Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2021 Fields and Preview

On Friday, November 5, the Breeders’ Cup, hosted at Del Mar Racetrack, will kick things off with a full day of racing featuring the brightest stars in the Juvenile division. Over the last few months, we have seen several two-year-old horses begin to assert themselves in the various Breeders’ Cup divisions and at Del Mar we will see the best of the best face each other to see who has an early edge on a Run for the Triple Crown or if there is another Rachel Alexandra. While the fields for each of the races are not finalized, we have a good sense of who will be running given the victors of the various Win and You’re In races as well as those who have accumulated points through their efforts in graded stakes competitions.

The TVG Juvenile field is stacked with potential as dominant horses from both coasts are set to clash. Corniche has won everything with ease out at Del Mar and Santa Anita while Jack Christopher has been romping to impressive victories at Belmont. While those two favorites are appropriately impressive, horses such as Pinehurst and Gunite have displayed grit and toughness in their victories while beating back other horses down the stretch. How each of these horses confronts adversity during the race will likely determine the winner.

TVG Juvenile Field (projected): 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

HorseTrainerQualificationsEarly Odds
Corniche*Bob Baffert1st at American Pharoah Stakes (G1)7-2
Jack Christopher*Chad Brown1st at Champagne Stakes (G1)5-2
Rattle N Roll*Kenneth McPeek1st at Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)7-1
GuniteSteve Asmussen1st at Hopeful Stakes (G1)10-1
WitTodd Pletcher1st at Sanford Stakes (G3)10-1
PappacapMark Casse1st at Best Pal Stakes (G2)11-1
Double ThunderTodd Pletcher1st at Bashford Manor Stakes (G3)
PinehurstBob Baffert1st Del Mar Futurity (G1)6-1
CommandperformanceTodd Pletcher2nd at Champagne Stakes (G1)6-1
American XperimentSteve Asmussen3rd at Del Mar Futurity (G1)
Classic CausewayBrian Lynch3rd at Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)20-1
Kevin’s FollyTom Amoss3rd at Hopeful Stakes (G1)50-1
Oviatt ClassKeith Desormeaux3rd at American Pharoah Stakes (G1)

For the fillies, we will get to see whether Echo Zulu will continue her dominance that has some people speculating that she might even make a run at the boys next year in one of the Triple Crown races. Her performances to date have been perhaps the most impressive from any division and her victory could be the beginning of a coronation of a super filly. However, Juju’s Map looked impressive last time out and Hidden Connection can handle the distance. There are serious questions about Baffert’s horse, Grace Adler, regarding distance after finishing a disappointing 5th in the Chandelier Stakes.

Juvenile Fillies Field (Projectect): 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

HorseTrainerQualificationsEarly Odds
Echo Zulu*Steve Asmussen1st at The Frizette (G1) and The Spinaway (G1)8-5
Juju’s Map*Brad Cox1st at Darley Alcibiades (G1)5-2
Ain’t Easy*Philip D’Amato1st at Chandelier Stakes (G2)9-2
Hidden Connection*Bret Calhoun1st at Pocahontas (G3)6-1
Grace AdlerBob Baffert1st at Del Mar Debutante (G1)10-1
Saucy Lady TJames Chapman3rd at The Spinaway (G1)
Dance to the MusicMark Glatt2nd at Del Mar Debutante (G1)
DistinctlypossibleChad Brown2nd at Darley Alcibiades (G1)
Elm DrivePhilip D’Amato1st at Sorrento Stakes (G2)
GerrymanderChad Brown2nd at The Frizette (G1)
TarabiCherie DeVaux2nd at The Spinaway (G1)16-1
A Mo ReayTodd Pletcher3rd at The Frizette (G1)
BicameralRichard Baltas3rd at Del Mar Debutante (G1)
EdaBob Baffert2nd at Sorrento Stakes (G2)
Electric RideJohn Sadler2nd at Chandelier Stakes (G2)

The division lost a little luster as several of the top horses who captured Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In races decided to stay over in Europe rather than come to Del Mar. The field still has a lot of quality, particularly at the top with Albahr and Tiz the Bomb, though Ken McPeek’s decision to potentially hold Rattle N Roll out of the TVG Juvenile may have an impact on Tiz the Bomb. However, Todd Pletcher’s Annapolis is a classy horse and while we don’t equate Pletcher with turf the same way we might Chad Brown, he’s great at getting horses ready for distances and big races.

