Breeders’ Cup Friday Showcases Two Year Old Talent

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By Emily Shields

Eight stakes races highlight a 10-race card on Friday at Santa Anita, the first of two Breeders’ Cup World Championship days this weekend. The program opens with the $200,000 Marathon at 10:45am, with the first Breeders’ Cup race going as Race 5 at 1:12pm, Pacific.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) is up first and has a full field of 12. The American Pharoah son #3 Another Miracle (15-1) has won two of four starts including a turf sprint stakes race at Saratoga over the summer for Gary Contessa. #7 Kimari (7-2) was an ultra impressive winner of the Indian Summer at Keeneland under Mike Smith, but gets John Velazquez for this. #9 Four Wheel Drive (3-1) is the second American Pharoah in the race; Wesley Ward trains this one and Kimari. Irad Ortiz, Jr. is up.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) comes next. #2 Structor (5-1) is unbeaten in two starts for Chad Brown, including Belmont’s prep for this, the Pilgrim Stakes. #4 Decorated Invader (4-1) has won his last two, including the grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine in September. Christophe Clement trains for West Point Thoroughbreds and partners. Aidan O’Brien brought #12 Arizona (5-2), a group 1 placed runner in England last out.

The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) showcases dual grade 1 winner #6 Bast (7-2) against #1 Donna Veloce (3-1), who will try to step up from winning a 6 ½ furlong maiden race to a grade 1 routing. The Simon Callaghan trainee is by Uncle Mo, who won the Juvenile in 2010. #4 British Idiom (7-2) is also unbeaten, having taken the grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) has #9 Albigna (9-2) coming in from France and Ireland; she is three for four lifetime and a group 1 winner. #12 Sweet Melania (5-1) is Todd Pletcher’s big chance of the day after a five and a half length win in the Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland. Chad Brown has #13 Selflessly (8-1), who won the Ms Grillo (G2) at Belmont Park last out.

The big one of the day is the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), with the winner likely to be the early Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite. #1 Dennis’ Moment (8-5) is the talk of the town after two superb victories in Kentucky. #6 Eight Rings (2-1) was a smashing six-length winner of the local prep, the American Pharoah (G1) here in September. The rest are longshots, with #5 Scabbard (8-1), second behind Dennis’ Moment last out, worth a look.

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