©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” takes us to the Bluegrass State Saturday where Brody’s Cause has been tabbed as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in the 32nd running of the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Racecourse. Post time is 4:30 p.m. ET.
Favored status for Brody’s Cause is new territory for trainer Dale Romans who’s previously sent the double-digit, long shots Medal Count (26.90-1, 2013), Dullahan (17.70-1, 2011) and Dawn of War (32.50-1, 2005) to the Juvenile starting gate.
However, this year Romans has a legitimate favorite.
With an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Brody’s Cause is the best-bred colt in this herd and he comes into this race with a 2-0-0 record in three starts, including a one-length win in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on October 3. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
BRODY'S CAUSE was unhurried early along the four path, swung into the six path in the far turn, kicked on and rallied entering the lane, drove past the leader and cleared the field in the final stages.
Keeneland track announcer Kurt Becker called the run of Brody’s Cause “a tremendous run from deep in the pack to pull the upset” and, indeed, it was exciting to watch him charge down the lane to get the win.
Brody’s Cause is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and descendants of that herd have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile five times (See stats below).
Giant’s Causeway, the sire of Brody’s Cause, was undefeated in three starts as a 2-year-old (all at 7-furlongs) – winning the Group 3 Futurity Stakes and the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre Stakes.
As a three year old, Giant’s Causeway raced 10 times and won five Group One races including the Irish Champion Stakes, International Stakes, Sussex Stakes, St. James’s Palace Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and he won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes. He also finished second in four races: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas and he finished second by a narrow neck to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Overall, Giant’s Causeway compiled a 9-4-0 record in 13 starts, winning from 7- to 10-furlongs, and he was the 2000 Cartier Racing Awards European Horse of the Year.
Brody’s Cause has the breeding it takes to be competitive on the Kentucky Derby Trail. He’s been training well at Churchill Downs and I look for him to run a good race.
Greenpointcrusader (4-1) is a full brother to Algorithms and he was a young colt I wrote about in my 2012 Kentucky Derby Outlook. Greenpointcrusader comes into the Juvenile for trainer Dominick Schettino with a 2-1-0 record in three starts, including a 4½-length victory in the one-mile Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on October 3. Here’s the video and chart call of the race:
GREENPOINTCRUSADER was bumped from both sides and steadied after being released from the gate, raced from off the inside, got let out approaching the end of the backstretch, gradually worked his way further and further off the inside during the run around the bend, continued to be maneuvered to the outside after stepping foot into the stretch, began the final furlong about seven wide, closed in, wrested away the advantage with a sixteenth to go and kicked away to win by a comfortable margin.
Greenpointcrusader, with a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, is a sire-line descendant of the Bold Ruler, Nasrullah Ancestral Herd and descendants of that herd have won the Juvenile a total eight times (See stats below).
Bernardini, the sire of Greenpointcrusader, did not race as a 2-year-old but at the age of three, he was a fast colt that won races from a mile to 10-furlongs.
He broke his maiden on his second start running a mile at Gulfstream Park in 1:35.57. That’s the kind of time I like to see a young colt run in a mile. Bernardini went on to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred, compiling a 6-1-0 record in eight starts with $3,060,480 in career earnings.
Notable races won by Bernardini in route to becoming the 2006 Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Male include: Withers Stakes (G3, 8-furlongs), Preakness Stakes (G1, 9½-furlongs), Jim Dandy Stakes (G2, 8½ furlongs), Travers Stakes (G1, 10 furlongs), Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1, 10 furlongs) and he finished second, a length behind Invasor, winner of the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, 10 furlongs).
Jockey Joe Bravo, who rode Greenpointcrusader to victory in the Champagne, returns to the irons and a bullet work out at Keeneland on October 23 should have him ready to run another good race.
Last year’s Juvenile winning team of trainer Keith Desormeaux and jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode Texas Red to victory in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), return this year with Exaggerator (6-1) who’s compiled 2-1-0 record in four starts, including a second-place finish to Brody’s Cause in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland on October 3. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
EXAGGERATOR was well placed early, made a bid nearing the quarter pole, split horses entering the lane, took over command and drew clear in the stretch but yielded late in the drive.
Exaggerator has the breeding to be competitive in this race but I’m not too keen on him for the win. With a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Exaggerator is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and that herd has won a record nine juveniles (See stats below).
Curlin, the sire of Exaggerator, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in earnings. Curlin won the 2007 Preakness Stakes (G1), finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). In addition, Curlin won the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
Desormeaux, who rode Exaggerator in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), returns to the irons and a bullet work out at Keeneland on October 24 could have him ready to run a good race.
Tale of S’vall, at 30-1 morning line odds, is a long shot I like in this race. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, he’s yet to live up to his breeding and he comes into this race for trainer Barclay Tagg with a 1-0-0 record in two starts, including a fifth-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of the race:
TALE OF S'AVALL gained a slight advantage after the start, was pulling on the bit while being guided over to the inside, cut the pace, kept at a slight distance from off the rail, and facing pressure from two others, parked out in paths two and three respectively, came under assault from the second place finisher as three-quarters was being reached, yielded soon afterwards and steadily backed away.
Tale of S’avall is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd. He has the breeding to be competitive in this race but he will need to return to his winning form when he broke his maiden at Saratoga Race Course on August 29.
