With Bob Baffert’s 2-year-old “superhorses,” Instagrand and Roadster, taking the fall off and bypassing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, one might think that this year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be boring.
There are still a few hotshot horses, though, including some from Baffert’s stable. They include Game Winner, who was an impressive winner of the Del Mar Futurity and is undefeated in three starts. The son of Candy Ride should be the odds on favorite to win.
One challenger to Game Winner will be Complexity, who won the Champagne Stakes October 6. The Chad Brown-trained horse is undefeated in two starts and could give Brown his second straight Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner.
One “Win and You’re In” contender that is somewhat a surprise is Knicks Go, who made it look easy in his wire-to-wire win in the Breeders’ Futurity October 6. Granted, no one went after him, which let the 77-1 longshot set slow fractions during much of the race, but he won by 5 1/2 lengths.
Tight Ten, trained by Steve Asmussen, was a contender for much of the Iroquois Stakes before giving way to Cairo Cat. He has only one win in three starts, but his other two defeats were second-place finishes. He’s a probable for the Juvenile; we’ll see if he matures to make it a race.
Mind Control is undefeated in two starts and was unknown when he won his last victory, a 3/4 length win in the Hopeful Stakes. The horse is trained by relative newcomer Greg Sacco.
Code of Honor won his maiden and then finished second to Complexity in the Champagne Stakes. He overcame a bad start in the race, went five wide on the far turn, and still managed to finish three lengths behind the favorite. A good start and better position could make a difference.
Finally, there is Tale of the Union, another Baffert-trained colt who won impressively in his debut at Del Mar. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile would be a huge jump in competition for the son of Union Rags, and it’s not known whether he will race in the Juvenile.
So far, we haven’t heard anything from frequent starters Nitrous, Sombeyay and Call Paul, nor is it known whether Iroquois Stakes winner Cairo Cat will race.