Applebee: Closer Look Santa Anita/Fri 11.3.23 BC Juv/BC Juv Turf
Happy Future Stars Friday!
Welcome to Future Stars Friday – we have five Breeders’ Cup races today featuring two year old fillies and colts.
Race 8 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Grade I
One Mile and a Sixteenth on the Dirt for Two Year Olds
- The Wine Steward: Just missed in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland where he was bested by Locked (92 Beyer). That narrow loss was preceded by three straight wins to start his career which included wins in the Bashford Manor and New York bred Funny Cide Stakes. Steadily improving speed figs puts this one right there and his ability to rate helps as well. Live at a price.
- Prince of Monaco: Undefeated Baffert trainee but hasn’t gone beyond seven furlongs. He has the Beyer top in the field (103) which he earned two back sprinting in the Best Pal Stakes at DelMar. Has a win over this track but she has not raced since September 10th as he skipped the local prep. Trainer Stat: Baffert with two year olds in their first route in a graded stakes race over the past four years wins at a 29% clip (8/28) but with a $2 ROI of only $1.03. The highest priced winner of the eight winning horses was 8/5. If he wins, he’ll beat me.
- Wine Me Up: Baffert speedster set the pace in the American Pharoah in his first route race but couldn’t hold off stablemate Muth (85 Beyer). Should be up front early on. Can he take them all the way? He will likely be sent from this inside post to avoid being shuffled back. Passing
- Timberlake: Won convincingly in the Champagne (93 Beyer) over a sloppy sealed track at the Big A. Showed good turn of foot when asked. Two back he finished second in the Hopeful after being rank early in an oddly run race. He was probably the best that day with a regular trip. Goes two turns for the first time. Win candidate.
- Ecoro Neo: SCRATCHED
- Locked: Ran down The Wine Steward in the Breeders’ Futurity (93 Beyer) after a wide trip after breaking from the outside post at today’s distance. That effort followed an excellent maiden win at a mile from the Wilson Chute at the Spa (96 Beyer) where he dominated. Has won at two turns, posted multiple Beyers in the 90s, and can rate. The Pick.
- Cuban Thunder: Euro has raced six times this year, five of which were on the turf. Last effort was on the synthetic in Ireland where he was a distant third. Breeding suggests sprinting on the grass, so I am not quite sure what they see. Passing.
- General Partner: Set the pace in the Champagne but couldn’t handle Timberlake in the stretch (86 Beyer). He’ll be under the gun if he is forward but he’s game and has shown talent. Minor award potential.
- Fierceness: Was very impressive when winning at first asking by eleven lengths sprinting over a muddy strip at the Spa (95 Beyer). Last time in the Champagne he jumped at the break, then ranged up on the outside of General Partner as they turned for home but he was done at the eighth pole and faded. Was it the extra distance, or the jump at the start? Mixed signals.
- Muth: Baffert trainee stamped himself as a leading contender with a dominate win in the American Pharoah stakes last month over this track (91 Beyer). All three races have Beyers in the low 90s. Outside post means he will need to be forward early and he’ll have company. He’s a Baffert running in a Grade I at Santa Anita, ‘nuff said. Underlay. Lean against.
- Noted: Consistent performer for Pletcher has primarily been racing on the turf including a narrow loss in the Grade II Bourbon last out at Keeneland. Sole dirt effort resulted in a win in the Sapling Stakes (77 Beyer) at Monmouth. Irad chooses this mount. Not fast enough.
Race 9 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Grade I
One Mile for on the Turf for Two Year Olds
- Air Recruit: Won the Laurel Futurity last out with a stalking trip (67 Beyer) in his first attempt at two turns. Delacour is great with two year olds but he will need to significantly improve his speed fig by at least twenty points. Passing.
- River Tiber: Aiden O’Brien trainee has apparently been targeting this race. Finished second in both of his recent starts behind undefeated Vandeek, who is probably the best turf sprinter in Europe. Hasn’t gone beyond six furlongs so there are questions about this one at a short price. Ryan Moore chooses this mount. Using.
- Tok Tok: Blinkers go ON for this Graham Motion trainee off a fifth place finish in the Bourbon Stakes. That equipment change should keep this one closer. In the Bourbon he had traffic issues in the stretch as he was buried inside. Will need to be much faster. Passing.
- Can Group: Two for two on the turf for Mark Casse including a late closing win in the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland (72 Beyer). Gets a slight turn back today to the mile. Will probably want to be a bit closer today. Not fast enough.
- My Boy Prince: Has only made two starts on the turf, both at Woodbine. He has a second in the Grade I Summer Stakes (75 Beyer) and a nice win at in the Canadian bred Cup Sauce Stakes (78 Beyer). Should set the pace and if he gets loose… Could be dangerous.
- Stay Hot: Broke his maiden last out for Peter Eurton over this turf course going today’s distance (77 Beyer). Takes the jump into the deep end off of that effort. Don’t see it.
- Agate Road: Was very good in the Pilgrim where he defeated both Fulmineo and Liam’s Journey. Was off the pace down the backstretch and made a sustain wide move to get the win (76 Beyer). Two for two routing on the turf. Increasing speed figs for Pletcher and Irad. Contender.
- Unquestionable: The second of three Aiden O’Brien trainees entered here. He was strong last out at Longchamp going seven panels where she stalked the pace and took the lead but was run down in the last hundred yards. Has shown consistent improvement in his six career starts and that last race was pretty quick with a 102 Timeform speed fig. Frankie Dettori picks up the mount for Ryan Moore who stayed with River Tiber. The Pick.
- Endlessly: Undefeated in three career starts for Michael McCarthy all three were at a mile and all three races were similar where this runner sat mid pack and had the best finishing kick of the field. In the Grade III Zuma Beach he was blocked in the stretch but found space and was much the best (80 Beyer). Could get a piece.
- Fulmineo: Was a good second in the Pilgrim behind Agate Road. That followed a strong maiden win at Colonial Downs. Prat moves to Can Group so Tyler Gafflione is in the saddle here. Will need an improvement to contend.
- Liam’s Journey: SCRATCHED
- Mountain Bear: Longshot Aiden O’Brien runner would be a surprise here. Last effort was on the synthetic and his Timeform fig jumped significantly as he won the Star Appeal Stakes in Ireland. But his turf efforts are well below what is needed to contend here. Passing.
- Grand Mo The First: Decent first attempt on turf last out in the Zuma Beach Stakes where he broke at the back of the pack but did make a sustained move to get for third. He was no threat to the winner that day. Demand a price.
- Carson’s Run: Won the Summer Stakes at Woodbine where he was last down the backstretch and came with a slingshot move seven wide off the turn to roll by them all for top prize (80 Beyer). Outside post poses a challenge, but he has shown real talent and has run well from the outside before. Underneath in Exotics.