Juvenile Winner Is Often Named Eclipse Champion
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Starting with Chief’s Crown in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 1984, the Juvenile winner has been crowned as the Eclipse Champion Two Year Old 27 times in 35 runnings. A 28th horse will try to complete the double in the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Park on November 1.
One of the greatest performances in Breeders’ Cup history, and possibly in any race, ever, was when Arazi won the 1991 Juvenile by five lengths. The French runner flew into Churchill Downs for the race and was sitting ninth early, then suddenly rolled past rivals early to take the lead and power away in the stretch.
In the slop at Belmont Park in 1995, Unbridled’s Song dueled brilliantly with Hennessy to win by a neck. He went on to be a prolific sire, with Breeders’ Cup winners Unrivaled Belle, Unbridled Elaine, Midshipman, and Liam’s Map to his credit.
Favorite Trick is the last two-year-old to be named Horse of the Year. The brilliant colt capped an unbeaten 1997 campaign with a five-and-a-half length trouncing of the Juvenile at Hollywood Park. That made him eight for eight on the year, earning him not one but two Eclipse championships.
Some of the bigger Breeders’ Cup upsets have taken place in the Juvenile: Vale of York (Ire) paid $63,20 in 2009, Anees paid $$62.60 in 1999, Wilko paid $58.60 in 2004, and Action This Day paid $55.60 in 2003.
Only two horses have won the Juvenile and gone on to Kentucky Derby glory. Street Sense broke an apparent jinx when he became the first to do the double in 2006 and 2007. It didn’t happen again until 2014 and 2015 when Nyquist remained unbeaten through both races.
In addition to them, there have been some truly brilliant horses to win the Juvenile. War Pass remained unbeaten in four starts when he romped home in the 2007 Juvenile, winning by 4 ¾ lengths for trainer Nick Zito. Uncle Mo, who would go onto glory as a top stallion, scored by 4 ¼ for Todd Pletcher and Repole Stable in 2010. Hs daughter Bast is the expected favorite for this year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won the Juvenile more than anyone else with five victories, but hasn’t won it since Boston Harbor in 1996. Bob Baffert has won it four times since then, with Vindication, Midshipman, New Year’s Day, and Game Winner just last year. New Year’s Day went on to be the sire of Maximum Security, this year’s winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) who was then disqualified from the win but came back to take the TVG.com Haskell Invitational. Baffert himself has a strong favorite for this year’s race in Eight Rings, who took the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on September 28.
For more information and to bet on the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, visit TVG.
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