Breeders’ Cup Photo ©
With the Breeders’ Cup now less than a week away, I’m starting to go over the form of the European shippers for the juvenile turf races. In particular, I have been taking a close look at the racecourses that each horse has run at, searching for horses that have shown good form around tight turns similar to the ones they will encounter at Keeneland. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far for the Juvenile Turf:
Birchwood – He doesn’t have a ton of experience on turns, but from what we’ve seen so far, he may be better on straight courses. All three of his victories have come on straight courses, and his third-place finish in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Eng-I) last time out came at the Curragh, which has only a very, very mild right-handed bend early in the race. In his two races with turns, he finished third going left-handed in the Rochestown Stakes at Naas and fifth in the Vintage Stakes (Eng-II) at Goodwood over a course with sharp right-handed turn.
Shogun – His first three starts came on the virtually straight seven-furlong course at the Curragh, including a third-place finish in the Futurity Stakes (Eng-II) but he also ran well over the right-handed course in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I) (see replay above), finishing sixth by just 1 3/4 lengths.
Looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup? Sign up for email newsletters and special offers from The Turf Board and receive J. Keeler Johnson’s Top 10 Tips for Handicapping the 2015 Breeders’ Cup!