Everyone had been saying the field for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) was evenly matched. Obviously Mike Battaglia, who makes the morning line at Churchill Downs, agreed.
Battaglia made five horses less than 6-1 and then allowed a gap, with five others between 12-1 and 20-1.
The post position draw did not seem to be a big factor in Battaglia's thinking, with the four longest prices drawing the rail and the three outside spots in the full, 14-horse field.
The Juvenile will be the second of the eight races Breeders' Cup World Championship races Nov. 4 as the event returns to the Louisville, Ky., racetrack for a record sixth time but first since 2000. The 1 1/16-mile race has a purse of $2 million.
Battaglia pegged the first two finishers in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) as favorites, but interestingly he made the second-place finisher the morning line favorite over the horse that just defeated him.
He set Circular Quay, one of three Todd Pletcher-trained entrants in the race, 5-2, while Great Hunter, who beat him by 1 ¾ lengths Oct. 7 at Keeneland, the 9-2 second choice. They were followed by Scat Daddy at 4-1, Principle Secret at 5-1, and Stormello at 6-1.
Circular Quay had won his first three starts prior to the Breeders' Futurity. The son of Thunder Gulch
, owned by Michael and Doreen Tabor, did not appear to relish the Polytrack at Keeneland and might have been a bit closer to the pace than he liked. Still, he closed ground to be second and got the nod from Battaglia to turn the tables in the Juvenile.
Garrett Gomez, who has ridden Circular Quay in his last two starts, will be back aboard as they break from post nine.
Great Hunter won the Breeders' Futurity in his first start around two turns and second wearing blinkers. Victor Espinoza rode him for the first time at Keeneland but Corey Nakatani will be up in the Juvenile in gate seven. The Aptitude
colt, owned by Paul Reddam, has been first or second in all six of his starts.
To show how tough the field is, Scat Daddy, who has won three of four starts, is the 4-1 third choice. Two races back he stumbled and finished second to stablemate Circular Quay in the Hopeful (gr. I) but then rebounded to win the Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont Oct. 14.
, Scat Daddy is owned by James Scatuorchio and Michael Tabor and will break with John Velazquez from the four post.
Principle Secret has done little wrong in three starts for trainer Chris Paasch, a neck short of being unbeaten in three races. Espinoza will ride the Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) runner-up for the first time. The Sea of Secrets
colt, owned by Charles Cono, will break from post six.
Stormello, who enters the Juvenile off a win in the Norfolk, will break from post two under Kent Desormeaux. The Stormy Atlantic
colt was made the fifth choice, but at only 6-1. His owner/breeder/trainer Bill Currin was one of the few trainers with horses in the race to be at the draw.
"I would have preferred three through five but I didn't want the one or far outside so I'm happy," Currin said. "Stormello has tactical speed and he's a fast-footed horse."$2 Million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. 1, Race 4, 1:10 p.m.), 2-Year-Old Colts & Geldings, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Street Sense (KY), Calvin H. Borel
2. Stormello (KY), Kent J. Desormeaux
3. Scat Daddy (KY), John R. Velazquez
4. King of the Roxy (OH), Edgar S. Prado
5. C P West (KY), Rafael Bejarano
6. Principle Secret (KY), Victor Espinoza
7. Great Hunter (PA), Corey S. Nakatani
8. Teuflesberg (KY), Robby Albarado
9. Circular Quay (KY), Garrett K. Gomez
10. Pegasus Wind (KY), Michael J. Luzzi
11. Got the Last Laugh (KY), Rene R. Douglas
12. U D Ghetto (KY), Mike E. Smith
13. Malt Magic (KY), Jon K. Court
14. Skip Code (KY), Patrick HusbandsEach assigned 122 pounds.