by Tom Carley
Today the pre entries for the BREEDER’S CUP JUVENILE are handed into the Racing Secretary’s office in Lexington. Time to get BABYTALK cranked up and start season 2 in earnest.
Some things to remember as we look toward the Breeder’s Cup 2 year old races. Just a quick glance and I will have more thoughts as we get closer to month’s end.
WINNNING THE JUVENILE DOES NOT TRANSLATE INTO KENTUCKY DERBY SUCCESS The old adage used to be that whoever won the BREEDER’S CUP JUVENILE was the immediate favorite the KENTUCKY DERBY. However, that could not be farther from the truth. Only one horse has ever won the BREEDER’S CUP JUVENILE and then come back six months later and won the KENTUCKY DERBY. That was a year that both races were run at Churchill Downs. Instead of using the October 31 races as a predictor for future success, look at them as a way to crown the champion 2-year-olds of 2015. Doing this will allow you to look at each horse for what they are and also allow you to be flexible in your favoritism of certain horses as they grow and mature over the next 6 months.
Remember that these animals are the biological equal to teenage children and they are continuing to develop physically. Therefore, as the Derby preps occur remember that these horses change.
WHERE ARE THE BIG NAME TRAINERS? A quick glance of the leading contenders and “probable” entrants in the BREEDER’S CUP JUVENILE shows that the traditional trainers whose entrants have filled the starting gate have few horses in the field. Neither Todd Pletcher nor Bob Baffert have horses listed on the pre-entry listing. As you analyze the connections in the race, please take a few minutes and review the trainers who condition these horses. Just because someone is not a household name does not mean that he or she is not a good horseman or horsewoman.
WEST COAST LOADED A review of the 2 year old races this year shows that horses from California, to this point, have been superior to horses who race in New York & Kentucky. Trainer Doug O’Neil has shipped horses to New York and won prep races. Horses from Kentucky that travelled to California were beaten in 2-year-old races. The last Derby winners have been from California and I expect this trend to continue also.
This column is for you, the reader. I really want you to be a part of it. Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, comments, and items you would like explained in more detail. I thank each of you for taking the time to read my words, put up with my opinions, and share your love for our sport. Let’s all do our part to keep this game great and I look forward to sharing our journey all the way to Louisville.