& You’re In”
for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders’
at Keeneland drew a big field of 13 and a strong performance
promises to have connections thinking of the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
And as part of “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, the 1 1/16-mile qualifier will award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward a berth in the first leg of the Triple Crown next spring.
#9 Free Drop Billy is a solid 2-1 favorite on the morning line following a pair of commendable runner-up finishes as the favorite in the Hopeful (G1) and Sanford (G3) at Saratoga. An impressive debut winner at Churchill Downs, the Union Rags colt brings increasing BRIS Speed ratings and a serious late kick to the table. Robby Albarado rides the late-running Dale Romans trainee.
#7 Givemeaminit has acquitted himself favorably despite losing both starts, recording a rallying second to Sporting Chance in a maiden special weight event before just missing to the same rival in the Hopeful, finishing a neck back in third (and a nose behind Free Drop Billy). A Louisiana-bred son of Star Guitar, the Dallas Stewart-trained colt will try to make a serious impact in the latter stages with new rider Brian Hernandez Jr.
#8 Bourbon Resolution opened his career with a pair of respectable efforts, finishing a close second to Free Drop Billy and third in a salty Saratoga maiden special weight test, and the son of freshman sire New Year’s Day exits a sharp 2 ½-length tally, leading wire-to-wire for conditioner Ian Wilkes. The improving colt brings good tactical speed to his stakes debut and adds the services of top Keeneland jockey Julien Leparoux.
#4 Ten City is the lone graded stakes winner present, winning the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs in late June. The Kenny McPeek-trained colt has dropped his last two starts, recording a pair of non-threatening thirds in the Ellis Park Juvenile and Iroquois (G3), but Run Away and Hide colt may appreciate the return to Keeneland after winning his first outing by seven lengths last April. He receives a positive jockey switch to Corey Lanerie.
#2 Ezmosh placed in his first two appearances at Saratoga before graduating stylishly at Churchill Downs, crushing foes on the front end by a two-length margin on September 16. His BRIS numbers merit respect and Javier Castellano picks up the mount on the possible pacesetter for Brad Cox.
#3 Lone Sailor will be tested for class after breaking his maiden in off-the-turf maiden special weight, but it’s easy to appreciate how he crushed rivals by an 11-length margin. The Majestic Warrior colt registered a fine 93 BRIS Speed rating and can’t be dismissed from top 3 consideration for Tom Amoss. He’s an attractive 12-1 on the morning line.
Free Drop Billy looks poised to put it all together with his first stakes victory. A couple of intriguing runners with more tactical speed, Bourbon Resolution and Lone Sailor, will be added to any multi-race wagers.
1st-Free Drop Billy
Good luck playing the Breeders’ Futurity!