The $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) features 2-year-old colts and geldings going 1 1/16 miles around two turns of Santa Anita's main track. Not This Time was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 11 off his win in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Classic Empire, winner of the Breeders Futurity (G2) at Keeneland, and 5-1 third choice Gormley, winner of the FrontRunner (G1), the main local prep.
Classic Empire leads in the stretch.
Jockey John Velazquez sent 13-2 Syndergaard to the front and he set fractions of 23.05 and 46.60 while pressed by Classic Empire and stalked by 15-2 Three Rules. On the far turn Classic Empire took over from the tiring Syndergaard through 3/4 in 1:10.48. Under Julien Leparoux, Classic Empire opened up a 2 length lead through 1 mile in 1:35.96. Not This Time, 6th early, came out 4 wide for room to close but just missed, as Classic Empire held on by a neck in 1:42.60. It was a long 7 1/2 lengths back to 8-1 Practical Joke third.
Classic Empire wins the Juvenile
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
5 Classic Empire Leparoux 11.00 5.00 3.80
10 Not This Time Albarado 4.60 3.40
9 Practical Joke Rosario 4.60
Winning Time: 1:42.60
$1 Exacta 5-10 19.70
$1 Trifecta 5-10-9 144.70
$1 Superfecta 5-10-9-11 1,284.20
Left: Classic Empire in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Julien Leparoux said, "I think you can see there is a big, big difference since the blinkers are on. He's way more focused. The first two starts he was not breaking sharp from the gate. Since we put blinkers, I mean, he's been pretty mean to race from the beginning. It's a big change, and he's a very, very nice horse. We go fast, but you don't feel like you go fast on him, so looking forward for next year for sure."
Right: The trophy presentation with owner John Oxley, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Julien Leparoux. Oxley said, "This is unbelievable. It's what we"ve been hoping for for many years now, a horse that might replace Monarchos, whom we just lost. This horse is exceptional. I love him, but even more importantly, the jockey, Julien Leparoux, what a ride. Fantastic. Just perfect. It was flawless, and the team behind him, Mark Casse, Norman Casse, the entire organization works for each other. Also, to my sweet wife, Debbie, she brings luck to the team."
Left: Classic Empire heads out to the track before the race.
Right: Classic Empire heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Mark Casse said, "At the top of the lane I was a little worried because he'd never really opened up before too much, so I'm like, well, maybe. I don't know how much I want him to open up. Then I thought, well, he's going to win by a couple lengths, and then towards about 1/16 pole I may have said a bad word because I could see that horse coming. You know, we had run second with Valadorna in the Filly race, and she just couldn"t get up."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Not This Time returns for unsaddling. Jockey Robby Albarado said, "He was not all out today, but he galloped out well. He is an improving horse as this was just his fourth start. I look forward to the future. He'll be a nice horse next year." Trainer Dale Romans added, "There's no excuses. Perfect trip, the horse ran well, we just got beat by a real good horse in a fast time."
Right: Third place finisher Practical Joke gallops back. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "I had a good trip. On the first turn I had to take hold just a little bit, not much. Turning for home we went for it but the two in front were probably best today. In the last sixteenth they kind of got away from me."
The horses break from the gate for the Juvenile. Steve Asmussen, trainer of Lookin at Lee (11) said, "He tried. I thought he ran well. Two horses we've chased the last two times finished 1-2, so he's been keeping good company. Obviously, he looks like a horse where more distance will help him. We'll evaluate how he's doing and try to figure out how to get a good 3-year-old."
2016 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Santa Anita headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Beholder edged out favorite Songbird to win her 3rd Breeders' Cup race. Also on the card, New Money Honey won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Tamarkuz won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Oscar Performance won the Juvenile Turf (G1). Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 stakes on the card. More photos: Juvenile Turf -
Juvenile Fillies Turf -
Dirt Mile -
2016 Breeders' Cup Thursday Works - Photos and comments for 39 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Thursday November 3 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Found and the rest of the Aidan O'Brien horses out of quarantine.
2016 Breeders' Cup Wednesday Works - Photos and comments for 33 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Wednesday November 2 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Flintshire and Beholder as well as California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Tuesday Works - Photos and comments for 66 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Tuesday November 1 in the morning at Santa Anita, including California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Entries - Final entries were taken and post positions drawn on Monday for the 13 Breeders' Cup Championship races on November 4 and 5 at Santa Anita. Check out the post positions, odds, and horses for all the races.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2016 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita. Updated for 2016, this is their 25th anniversary edition.
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track now.