Wertheimer and Frere’s impressive homebred Interactif will be the likely favorite for the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita, but the son of Broken Vow will have to defeat what is expected to be a full field in the one-mile event.
Twenty horses were pre-entered in the Juvenile Turf, including 17 with first preference in the race. Of the 20, seven are European invaders, including Pounced, Vale of York, and Viscount Nelson, all runner-up in group I or II events their last time out. The Juvenile Turf will be the first Breeders’ Cup race Nov. 7, with a scheduled post time of 10:45 a.m. PDT.
Interactif has been exceptional in his last two efforts, winning the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 4 at Saratoga by 4 1/4 lengths in his turf debut, and then rallying from well off the pace and overcoming a wide trip to bag the Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 11 at Keeneland over a yielding turf course. The bay colt, with wins in three of his four lifetime starts, broke his maiden in July on the Monmouth Park dirt.
“We’ll go into the race with some confidence knowing that he has overcome adversity and can handle different types of ground,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “He’s handy and has a quick turn of foot. He can settle or lay close to the pace. He’s a versatile colt.
“The European contingent will be strong, but we’re happy with our position.”
Pletcher, who also cross-entered Eskendereya in the race but could send that colt to the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), is expected to assign the mount to Kent Desormeaux. Interactif, bred in Kentucky and out of the Broad Brush mare Broad Pennant, is scheduled to ship from Belmont to Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Other top North American-based contenders are Bridgetown and Becky's Kitten, who ran one-two, respectively, in Woodbine’s Sept. 19 Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT), and Codoy, runner-up in the Bourbon. Ken and Sarah Ramsey are the owners/breeders of Becky’s Kitten, as well as stakes winners Dean's Kitten and Kera's Kitten. All three are by first year sire Kitten's Joy, who was runner-up in the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
The top European contender could be Viscount Nelson, from the barn of leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. The son of Giant’s Causeway won two of his first three starts in Ireland, including the Hurricane Run Stakes at Tipperary, and was runner-up by three parts of length in the Sept. 12 DFS Champagne Stakes (Eng-II) at Doncaster. Johnny Murtagh is his regular rider.
$1 Million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT, 10:45 a.m.), 2-year-olds, One Mile (Turf) Horse, Owner, Trainer
Awesome Act, Mrs. Susan Roy , Tom Ludt, Jeremy Noseda
Becky's Kitten, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey, Wesley A. Ward
Bridgetown, Melnyk Racing Stables, Kenneth G. McPeek
Buzzword (GB), Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor
Codoy, Bred To Win, Mark Hubley
Dean's Kitten, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey, Michael J. Maker
Eskendereya, Zayat Stables, Todd A. Pletcher
Fist of Rage, Rayzin The Bar Thoroughbreds, Kenneth G. McPeek
Gallant Gent, Six-S Racing Stables, Robert Miller , Joe Valenti , Nicholas Petralia, Craig A. Lewis
Interactif, Wertheimer et Frere, Todd A. Pletcher
Kera's Kitten, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey, Michael J. Maker
King Ledley, Silverton Hill, Darrin Miller
Mint Chip, Green Lantern Stables, George R. Arnold II
Oasis Dancer (GB), Mrs. M.E. Slade, Ralph M. Beckett
Pounced, Lady Rothschild, John H.M. Gosden
Raging Wit, Adam Wachtel , Bruus Stable, Donegal Racing, William I. Mott
Summer Movie, Krikorian Stables, Art Sherman
Vale of York, (IRE) Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor
Viscount Nelson, Michael Tabor , Mrs. John Magnier , Derrick Smith, Aidan P. O'Brien
Zip Quik, Kona Stable, Michael Imperio , Flying Zee Stables, William C. Schettine, Patrick L. Biancone