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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Handicapping the Breeders Cup Juvenile

Breeders Cup Juvenile – a Look Back

At this time of the year, you will find many articles around the internet siting stats on the past editions of the Breeders Juvenile. You will read things like percentage of winners who were pace setters, pressers or closers. You will read about how many posted wins they had prior to the big day or you will read about how many conquered a Derby Prep. All of this is completely meaningless. It holds zero purpose and to use any of this type of information in handicapping for a future race is absurd.

Just like the Kentucky Derby, a certain group of individual horses will excel in this particular race BECAUSE they are bred for the race and distance at hand – along with being bred for the BIAS of the specific track. Style holds no bearing. Prior wins hold no bearing. INHERITANCE aligned with the bias along with one extra special quality (which we will get to) will be the only things that will tell you if the horse is a player or not.

Since this race is held at different venues each year, each winner will correlate to the dictates of the bias at that particular track. But even with that common sense fact, each one held the answer within their numbers prior to the bell - regardless of venue.

Over the last 15 years, only one time did the numbers fail (to an extent). This translates to 93.34% of the time, the colt’s numbers (his inheritance) dictated his fate in the Breeders cup Juvenile, and only 6.66% of the time, it failed. I’ll take those odds any day of the week.

Only one horse out of the 15 did not adhere to the “Inheritance Rules” as dictated by the bias of the track, the weather, and its direct relevance to his breeding. Just one. As usual, there is always an exception and for the Breeders Cup Juvenile, that exception was Uncle Mo. And as usual, the exception can only mean EXCEPTIONAL.

Looking back over the 15 years, regardless of venue, each and every horse followed his breeding as it pertains to the specific bias and they all had one thing in common that stands out like a sore thumb. (Uncle Mo aside.) Regardless of Chef’s inheritance, it all boils down to Mare Stamina. Regardless of positioning or style of running, it all comes down to Mare (or Tapit) Stamina. Other areas can be read easily for a specific bias and other areas will easily stand out for adverse weather. Basically, these contenders, at only 2 years old, are relying a great deal on their inheritance. They have not come into their own yet, they are immature and green but most importantly, they will expend a ton of energy or nerves prior to the loading of the gate.

This race is a MINI KENTUCKY DERBY. Dropping down to 1-1/16 at two years old is comparable to a 3 year old traveling 1-1/4. Speed wins races, whether it is inbred or displayed and the horse needs stamina to hold onto his energy to get around that track. The greener these 2 year olds are, the more stamina they need to prevail. The numbers never lie.

As stated previously in various articles, chef indexes and mare indexes are read differently. A mare index of .90 and under leans greater to stamina. Regardless of any of the configurations within their profiles, the reliance on the winner’s inbred stamina is key and as we dissect each of the last 15 victors of this race, the mare’s index does not exceed .90 where applicable. I will go in depth with this as we look at each of the winners over the last 15 years. Each one (except Uncle Mo) followed the dictates of his breeding (his numbers) as they are aligned with the bias.


2020 ESSENTIAL QUALITY clear/fast Keeneland

DP = 5-12-14-1-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.66

Mare Profile = 12-3-2-2-12 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.04 Triads = 17-7-16

Essential Quality is the son of Tapit. His mare’s numbers, especially his mare’s index, is completely irrelevant in the context of the rules. Any 1st or 2nd generation Tapit offspring with a chef index of 3.00 and under will most likely have inherited a severe amount of stamina and therefore ONLY the chef index needs to be consulted. Now that we know, after the fact, Essential Quality had the inheritance to win the 12f Belmont Stakes, we can easily conclude that he was holding the highest amount of inbred stamina in the Breeders Juvenile that year. MAJOR TAPIT STAMINA.

2019 STORM THE COURT clear/fast Santa Anita

DP = 5-2-7-0-0 (14) DI = 3.00

Mare Profile = 6-7-3-5-10 Speed = 13 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.79 Triads = 16-15-18

This guy went off at 45-1 and was the recipient of a bit of luck grabbing the lead spot on an extremely biased Santa Anita track, along with Dennis’ Moment stumbling out of the gate that year. There is always the possibility of a longshot grabbing his day of glory and he would have been placed into that “exception” category with Uncle Mo but the horse was holding a .79 mare index, which means he excelled with the mare stamina rule. An outlier, possibly, but the fact remains, his mares gave him ample stamina to take charge and win wire to wire. Index = 0.79

2018 GAME WINNER cloudy/fast Churchill

DP = 3-6-10-1-0 (20) DI = 2.33 CD = 0.55

Mare Profile = 6-1-4-5-11 Speed = 7 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.55 Triads = 11-10-20

Regardless of chef index, this guy was holding a 9 point spread lopsided to stamina over speed from his mares. Aligned with the Churchill bias or not, the mare stamina he was holding, with that .55 chef CD was comparable to Essential Quality’s Tapit stamina. None compared on the field that day. For the Juvenile race, he stood out easily. SERIOUS MARE STAMINA.

