Analyzing the European Shippers in the BC Juvenile Turf

Analyzing the European Shippers in the BC Juvenile Turf

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.

Cymric – He won the Max Patel Wealth Manager Conditions Stakes at Sandown, right features a very sharp right-handed turn, but also a very long half-mile homestretch. He also ran very well in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I) at Longchamp, which has a fairly large right-handed turn. In his only run on a left-handed course, he finished third in the Acomb Stakes (Eng-III) at York, but the turn at York coming out of the seven-furlong chute is so mild that it’s really more like a straight course.

Hit It a Bomb – Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Hit It a Bomb won his debut on the virtually straight seven-furlong course at the Curragh, but then had no trouble handling a left-handed turn at Dundalk. Notably, O’Brien’s Giovannia Boldini parlayed success at Dundalk into a runner-up effort in the 2013 Juvenile Turf.

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.

Waterloo Bridge – It looks as though he will draw into the race, and if he does, I believe this will mark his debut in a race with turns. The Daily Racing Form past performances indicate that his efforts at Naas and Navan came in left-handed races, but while Naas and Navan are indeed left-handed tracks, after looking at diagrams of the tracks, I believe Waterloo Bridge’s races were run out of six-furlong chutes.

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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