Tale of Ekati, the sire of Tale of S’avall, was a versatile runner that won the one mile Jerome Handicap (G2) and the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1). He also won the 9-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a fourth-place finish in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
Another long shot I like in this race is Isotherm (20-1). He comes into the Juvenile for trainer George Weaver with a 2-0-0 record in three starts, including a win by a neck in the Pilgrim Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park on September 26. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
ISOTHERM was primarily two wide making his way to the end of the backstretch, got guided into the three path by the start of the run around the far turn, perked up when given his cue heading for the top of the lane, fanned out wider and wider in a search for a usable lane to take to the wire, eventually winding up in the seven path deep into the furlong grounds, kicked into his best stride after completing the maneuver, got hooked up in a three-way tussle in the late stages, forged to the front with about three to four jumps to spare and stayed there in game fashion.
Isotherm trailed eight lengths off of the leaders going into the far turn and he made a tremendous move to get into competition going down the lane to win by a neck.
He’s a sire-line descendant of the Royal Charger Ancestral Herd and three descendants from that herd have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (See stats below).
With an E Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Isotherm has a low score. However, when you factor in data mining analysis, he has the potential to be very competitive in this race. Data mining uses the processing power of modern technology to unlock secrets in the pedigree and quantify the influence of the Ancestral Herd.
Lonhro, the sire of Isotherm, was a champion racehorse in Australia that compiled a 26-3-2 record in 35 starts with $5,790,510 (AUS) in earnings.
Some more notable races won by Lonhro include 11 Group One races: the Australian Cup (2004), C F Orr Stakes (2004) George Ryder Stakes (2003, 2004), Caulfield Stakes (2002, 2003), George Main Stakes (2003), Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2003), Chipping Norton Stakes (2003), LKS MacKinnon Stakes (2002) and the Caulfield Guineas (2001).
Lonhro was selected as the 2002 Australian Champion, the 2004 Australian Middle Distance Champion, Australian Racehorse of the Year and World Champion Miler. In addition, Lonhro led the 2011 Australian Leading Sire List and in 2014 he was inducted in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Whether Isotherm lives up to his potential remains to be seen. However, if he repeats the form of his last two races, Isotherm should be competitive in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Since 1984, sire-line descendants of the Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer and Bold Ruler, Nasrullah Ancestral Herds have won the most Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Races.
Sire-line descendants of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd have won nine Juveniles: Tasso (1985), Rhythm (1989), Timber Country (1994), Unbridled’s Song (1995), Anees (1999), Street Sense (2006), Midshipman (2008), New Year’s Day (2013) and Texas Red (2014). Descendants of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd in this year’s race include: Exaggerator, Swipe (15-1), Unbridled Outlaw (15-1) and Ralis (12-1).
Sire-line descendants of the Bold Ruler, Nasrullah Ancestral Herd have won eight races: Capote (1986), Is It True (1988), Arazi (1991), Boston Harbor (1996), Vindication (2002), War Pass (2007), Uncle Mo (2010) and Hansen (2011). Competitors in this year’s Juvenile who are descendants of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd include: Greenpointcrusader and Conquest Big E (30-1). Nyquist (9-2) is a descendant of the Nasrullah Ancestral Herd.
Sire-line descendants of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd have won five Juveniles: Chief’s Crown (1984), Johannesburg (2001), Wilko (2004), Vale of York (2009) and Shanghai Bobby (2012). Competitors in this year’s Juvenile who are descendents of Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd include: Brody’s Cause, Tale of S’vall, Waterloo Bridge (30-1) and Rated R Superstar (15-1).
Isotherm is a sire-line descendant of Royal Charger Ancestral Herd. That line has produced three Juvenile winners: Brocco (1993), Answer Lively (1998) and Action This Day (2003).
Cocked and Loaded (12-1), is a sire-line descendant of the Man O War Ancestral Herd and no descendants of that herd have won the Juvenile.
Riker (15-1) is a sire-line descendant of the Broad Brush Ancestral Herd and no descendants of that herd have won the Juvenile.
This year, the top four finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) will receive double points under the Leaderboard points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine Kentucky Derby eligibility. The winner will receive 20 points while the second-place finisher will receive 8 points, the third-place finisher will receive 4 points and 2 points will be awarded to the fourth-place finisher. Here’s a look at the current leaders.
2015/2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Nyquist, 10, Doug O’Neill, $480,000
2. Greenpointcrusader, 10, Dominick Schettino, $300,000
2. Brody’s Cause, 10, Dale Romans, $300,000
4. Cocked and Loaded, 10. Larry Rivelli, $220,840
5. Riker, 10, Nicholas Gonzalez, $182,375
6. R Rated Superstar, 6, Ken McPeek, $78,200
7. Swipe, 4, Keith Desormeaux, $237,130
8. Exaggerator, 4, Keith Desormeaux, $220,000
9. Sunny Ridge, 4, Jason Servis, $175,600
10. Kasseopia, 4, Charlie Fellowes, 22,809
11. Hollywood Don, 2, Peter Miller, $96,000
12. Portfolio Manager, 2, Chad Brown, $50,000
13. Tizarunner, 2, Mark Casse, $44,903
14. Unbridled Outlaw, 2, Dale Romans, $14,100
15. Van Damme, 1, Robert Gorham, $31,290
16. Stickstatelydude, 1, Greg Burchell, $25,000
16. Sail Ahoy, 1, Claude “Shug” McGaughey, $25,000
18. Rare Candy, 1, David Hofmans, $24,000
19. Conquest Windycity, 1, Mark Casse, $7,050