TVG Analyst: Caleb Keller
Race 6 on Friday at Santa Anita Park will be the 13th running of the Coolmore Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Like we’ve become accustomed to, the Juvenile Turf is an overflow gate of 14 two-year olds. The morning line favorite is ARIZONA breaking from the #12 post for top European connections of trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore.
Even though #12 ARIZONA has lost his last three races he has been facing Europe’s finest young stars. Pinatubo and Earthlight are regarded as the two of the absolute top European juveniles. Arizona has been 4th, 3rd, and 2nd against these highly rated horses.
While Arizona looms the class of the field, there are a few things to look a bit more critically at when it comes to this son of No Nay Never. Potentially the most surprising stat going into the 2019 Breeders’ Cup is the fact that Aidan O’Brien is 0 for his last 42 starters in North America. His last win being with Athena in the Belmont Oaks back in July of 2018. Arizona is also a forwardly placed horse in a race where you could argue nearly half of this bulky field has some positional speed. Add in the fact that the favorite has only won two of the twelve runnings of this race and you might have the recipe to try to beat the top betting choice.
For my top pick I won’t go far from the wagering public. I think # 4 DECORATED INVADER is sitting on another huge effort. This colt did everything but win first out at Saratoga when his wide rally came up a bit shy to the talented Field Pass. In his second start Decorated Invader left no doubt. He placed himself in 3rd early and sailed to an open length lead in the stretch without even being asked for his best run. Then they took a trip to Woodbine for the Grade 1 Summer Stakes and Decorated Invader won in identical fashion. His margin was widening to nearly two full lengths at the wire and again, he wasn’t asked for his top gear.
In a race that has plenty of speed I’m looking for #4 Decorated Invader and jockey Irad Ortiz to lay back and save ground behind a hot pace. He gets Lasix for the first time and has shown a remarkable amount of talent in his first three starts.
My price horse in the Breeders’’’ Cup Juvenile is #5 VITALOGY. He was 3rd behind Decorated Invader at Woodbine. After that race they shipped to Keeneland on short rest and he nearly swooped the field from the 14 post. Vitalogy was still the dead last trailer with less than a half mile to go and nearly closed all the way to beat the forwardly placed winner Peace Achieved. It’s been a tough week for trainer Brendan Walsh as he had to scratch his top juvenile prospect Maxfield. A big run from Vitalogy however could make his trip to California worthwhile.
#4 DECORATED INVADER
Money Back Pick - #4 DECORATED INVADER
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