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Baby Steps

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 10/6/2010 12:30:04 PM

Today we’ll try to bring some insight to the stars of tomorrow that will vie in the $2 million mile and a sixteenth Juvenile.

Since 1984 the Juvenile has been the eye of the storm in a look toward the Kentucky Derby. Chief’s Crown under Angel Cordero Jr. won the first running of the Juvenile but he fared poorly the next year as the repeated beaten chalk in the Triple Crown.

A true meteor won the Juvenile at Churchill in 1991 when Arazi made a scintillating move to dominate the race coming from 13th place.

Unbeaten Vindication was successful in the Juvenile and was retired after the race.

Street Sense became the first horse to win the Juvenile at Churchill and parlay to success in the Kentucky Derby.

As far as the other races run at Churchill, Is it True won the 1988 renewal getting an ideal 2-hole trip at 9-1. Timber Country was 9th early in the 1994 running before winning going away as the favorite.

Jerry Bailey piloted Answer Lively to success in this race in 1998 in a perfectly timed rider to cash as chalk.

Macho Uno kicked off this decade winning the Juvenile at Churchill, again by a nose under Bailey at 6-1 when the runner came from 5th and about 2 lengths off the pace.

The race is wide open this year.

Generally, you want a horse with tactical speed that has the pedigree to give him a chance to go a route of ground. It’s not easy for any horses to come from left field, never mind a young horse, so try to identify and isolate a runner that will be within striking distance most of the way.

If Boys at Tosconova did not race 5 wide in his debut, he may very well have won his first three races. He flashed brilliance in his second start winning by a dozen posting a 102 and was coming away late taking the Grade 1 Hopeful when earning a 90 figure.

His sire Officer carried his speed and his dam banked almost $150,000 and won going 9 furlongs.

Tosconova has star written all over him.

J P’s Gusto tasted defeat for the first time in his last 5 starts in the Norfolk on October 2 as he really never got a breather at any time in the race and had to settle for place money.

The winner, Jaycito, turned the tables on Gusto under a great ride by Mike Smith and got to expect him to be a legit threat in Kentucky. His sire took the Belmont Stakes, his dam won long on turf, and lone kin Meli won only start at a mile on grass at Gulfstream with a 78 Beyer.

Richard Mandella, who won 4 BC races on one day a few seasons ago, has been high on his trainee Acaffella but that $200,000 purchase had his chances in the Norfolk but could not close the deal.

The most astute bettors around will pay strict attention to how the Juvenile hopefuls mature as the big day moves closer.



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