The Dirt at Churchill Downs
Anytime there is a horse on the Kentucky Derby trail that is enjoying success on the synthetics or turf prior to May it will eventually lead to questions surrounding their ability to handle the dirt at Churchill Downs. Since Louisville, KY is where we will be again for this years’ Juvenile, those same questions are in play right now for a few of our potential contenders.
The field for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile consists of a wide variety of sophomore colts that are all lightly raced but showing signs of a promising future. What’s most important surrounding how little each contender has raced coming into this event (Average 3 -5 lifetime starts) is that the majority are only accustomed to racing near their trainers home base. For this reason, unless the Breeders’ Cup is being held at a major track near you, you’re likely going to be making your first trip across country. (more…)
As we get ready for the highly anticipated Breeders’ Cup weekend, 14 days and counting, a mysterious question surrounding the Juvenile still eludes me. First off let’s answer a few of the obvious questions surrounding the pinnacle race for 2-yr-olds. Yes, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile features some of the best 2-yr-olds in the world. Yes, the purse of $2 Million makes this race the richest derby prep. Has the Breeders’ Cup been held at Churchill Downs before? Of course, 7 times to be exact. And finally, Yes, the race is considered a formidable derby prep distance of 1 1/16.
So the question that many ponder; Since its inception in 1984, why has only one horse won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby? (more…)
In less than 4 weeks, 27 days to be exact, the healthiest crop of 2 year olds will take to the stage at Churchill Downs in attempt to be crowned the 2011 2-year-old champion. In certain circles the Kentucky Derby trail won’t begin until 2012 but for many others, the trail begins at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. For some Kentucky Derby champs of years past, the Juvenile later became a stepping stone to a successful 3 yr old campaign. So while it is only the beginning of a long and tiring trip towards the first Saturday in May, it’s never too early, the road has to start somewhere.
If you didn’t catch on to what I was hinting, this should sum it up: The journey to the 2012 Kentucky Derby is underway. It’s about as early as it can get and much can change before we even turn our calendars to 2012. The truth is simple though. There isn’t ever a year where horses in the Juvenile field don’t qualify for the Kentucky Derby the following spring. Which means there’s no doubt about it at The Derby Post; we will be watching this field very carefully over the course of the entire derby prep season.
On the first weekend in September is when the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, Win and You’re In series began for the 2 yr olds. With the conclusion of automatic qualifiers for the Juvenile this past weekend here is a list of those that secured their spot. (more…)