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GROWING UP

Posted by on 10/7/2013 8:06:05 PM

Growing up can be painful, as all players and online sports betting enthusiasts know, but now is the time for all good babies to come to the fore and show their best stuff as the 8 and a half furlong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita approaches.

D. Wayne Lukas has already had a sensational comeback year and he may not be finished in his upcoming juvenile start Strong Mandate has anything to say about it.

Educated in his debut, Strong Mandate graduated going away and then proved he can handle off going winning the Grade 1 Hopeful in the mud.

The blood is there for Strong Mandate to thrice as his dam won multiple Grade 1 races, earned over a million and also dropped multiple Grade 3 winner and near $700,000 earner Newfoundland.

A closing third in a wide debut, New Year’s Day could carry Bob Baffert’s hopes in the Juvenile. He stretched out successfully to break his maiden but missed the Frontrunner because of a temperature.

He is the first to run out of a double Grade 2 winning dam that earned about $450K and his dam is also kin to 4 other runners that banked 6 figures.

Those that will be trying to light up in celebration after the Juvenile just might back Havana, who broke onto the racing scene winning his debut at 2-5 at Saratoga with a juicy 102 Beyer. The runners in the company line were clear, Havana has drilled fast since that race and he has a right to have a nice career as his winning dam is kin to a pair of 6 figure earners and dam also dropped the near $150,000 earner Joey Whispers.

Bold Holder is improving by the hour and he won the Grade 1 Frontrunner as a maiden while Honor Code broke his maiden cleverly and was flattered when the runners in the trifecta graduated next out.

As far as the overall numbers of the Juvenile are concerned, going into last year’s event, the favorite had won 36% of the time and that number rose a bit as the chalk Shanghai Bobby prevailed under a terrific ride from Rosie Napravnik.

That chalk result brought the average winning price of just over $17 down a few pegs and last year’s $1 exacta was about half of what the normal exacta had averaged.

Bobby’s final time of 1:44.55 was far slower than the BC record of 1:40.94, set by Midshipman in 2008.

Using the logical horse has also been a good ploy for the juvenile as in 7 straight years now, the favorite has finished in the exacta and West Coast-based runners have won 4 of the 6 times the race has been held at Santa Anita.

And as far as active riders are concerned, Garrett Gomez and Mike Smith are the only two riders that have won the Juvenile twice.

In winning the Juvenile last year, Shanghai Bobby brought his record to 5 in a row but interesting he did not even work over the Anita surface before the event.

As the Juvenile approaches, look for runners that still have room to grow and for those that may not yet have flashed their best talent.

Maturing and figuring it out at just the right time will be very important in this race.


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