Heading into uncharted territory, Monticule’s homebred Prussian was made the 3-1 favorite for the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Run as the second Breeders’ Cup race on the new Friday program, the $1-million race will be run at a mile Oct. 26.
In all, 23 2-year-olds were pre-entered for the Juvenile Turf, but only 12 will go in the first-ever 2-year-old Breeders’ Cup race on turf. Prussian will break from post nine.
Prussian will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who has been aboard the son of Danzig in both of his previous starts. He broke his maiden in his first attempt at Saratoga, drawing off by 6¾ lengths Aug. 17. He followed up that effort with a 1¼-length score Sept. 16 in the Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine.
Prussian, who is out of the Alleged mare Crystal Downs, is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Monmouth Park linemaker Brad Thomas made the Aidan O’Brien-trained Achill Island the 7-2 second choice. Owned by Susan Magnier, Achill Island is a son of Sadler’s Wells who ships in from Ireland off a strong runner-up effort Sept. 29 in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at Ascot.
The third and fourth choices on the morning line are also European invaders.
Strike the Deal, a son of first-crop sire Van Nistelrooy and Shadwell Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) runner-up, is 9-2 third choice. The Kentucky-bred is owned by a group called the Searchers and is trained by Jeremy Noseda. Noseda brought a colt by the name of Wilko over from England to win the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park in 2004.
At 5-1 on the morning line is Domestic Fund, another son of Sadler’s Wells. The Dermot Weld-trained colt won a minor stakes at Leopardstown, then ran second in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-II) at the Curragh. Both efforts were on yielding turf, which might come into play Friday at Monmouth Park with rain predicted Oct. 23-24.