Blacky the Bull, who is in post position 3, working at Churchill Downs.

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Blacky the Bull, who is in post position 3, working at Churchill Downs.
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Mathea Kelley

Secret Circle Juvenile Sprint Favorite

Son of Eddington made 6-5 morning line favorite for inaugural race.

 It is doubtful that Breeders’ Cup officials were expecting only nine horses to be entered in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, a race designed to attract the fastest one-turn juveniles in the country.

Not only were the entries at a minimum, but the morning line favorite, Secret Circle , was the co-shortest-priced favorite on the entire two-day Breeders’ Cup card at 6-5, the same odds as Turbulent Descent in the Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. IT).


Because of the short field, post positions did not hold much importance, so whatever it’s worth, Secret Circle will break from post 6 under Rafael Bejarano.


Second choice at 4-1 is the Steve Asmussen-trained Seeker, third in the recent Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont behind two Juvenile Sprint starters Vexor and Trinniberg . Seeker’s low odds no doubt were based in good part on his 6 ½-length maiden romp at Saratoga over a sloppy sealed track and the fact that he is ridden by red-hot Julien Leparoux, who owns Churchill Downs these days. The son of Hard Spun , however, drew the rail, not an ideal draw going six furlongs.


Trinniberg (post 4) also is respected at 9-2, having finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) in the slop at odds of 68-1. The son of Teuflesberg  is trained by Bisnath Parboo.


The reason for Secret Circle’s low odds and apparent dominance over this field is his pair of 97 Beyer Speed Figures in his only two career starts, which towers over anything in this field. The son of Eddington , trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, most recently romped by 5 ½ lengths in the Jack Goodman Stakes at Santa Anita, in which he blazed the six furlongs in 1:08.27. In his only other start he broke his maiden by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:03.40 for 5 ½ furlongs.


Secret Circle was purchased Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March 2-year-old sale for $165,000.


The main unknown factor in the race is the European filly Shumoos, who showed enough speed to finish second, beaten a nose, in the five-furlong Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot, and two races later winning the six-furlong Betfred Bonus King Sirenia Stakes (Eng-III) over the synthetic surface at Kempton. But in her most recent start, the Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I), she showed little, finishing eighth of nine. One of the reasons trainer Brian Meehan decided to bring the Pennsylvania-bred to the States is her pedigree (by Distorted Humor , out of the Storm Cat mare Wile Cat).


Shumoos, who drew post, 5 was made 15-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.


There should also be some support for Sum of the Parts (post 2) and Jake Mo (post 8), second and third, respectively, in the Kip Deville Stakes at Remington Park.


One horse on whom it is tough to get a handle is Holdin Bullets, trained by speed master Wesley Ward. The son of Ghostzapper , owned by Stephen Michael Bell, has only one start in his career, a maiden score at 4 ½ furlongs over the Keeneland Polytrack. He will break frm post 7 and be ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez. The other starter coming off a maiden victory is Blacky the Bull, ridden by Pat Valenzuela, who broke his maiden going six furlongs in his last start at Santa Anita following a fourth-place finish in the Afflebaugh Stakes at Fairplex Park.


Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint Nov 4 4:10 PM
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1. Seeker Julien Leparoux Steven M. Asmussen 4-1
2. Sum of the Parts Rajiv Maragh Thomas M. Amoss 15-1
3. Blacky the Bull Patrick Valenzuela Jeffrey L. Bonde 20-1
4. Trinniberg Cornelio Velasquez Bisnath Parbhoo 9-2
5. Shumoos Garrett Gomez Brian Meehan 15-1
6. Secret Circle Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert 6-5
7. Holdin Bullets Jeffrey Sanchez Wesley A. Ward 15-1
8. Jake Mo Mike Smith Allen Milligan 20-1
9. Vexor David Cohen John C. Kimmel 5-1