Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Predictions, Top Picks, Odds (Del Mar)

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 JACK CHRISTOPHER 9/5
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J Ortiz C Brown
2 JASPER GREAT 15/1
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Y Fukunaga H Mori
3 OVIATT CLASS 20/1
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K Desormeaux J K Desormeaux
4 PAPPACAP 15/1
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J Bravo M Casse
5 DOUBLE THUNDER 20/1
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FPrat T Pletcher
6 AMERICAN SANCTUARY 30/1
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F Geroux C Davis
7 GIANT GAME 30/1
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J Talamo D Romans
8 BAROSSA 10/1
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J J Hernandez B Baffert
9 PINEHURST 8/1
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J Velazquez B Baffert
10 COMMANDPERFORMANCE 5/1
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I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
11 TOUGH TO TAME 30/1
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S Doyle C Davis
12 CORNICHE 5/2
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M Smith B Baffert

Best Bets for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$20 Win, Place & Show – Oviatt Class = $60

If you’re playing only to win, go with my long shot pick Oviatt Class (20/1).

Unbeaten potential stars, Jack Christopher, from the East Coast, and Corniche, from the West Coast, drew bookend post-positions on the rail and the far outside as they headline a field of 12 entered in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar.

Trained by Chad Brown, Jack Christopher has been ultra-impressive in winning his first starts in New York. In both a maiden race at Saratoga and then the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, the son of Munnings showed strong tactical speed before dominating his opposition down the stretch. The 8 ½ furlong Juvenile will be his first attempt at two turns.

Corniche has been equally impressive in his two starts at Del Mar and Santa Anita, Trained by Bob Baffert, the $1.5 million 2-year-old in training purchase has flashed his early speed in both, including a wire-to-wire win in the 8 ½ furlongs, Grade 1 American Pharoah in his last start.

Of the rest, there are numerous other potential stars led by Commandperformance and Pinehurst. The former is trained by Todd Pletcher and has rallied strongly in both his starts, which includes running second in the Champagne last time. While the latter is unbeaten in two starts in California for trainer Bob Baffert, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

Race Analysis

Jack Christopher

This son of Munnings has looked like the genuine article in his first two starts and deserves to go to the post as the favorite. Trained by Chad Brown, he appears to have everything you would want in a young horse. He has strong tactical speed, a decisive burst to take over, and finishes well. I do expect this race to provide numerous new challenges, though. He has never run at two turns before. He has never run in California before, and he has drawn the rail in a big field. He may be good enough to overcome all of that, but with a strong early pace expected, I am willing to see how good he really is, as the race favorite.

Corniche

With the speed he displayed in his first two starts, this son of Quality Road can likely get out of his far outside post and get to the first turn without having to go too wide. Having said that, it’s not an ideal post and one that will probably ask him to use up a little more early in the race than he would want. With other quality speed types like Jack Christopher and Pinehurst in the race, I believe this could be his undoing. Still, I have big respect for the talent he has shown in his first two races. He could be any kind and must be respected, but at the odds, I will take a shot to beat him.

Commandperformance

Trained by Todd Pletcher, this one is still a maiden. The good news is that in both his maiden race at Saratoga and then the Grade 1 Champagne, he finished full of run. Those two runner-up performances, and more specifically, the way he finished in each, have made him the third choice on the morning line. The odds are lower than I had hoped, but I believe the son of Union Rags has all the makings of a very good horse. With plenty of speed in here to set up his late run, I give him a big shot to break his maiden on the big stage of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Pinehurst

We really don’t know how good this son of Twirling Candy might become. After a hard-fought victory, while sprinting in his career debut, he turned it up a notch, winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at 7 furlongs by more than four lengths. Trained by Baffert, he’s 2-for-2 and a Grade 1 winner, just like the two favorites. On the downside, he’s never been farther than 7 furlongs, is also speed-oriented, and has not been quite as impressive as Jack Christopher or Corniche. He could surprise me, but I believe he is more likely to add pace pressure, rather than actually win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Barossa

The third from the Baffert barn, this high-priced yearling purchase took three tries to break his maiden. A son of Into Mischief, he did not do much in his debut while sprinting but came back with two solid efforts when stretched out to a mile. Another with tactical speed, he was no match for Oviatt Class two starts back but showed more improvement last time to earn his first win. He’s getting better, but with a similar running style to more proven opponents, I find him hard to recommend in this spot.

Jasper Great

Talk about a wildcard, this one arrives from Japan having had only one career race. I guess there is good news in that he destroyed the field and that it came going a route of ground. The Kentucky-bred son of Arrogate could turn out to be a very nice horse, but considering the travel, lack of experience, and not having any idea what he beat in that Hanshin maiden race, I feel like things are too stacked against him to expect a big performance against America’s best.

Pappacap

A graded stakes winner this summer at Del Mar, this son of Gun Runner has been beaten in his last two. He was fourth behind Pinehurst in the Del Mar Futurity and then second behind Corniche in the American Pharoah. I didn’t particularly love his trip in either, but I don’t know if that is enough to expect him to turn the tables on both of them. Perhaps if he sits a comfortable stalking trip, he can make some noise on the turn, but there are too many in here that I prefer.

Oviatt Class


After improving in each of his first three starts against maiden company, this son of Bernardini made up some solid ground to finish third last time behind Corniche in his stakes debut. Can he possibly do better this time around? Probably only if Corniche is pressured into a faster, more contested early pace. I actually see that is a real possibility in here, with horses like Jack Christopher and Pinehurst in the field. While some of the favorites in the field might be tiring down the stretch, I know this guy will be running late, and he might just get there. He is my long-shot pick.

Double Thunder

This one has finished ahead of Juvenile foe American Sanctuary in his last two while winning the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park and finishing second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last time. Both were solid rallying efforts, but neither prove that he is ready to run big against this crowd. I can’t completely throw the son of Super Saver out, but likely he is an exotics hitter at best.

Tough to Tame

The first of two trained by Christopher Davis, this son of Speightster rallied nicely last time to finish second in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs in his fourth career start. Before that he had won a maiden race at Arlington Park, and an allowance race at Indiana Grand. All solid performances, but now he is stepping up to face the best 2-year-olds in the nation. I am looking elsewhere.

Giant Game

After a mild rally to finish third in his career debut at Churchill Downs, this son of Giant’s Causeway showed more tactical speed in his second start, and proved best in a maiden race at Keeneland for trainer Dale Romans. While both performances demonstrate promise, it is probably too big a leap to go from strictly maiden company to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in California. I like others better.

American Sanctuary

The second of two from the Davis barn, he is the most traveled horse in the field. Friday’s big test at Del Mar will represent the fifth different state in which he has competed. He’s run pretty well in three-stakes races but has yet to win. Last time, he encountered plenty of traffic while rallying for fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland as a long shot. He will be a long shot once again but may be able to outrun his odds with some better racing luck. Florent Geroux will pick up the mount.

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How to Watch the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Race Information
What Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade 1)
Location Del Mar
Time Friday, November 5 — 7:50 pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBC Sports
Purse $2,000,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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