Majestic City Favored in Deep Juvenile Turf
The grade III-winning son of sprinter City Zip —It’schemistrybaby, by Meadowlake, comes into the championship off a second-place finish in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) on Keeneland’s Polytrack. Majestic City finished three-quarters of length behind Dullahan, who is entered in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Jeff Bloom, owner of Majestic City, said Oct. 31 he was pleased with the post draw, which put his horse dead center in post 8. He’ll be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
“Perfect spot in the middle; right where we wanted to be with him,” he said after the draw. “It is an honor (being made the 4-1 morning-line favorite). It is beyond an honor. It also validates our choice of races. We could have run him in any of three (Juvenile Sprint, Juvenile, or Juvenile Turf) and the fact he’s the favorite for this one tells us that we probably made the right choice.”
Majestic City, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) in July, is one of five graded stakes winners entered in the Juvenile Turf. The others are Shkspeare Shaliyah (post 3), European challenger Casper Netscher (post 7), Animal Spirits (post 10), Finale (post 13), and State of Play (post 14).
State of Play, the co-second-choice at 5-1 with Finale, is undefeated in two starts. He comes into the Breeders’ Cup off a victory Sept. 11 in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIT). Trainer Graham Motion was pleased after the colt’s work Oct. 29 over six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 on Keeneland’s main track, but was not so happy drawing post 14. Motion has two contenders in the Juvenile Turf that are owned by Team Valor International, which won this race last year with Pluck. The other runner, Lucky Chappy, also drew to outside in post 12.
“It’s pretty unfortunate,” Motion said after the draw. “The chance of both of them drawing to the extreme outside is pretty unlucky. I think Pluck came from the outside last year, so it’s not the end of the world.” Pluck did start from post 12 in last year’s race, bobbled at the break, had to avoid a fallen horse, was taken four wide in the final turn and still won.
State of Play will be ridden Ramon Dominguez, while Lucky Chappy will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
Finale, a son of Scat Daddy , is trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith. The colt has strung together three consecutive victories since breaking his maiden July 15 on the Belmont Park turf. Finale’s last race was the grade III Summer Stakes at Woodbine, where he defeated fellow Juvenile Turf contenders Excaper and Daddy Nose Best.
Caspar Netscher will be the first Breeders’ Cup starter for British trainer Alan McCabe. The colt by freshman sire Dutch Art has won two group II six-furlong sprints this year—the ITM Gimcrack Stakes at York and the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Caspar Netscher is 6-1 in the morning line and will break from post 7. Kieren Fallon, who rode him in the Mill Reef, has the mount.
“I am very pleased with everything,” McCabe said. “The horse is in good shape, and I am happy with the ground at Churchill Downs, which is good to firm in places.”
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The $1 million Juvenile Turf will be the second Breeders’ Cup race on Saturday, Nov. 5. Post time is 2:02 p.m. EDT.
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