenile Turf
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
Article Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Thoroughbred Racing Dudes
Several quality Europeans have come in for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America. They will look to extend the run of luck that past shippers have enjoyed: in the race’s 12-year history, Europeans have won this 10 times. Scheduled for race six on Friday, November 1, at Santa Anita Park, this will be contested at 1 mile for a purse of $1,000,000.
The full field from the rail out includes:
#1 Our Country – This colt has never had a bad start in four efforts, finishing no worse than fourth while always going 1 1/16 miles. After breaking his maiden at Saratoga in his second start, he finished fourth in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3) before running third last time out in the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
#2 Structor – It’s hard to knock this colt, who is perfect in two career starts. He won a maiden special weight towards the end of the Saratoga meeting, which led to another in the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) last time out at Belmont Park. Trainer Chad Brown seems to have yet another solid turf runner on his hands.
#3 Peace Achieved – Since stretching out in distance, this horse has looked extremely solid. He broke his maiden at Ellis Park in June, which led to winning the Gainesway Farm Juvenile Stakes at Kentucky Downs next time out. He extended his win streak to three after taking down the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland by a neck.
#4 Decorated Invader – The Christophe Clement trainee has won two straight coming into this event, including the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine last time out. That win, plus his impressive maiden special triumph at Saratoga, has him pegged as one of the likely favorites in this event.
#5 Vitalogy – Since coming to this country, he has suffered two close stakes losses. The first came at Woodbine, where he was third in the Summer Stakes (G1), before he missed by a neck in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. He closed with a furious late run in both of those races, which shows that he has plenty of talent.
#6 Graceful Kitten – After three starts at Gulfstream Park, this colt has a flawless resume. He won on debut by 2 1/2 lengths before taking the Proud Man Stakes next time out. Most recently, he took home the Armed Forces Stakes by 2 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion.
#7 Andesite – The Brad Cox-trained colt has run well in all three starts this season. After breaking his maiden at Indiana Grand, he shipped to Saratoga and finished third in the With Anticipation Stakes (G3). Last time out, he once again showed up with a solid performance, finishing second by a head in the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.
#8 Billy Batts – For an American-based 2-year-old, Billy Batts has a lot of starts on his resume, having raced six times. He has just one victory, a maiden special weight at Del Mar, but he has hit the board in two stakes events since then.
#9 Gear Jockey – He may still be a maiden, but his third-place showing in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) last time out at Keeneland proved that he can compete with stakes company. In his only other start on turf, he was second in a maiden special weight at Saratoga, losing by 2 1/4 lengths.
#10 War Beast – This California-based colt broke his maiden at Del Mar in his fourth career start, which led to a second last time out in the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He has shown plenty of early speed in his last two starts, so he could play a major factor in this race, one way or another.
#11 Proven Strategies – While still a maiden, this colt is no stranger to stakes foes. Two starts back, he was second in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga, then he finished fourth in the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine. He reminds a bit of War of Will, who contested this race as a maiden last season before having a big 3-year-old season.
#12 Arizona – Trainer Aidan O’Brien will bring this colt over from Europe after a solid 2-year-old campaign. His biggest win came in June at Royal Ascot when he took home the Coventry Stakes (G2) by a 1/2-length. Since then, his best finish in three starts came last time out when he was second in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G2) at Newmarket.
#13 Fort Myers – Another European shipper from trainer Aiden O’Brien, he has won two of seven starts, both over the synthetic surface at Dundalk. Before winning last time out in the Irish E.B.F. Star Appeal Stakes, he took his debut on April 24.
#14 Hit the Road – This colt is undefeated in two starts since moving to the turf. He broke his maiden at Del Mar by 1 1/4 lengths before winning the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita Park last time out. The Zuma Beach was contested at the same distance as this event.
Also Eligible: #15 Deviant
Like always, this race will consist of a solid blend of runners from Europe and the United States. For whatever reason, the European runners seem to have much better luck here, while American runners usually win the Juvenile Fillies Turf. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues this year.
For more coverage of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, head over to racingdudes.com.
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