Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Round-Up of Juvenile Colts

The summer racing season officially ended with the closing of the 2011 Saratoga and Del Mar racing meets. This year, there isn’t a decisive stand-out colt in the Juvenile Colt Division last year’s top two year old Uncle Mo. However, the colts in California appear to be more competitive than those in the East. To be fair, the major two year old stakes for colts at Saratoga, the Saratoga Special and Hopeful, were contested over a sloppy track, so a true gauge of talent was difficult.

The up-coming Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont on October 8 could decide the Eastern favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Union Rags, the runaway winner of the Saratoga Special, skipped the Hopeful Stakes, but is pointing to the Champagne.


The Grade 1 event could see the match-up of CurrencySwapPhotoCoglineseUnion Rags with Currency Swap, victor of the Hopeful Stakes (G1). Currency Swap’s trainer Teri Pompay has stated that the colt’s goal is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and she hasn’t made a decision to run in the Champagne Stakes. Another possible Champagne entrant is She Digs Me, the 6 ¼ length winner of the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park.

FortLoudonPhotoJimLisaIn the South at Calder, Fort Loudon is poised to become only the eighth colt to sweep the Florida Stallion Stakes after victories in the Dr. Fager and Affirmed Stakes. He is on track to contest the 1 1/16 mile In Reality, the final leg of the series on October 15. The colt is a son of Awesome Of Course, the sire of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly heroine Awesome Feather. Fort Loudon is a half-brother to Sexy Stockings, the dam of recent Forego (G1) winner Jackson Bend. Should Fort Loudon win the In Reality, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be strongly tempting to his connections, trainer Stanly Gold and Jacks or Better Farm, who incidentally, are the team behind Awesome Feather.

In the West, three closely-matched contendersDel_Mar_FuturityPhotoBenoit have arisen after a wild finish in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). Drill, the victor of the race, was almost knocked off of his feet due to the lugging in of Majestic City. Creative Cause was between the two and got squeezed back due to Majestic City’s actions. In beating the previously unbeaten stakes winners Majestic City, winner of the Willard L. Proctor and Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3) and Creative Cause, hero of the Best Pal Stakes (G2), Drill may be considered a slight favorite should all three vie again in the Norfolk Stakes (G1) on November 1.

SharedPropertyPhotoFourFootedFotosThe Mid-West has been fairly quiet all year, however this weekend saw the first graded events since the Bashford Manor (G3) was contested at Churchill on July 3. The Arlington-Washington Futurity hero Shared Property drifted out badly, but got up to beat a tiring Take Charge Indy by a length. Both colts could meet up in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on October 8.

Over the next two months, we’ll review the pedigree profiles of contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races on the main IMT website. 

Next week, well review the fillies that may contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.