Any conversation about this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile must begin with Bolt d’Oro. They might also end with Bolt d’Oro as well.
The Mick Ruis trainee has been dominant in his three starts, including two runs over this surface and a jaw-dropping run in the FrontRunner, whose speed figure was so strong it was artificially suppressed by Andy Beyer himself. See Bolt d’Oro’s individual profile for more on that. Of the seven Juveniles contested in southern California, five were based locally. This is another feather in Bolt’s cap as we approach the race. In the hands of a more famous trainer, this horse would be long odds-on, instead he is still odds against in places. He feels likely to be shorter on the day, on the tote at least.
Solomini, the second-place finisher in the Front Runner, ran a great race on the clock himself. He feels like a leading contender to round out the forecast once again, but there is no reason to think he’ll reverse form with the top one.
Keeneland’s key prep race for the BC Juvenile is the Breeders’ Futurity, and this year it was won by Free Drop Billy. Free Drop Billy was well-fancied based on a strong run in the Hopeful, but his speed figure actually regressed significantly at Keeneland. Billy had shaped like a horse who would benefit from more ground so the slower race was a surprise. But in any case, he has a lot to find with Bolt d’Oro.
Firenze Fire was the longshot winner of New York’s key Juvenile prep, the Champagne. The surprise winner came from out of it and battled in the lane to win. He has a shot for a minor placing but isn’t an exciting bet under 10-1.
Good Magic was right there at the finish with Firenze Fire. He remains a well-regarded maiden for Chad Brown who might represent a little value in the back half of the exacta behind the favorite.
Coolmore will be represented by U S Navy Flag, the late developing dual Grade 1 winner. His win last time did come with the aid of a rail and speed bias, but this is a tough and stylish horse. The quality of his opposition might mean a win is out of reach, but another good showing would be no surprise.
Verdict: BOLT D’ORO looks to be the banker of the meeting. Scoop up anything over even money.