The $1 million Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is race 2 of today’s five world championship races. The one mile race for 2-year-olds is slated as race 6 with an approximate post time of 4:12 p.m. ET.
#4, Decorated Invader, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 4-1
Decorated Invader makes his fourth career start (2-1-0) and is coming off a 1 ¾ length victory over longshot Cadet Connelly north of the border in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 15. Irad Ortiz, Jr. is back for his second straight and three of the last four for trainer Christophe Clement and that should prove wonders. This is a wide open race and I think his consistency with how he has run thus far this year will get him there at the end. The pick.
#5, Vitalogy (GB), Javier Castellano, 10-1
Vitalogy is 1-1-1 in four starts this year and has not run since his maiden weight for age race at Naas on July 24. He made the trip over from England and has raced exceptionally well in two starts here: a third-place finish to today’s pick Decorated Invader in the Summer Stakes and improved off that with a tremendous late kick at the end to take runner-up honors by just a neck behind Peace Achieved in the $250,000 Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6. In that race, he was 14th, 11 ¼ lengths back at the ½ mile pole. Javier Castellano is aboard for his second straight start and I don’t think he will be in that position again where he has to come from so far back and with one mount under his belt, he now knows how to ride him, you would think. The late kick Vitalogy has certainly helps. I like this horse a lot and wouldn’t be surprised if he came out on top. Runner-up.
#12, Arizona (IRE), Ryan Moore, 5-2
Morning-line favorite Arizona will be ridden by Ryan Moore, who has dominated this race in recent years. With nine starts under his belt, he is 4-1-0. Another thing going for Arizona: trainer Aidan O’Brien, who always has a say on either Breeders’ Cup day, has won four of the last eight Juvenile Turfs and has finished second twice. Arizona is 2-2-1 in six career starts this year, but has not won since a two-race win streak, capped off by a triumph in the Grade 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18. In his last, he finished second in the Grade 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 12. Everything points to him adding another trophy to the O’Brien/Moore lineage as European runners coming over here have won 9 of 12 Juvenile Turfs, including 7 of the last 8. This will be his first time racing in the states and I think his winless streak continues, but not by much. Contender.
#14, Hit the Road, Flavien Prat, 10-1
After a disappointing sixth-place debut at Santa Anita in a maiden special weight on June 23, Hit the Road has bounce back in impressive fashion. He took a $61,000 maiden special weight by 1 ¼ lengths over Cool Runnings as the fifth betting choice at Del Mar on July 28 and won by 2 ¼ lengths over War Beast and Billy Batts (two entrants in today’s race) in the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes here on Oct. 6. Flavien Prat makes his debut aboard and you can’t ask for a better pilot on this course on a horse that is looking for his second straight here. In the mix.
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