Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher have combined to win seven Breeders’ Cup Juveniles. There’s a strong chance that an eighth is on the horizon. Baffert sends out undefeated Cave Rock, the 4-5 morning-line favorite in the horse racing odds, for Friday’s race. Pletcher counters with Forte, setting up an East vs. West showdown for champion 2-year-old colt of 2022.
PP HORSE, JOCKEY, TRAINER, ODDS
- 1 Hurricane J, Joe Talamo, Paulo Lobo, 30-1
- 2 Congruent, Jose Ortiz, Antonio Sano, 30-1
- 3 Cave Rock, Juan Hernandez, Bob Baffert, 4-5
- 4 Forte, Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher, 4-1
- 5 Verifying, Joel Rosario, Brad Cox, 10-1
- 6 Blazing Sevens, Flavien Prat, Chad Brown, 6-1
- 7 Wound Up, Mario Gutierrez, Michael McCarthy, 30-1
- 8 Lost Ark, Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher, 20-1
- 9 Curly Jack, Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 20-1
- 10 National Treasure, John Velazquez, Bob Baffert, 8-1
Cave Rock’s Forte is Speed, with Plenty To Burn
Cave Rock 3-for-3 after winning the American Pharoah at Santa Anita on Oct. 8 by 5¼ lengths over stablemate National Treasure, earning a field-best 104 Beyer. Cave Rock lives on the front end. The Arrogate colt carved out a 46.82 half in the American Pharoah and a 43.65 half in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity in September.
Forte is 3-for-4 after a neck victory in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 8. “I certainly think it doesn’t hurt getting a two-turn experience and going over the same surface as they are going to run the Breeders’ Cup on,” Pletcher told Bloodhorse. “It could be an advantage. Hopefully, that will be in his favor because he has a super tough competitor in Cave Rock. He’s been outstanding in his races.” Forte has run back-to-back 92s, setting up for a potential move forward. The 1-1/16 mile test begins and ends at the sixteenth pole, a factor that didn’t hinder Forte in his come-from-behind victory over the Keeneland track last month.
National Treasure ran a 97 in finishing a non-threatening second in the American Pharoah. Distance shouldn’t be a concern for the son of Quality Road, who makes his third start. Baffert can break a tie with D. Wayne Lukas for most Juvenile victories by winning his sixth.
How The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Could Unfold
If Cave Rock doesn’t have company on the front end, this race is over at the quarter. That is unlikely to happen, though. Look for Lost Ark, also trained by Pletcher, to blast from the gate and make life difficult on Cave Rock. That would be a favorable situation for Forte, whose turn of foot around the final turn would be the winning move – just like in the Breeders’ Futurity. Blazing Sevens, who won the Champagne last month, will be flying late, and is capable of picking up the tiring speed and completing a juicy exacta when betting online or at the racebook.
- 4 to win
- 4-6 exacta
- 4-6-3 trifecta
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Race Information
- Race: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
- Where: Keeneland, Lexington, Ky.
- Day, Post Time: Friday, Nov 04, 5 p.m. ET (Race 9)
- Breeders’ Cup Stream: TVG