This year’s biggest two-day horse racing event is right around the corner with great betting odds for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup set for Friday and Saturday at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky.
While the center-piece of the Breeders' Cup is the $5 million Classic, my favorite event to handicap is the $2 million Sentient Jet Juvenile. This race features the top up-and-coming thoroughbreds in the world and possibly the next Triple Crown winner in what will be a key first step on the Kentucky Derby Trail. The following is a look at a few of my top contenders to lay claim to this year’s title, as they'll sure lead the betting odds boards.
Breeders’ Cup Sentient Jet Juvenile Keeneland Race Track
The Juvenile is a Grade 1 stakes race for two-year old male thoroughbreds with the richest prize purse in North America at $2 million. The race is contested on dirt over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. The final field for this year’s Juvenile is still coming together, but right now there are 10 horses listed as probable on Horse Racing Nation’s early card. The horse with the highest HRN rating on the board is Nyquist at 8.21 and he also happens to be my top choice to win as well.
I have been following this two-year old Kentucky bred colt all summer long and he has yet to disappoint with four-straight victories. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist opened his racing career with easy victory in a Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita Park in early June. He went on to win the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar his next time out, and his biggest victory to date is a first-place run in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26.
The next two-year old I would put into the mix in the Juvenile would be Brody’s Cause. Trained by Dale Romans, this Kentucky bred colt got off to a very shaky start in his racing career with an eighth-place run in a MSW race at Ellis Park on Aug. 1. Some subtle changes in his training regime have yielded some dramatic results.
On Sept.11 at Churchill Downs, Brody’s Cause bested the field in a MSW race and he punched his ticket to this race with a stunning victory in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 3.
Conquest Big E
My third pick to work into a possible trifecta bet to add to your sports picks would be Conquest Big E. This two-year old Kentucky bred colt is trained by Mark Casse and his current HRN rating is set at 7.92, which is the second-highest number on the board among the probable horses listed for this year’s Juvenile.
He has been relatively untested in his two-year old campaign with a second-place finish in a MSW race at Churchill in early September and a first-place run in a MSW race at Keeneland over a distance of 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 2. One of the reasons I am high on this juvenile is a progeny going back to 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled.
Cocked and Loaded
Another two-year old to watch in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is Cocked and Loaded. He gained automatic entry into this race with a victory in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill, which was a Challenge Race qualifier. Trainer Larry Rivelli had to be extremely pleased with this run after his two-year old colt fell to sixth in the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga his previous time out.