Juvenile Turf Field (Projected): 1 mile (turf)

HorseTrainerQualificationsEarly Odds
Albahr (GB)*Charles Appleby1st at Summer Stakes (G1)4-1
Tiz the Bomb*Kenneth McPeek1st at Bourbon Stakes (G2)8-1
AnnapolisTodd Pletcher1st at Pilgrim Stakes (G2)6-1
Grafton StreetMark Casse2nd at Summer Stakes (G1)
Portfolio CompanyChad Brown2nd at Pilgrim Stakes (G2)
CoinageMark Casse1st at With Anticipation Stakes (G3)14-1
Degree of RiskEoin Harty3rd at Summer Stakes (G1)
SlipstreamChristophe Clement1st at The Futurity (G3)
Stolen BaseMike Maker2nd at Bourbon Stakes (G2)
Limited LiabilityShug McGaughey III3rd at Pilgrim Stakes (G3)
CredibilityMark Casse3rd at Bourbon Stakes (G2)

The Juvenile Filly Turf is a great field with some wonderful storylines. Wild Beauty displayed the heart and ability of a champion last time out at Woodbine when he tracked down Pizza Bianca and Eminent Victor in the stretch after having to navigate a lot of traffic. However, the heartwarming story will be California Angel and his trainer George Leonard III who upset the field at Keeneland in winning the Jessamine Stakes as a 17-1 longshot. California Angel is the progeny of legendary horse California Chrome who has turned out to be a highly effective sire for turf horses. The three Chad Brown shooters cannot be counted out given his reputation for preparing horses for the surface and Christophe Clement’s barn has had a fantastic season on turf of late.

Juvenile Fillies Turf Field (Projected): 1 mile (turf)

HorseTrainerQualificationsEarly Odds
Wild Beauty (GB)*Charles Appleby1st at Natalma Stakes (G1)3-1
California Angel*George Leonard III1st at Jessamine Stakes (G2)
Hello You (IRE)*David Loughnane1st at Rockfel Stakes (G2)10-1
Pizza BiancaChristophe Clement2nd at Natalma Stakes (G1)
Sail ByLeah Gyarmati1st at Miss Grillo Stakes (G2)
Bubble RockBrad Cox1st at Matron Stakes (G3)
Diamond WowPatrick Biancone2nd at Jessamine Stakes (G2)
Eminent VictorChad Brown3rd at Natalma Stakes
Kinchen (IRE)Chad Brown2nd at Miss Grillo Stakes (G2)
Gal in a RushChristophe Clement2nd at Matron Stakes (G3)
McKulick (GB)Chad Brown3rd at Miss Grillo Stakes (G2)11-1
TurnerlosseBrad Cox3rd at Jessamine Stakes (G2)
Mystic EyesTodd Pletcher3rd at Matron Stakes (G3)

Finally, we get to the smaller field, the Juvenile Turf Sprint, but never fear as this will fill up quickly. Horses such as Slipstream may drop down from the turf mile to the sprint division and horses like Zain Claudette and Brandon’smylawyer will also likely have resumes that qualify for the field. However, after the performance Averly Jane put on at Keeneland in the Indian Summer Stakes, they may just want to stay home. He looked every part of the dominant sprinter as he dispatched a strong field with incredible ease.

Juvenile Turf Sprint Field (Projected): 5 furlongs (turf)

HorseTrainerQualificationEarly Odds
Averly Jane*Wesley Ward1st at Indian Summer Stakes3-1
One Timer*Larry Rivelli1st at Speakeasy Stakes
Run Curtis RunMike Maker2nd at The Futurity (G3)
Biz Biz BuzzMichael Trombetta3rd at The Futurity (G3)

Get all of Matthew’s horse racing coverage by following him on Twitter at @failedtomenace, by subscribing to Amalfi Media’s YouTube channel, and following The Win Place Show podcast on the platform of your choice.


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