Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Breeders Cup Juvenile Jinx

The first BIG day of racing I ever attended was last year's Breeders Cup at Belmont Park. I will forever look back on that event as the day I transitioned from a casual horse racing fan to the guy I am now that schedules family events around big races, makes bloodhorse.com my first web site visit of the day and has the call to the post as my cell phone ring tone.

My favorite race of that day was the Bessemer Trust BC Juvenile. I had been following First Samurai and Henny Hughes as they finished 1-2 in several of the 2yo stakes races. I was excited that the Stevie Wonderboy and the other horses I saw that day would be the horses I would follow through the Derby preps in '06. Then I found out about "the curse". No BC Juvenile winner has EVER won the Derby.

Well, we all know that the curse continues, but I wanted to see how the BC Juvenile also-rans faired in the Run for the Roses. I was surprised how poor the results are.

2006 - Out of 14 runners in the Breeders Cup, only 3 are still pointed to Churchill. Brother Derek, who came in 4th, is generally considered the favorite for the Derby. Superfly came in 5th and currently is number 21 on the graded earnings list. Private Vow came in 14th and is currently 6th in earnings.

2005 - This year wasn't bad for the Juvenile participants. The top three participated in the Derby. The other 5 did not. The winner Wilko came in 6th in the Derby. The place horse Afleet Alex finished 3rd in the Derby and then won the two other jewels. Sun King came in third in the BC and 15th in the Derby

2004 -A rough year for the Juvenile participants. Action This Day won the race and finished 6th in the Derby. Minister Eric placed and went on to 16th in the Derby. The other 10 horses didn't make it to see the twin spires.

2003 - If 2003 was rough, then 2002 was rediculous. The only Kentucky Derby participant out of the BC Juvenile was Lone Star Sky who finished 11th in the BC and 15th in the Derby.

I didn't go back any further. I think the point is made. A successful two-year-old campaign seems to have practically no bearing on triple crown aspirations. More specifically, BC Juvenile participants are a lot more likely not to run in the Derby than to run. Based on this new knowledge, I think Brother Derek will not win the Kentucky Derby. However, the only things I am certain of are 1) that the $2 I put on First Samurai in the future wager pool is gone forever, and 2) I can't wait to attend the 2007 Breeders Cup at Monmouth, NJ.

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