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Juveniles For Americans Look To Keep Good Vibes Going In Breeders Cup On Turf

American horses have not fared well on the turf at the Breeders Cup overall, except at the Juvenile level. The Americans have a good shot at keeping the World Championship trophies at the Juvenile level in the U.S. in 2022.


Juveniles For Americans Look To Keep Good Vibes Going In Breeders Cup On Turf


American horses have not fared well in turf races at the Breeders Cup recently, but they have pretty much thrived at the juvenile level. Will that trend continue this year at Keeneland?

The 2022 Breeders Cup will take place at Keeneland Race Course on November 4-5. There will be 14 World Championship races over those two days, with eight running on the grass. Last year, European horses claimed the Breeders Cup Turf, Filly and Mare turf, Breeders Cup Mile, Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Turf Sprint, and Distaff titles.

American horses did win the Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Turf Sprint in 2021. Piazza Bianca, owned by chef Bobby Flay, won the Juvenile Fillies event, while Golden Pal, who won the Juvenile Sprint in 2020, took home the Turf Sprint trophy.


Juvenile Turf

American horses have had a decent amount of success in this one-mile race for 2-year-olds. While Irish-bred Modern Games won the event last year, an American horse has won 10 of the 15 Juvenile Turf races since in inaugural race in 2007. The Americans are expected to have a strong presence this year with Major Dude and AndTheWinnerIs.

Major Dude and AndTheWinnerIs, along with Irish-bred Auguste Rodin, are automatic qualifiers for the race. Major Dude (4-2-1, $165,250)earned a berth in the race with a victory in the Grade II Pilgrim Stakes at the Belmont At The Big A on Oct. 2, marking his first-ever stakes win. Similarly, AndTheWinnerIs (4-2-0-2, $282,242) qualified in his last race by winning the Castle &Key Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9. Meanwhile, Auguste Rodin (3-2-1, $102,123) earned a berth by winning the Grade II KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes by one-and-a-half lengths in Ireland.

Other possible runners include Battle of Normandy, Holloway Boy (GB), Isaac Shelby (GB), Lachaise, One For Chap, Congruent, and Power Attack. The Juvenile Turf limits the field to 14 runners.


Juvenile Fillies Turf

Piazza Bianca’s victory in last year’s Fillies Turf was the sixth in the last eight events by an American horse and 10th in 14 all-time races. Delight (4-2-0-2, $211,905) and Pleasant Passage (2-2-0-0, $167,500) could continue the American dominance.

Delight has won two straight races and has yet to finish out of the money in four events, earning a berth with a victory in JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes by five-and-one-half lengths. Canadian filly Last Call – who also earned an automatic berth – join Delight along with Pleasant Passage, Be Your Best (Ire), Knockyoursocksoff, Lady Jasmine, Lezoo (GB), and Trillium (GB) are other possible entrants into the 2022 $1 million, 1-mile event. The race is limited to 14 entrants.


Juvenile Turf Sprint

Irish horse Twilight Gleaming became the first European horse in four years of the event to win the five-and-one-half furlong Juvenile Turf Sprint. Twilight Gleaming also gave the team of Irad Ortiz Jr. and Wesley Ward their first third straight victory in the race.

Two American horses, Speed Boat Beach (2-2-0-0, $108,000) and Nagirroc (3-2-1-0, $141,550), along with two Irish-bred horses, The Platinum Queen (7-4-2-0, $407,848) and BlackBeard (8-6-1-0, $550,894) have qualified automatically for the event. Other possible participants include Great Britain-bred Alluring Angel, Lady Hollywood, Rocket Rodney, and The Ridler as well as American Sharp Az a Tack. The event is limited to 14 runners.

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