2017 GOOD MAGIC clear/fast DelMar

DP = 6-6-10-0-0 (22) DI = 3.40 CD = 0.82

Mare Profile = 4-7-2-10-8 Speed = 11 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.61 Triads = 13-19-20

Even on the fast track at DelMar, the mare stamina is off the charts. Being at DelMar, that 3.40 chef index was the icing on the cake, but the true sign lies with that 7 point spread and that low .61 index. SERIOUS MARE STAMINA.

2016 CLASSIC EMPIRE clear/fast Santa Anita

DP = 4-4-4-0-0 (12) DI = 5.00 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 5-4-7-8-5 Speed = 9 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.84 Triads = 16-19-20

Classic Empire’s 5.00 chef index for the extra fast slick Santa Anita track was perfection and when you add in the crazy tilt to mare stamina, you have an easy winner. His numbers followed that bias and how the Juvenile race (regardless of track) demands extra Stamina. His mare index is under .90 and he has a 4 point spread, tilting that balance over. At this distance, it didn’t get any better. AMPLE MARE STAMINA.

2015 NYQUIST cloudy/fast Keeneland

DP = 1-2-1-0-0 (4) DI = 7.00 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 7-1-7-7-6 Speed = 8 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.85 Triads = 15-15-20

Gorgeous numbers from 6f all the way up to 9.6f, his numbers are perfect. His 7.00 speedy chef index will win races easily at 1-1/16 – adding in the extra 4 point spread and low .85 mare index, will point to a Juvenile Winner every single day – regardless of track or bias. He would have dominated a wet track just as easily. It was always his mare numbers that were attached to his chefs that saw him become a champion. AMPLE MARE STAMINA.

2014 TEXAS RED cloudy/fast Santa Anita

DP = 2-1-11-0-0 (14) DI = 1.55 CD = 0.36

Mare Profile = 5-4-5-7-7 Speed = 9 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.73 Triads = 14-16-19

The 13-1 longshot and son of Afleet Alex had a 5 point spread leaning to excessive mare stamina and a mare index of .73. All the tell-tale signs of a player in this race. Dominant in the 3rd slot of his triads, regardless of the track and regardless of his chefs 1.55 index. But that combination gave him the greatest amount of stamina on the entire field that day. MAJOR MARE STAMINA.

2013 NEW YEARS DAY clear/fast Santa Anita

DP = 6-1-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 1.08

Mare Profile = 5-7-2-11-4 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.90 Triads = 14-20-17

Understanding what all the contenders are holding as far as inbred speed is extremely important when handicapping every race, not just the Juvenile. Lead speed will dictate how the pieces fall. In this edition, Conquest Titan took the lead and he faltered terribly because his mare’s stamina was insufficient for the race. That fact was easily read prior to the bell. Conquest Titan had a mare speedy index of 1.00 and for this race, that spells doom on the lead regardless of track. NYD hits it perfect with a .90 index, 3 point spread (the lowest it should go for this distance) and his triads offering 20 points in the Classic distance is more than enough for this race. AMPLE MARE STAMINA.

2012 SHANGHAI BOBBY clear/fast Santa Anita

DP = 5-2-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 3-8-5-12-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.70 Triads = 16-25-22

The most beautiful set of numbers on the field that day. Nice 3.80 speedy chef inheritance coupled with a 6 point spread and a .70 mare index. It doesn’t get much better than that for this race, especially at Santa Anita. Easy read that year. It’s a shame he couldn’t join the Kentucky Derby party that year. MAJOR MARE STAMINA.

2011 HANSEN clear/fast Churchill

DP = 6-9-10-1-0 (26) DI = 3.33 CD = 0.77

Mare Profile = 8-6-4-6-7 Speed = 14 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.08 Triads = 18-16-17

Just like Essential Quality, his mares numbers are irrelevant. Being the son of Tapit, his stamina for the race was right on target against the field he was pitted against that year. His 3.33 chef index added to his speed for a perfect combo to conquer that 1-1/16th. The inheritance from Tapit always overrides the mares leaving those numbers irrelevant. TAPIT STAMINA

2010 UNCLE MO clear/fast Churchill

DP = 1-2-5-0-0 (8) DI = 2.20 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 8-3-5-8-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-16-19

The exception (to a degree) to the .90 and under rule. There is always one exception in every graded stakes race. He still has that 3 point spread and his 19 in the triads points to ample 1-1/16th dominance for the day, and he is also sporting a very low .50 CD which points to a good deal of stamina regardless of his .96 index.


2009 VALE OF YORK (IRE) clear/fast Oak Tree (AWS)

DP = 6-3-9-2-0 (20) DI = 2.08 CD = 0.65

Mare Profile = 3-7-5-6-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 12 Index = 0.78 Triads = 15-18-17

Invader from overseas dominates on All Weather Surface. Of course he does! AMPLE MARE STAMINA.

2008 MIDSHIPMAN clear/fast Oak Tree (ASW)

DP = 7-24-15-0-2 (48) DI = 4.05 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 3-6-4-4-13 Speed = 9 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.47 Triads = 13-14-21

Another year on All Weather Surface. All one needed to do was consult the mares numbers. A crazy 8 point spread leaning to stamina with a very low .47 mare index. Add in those 48 chef points and you have one of the easiest reads for a single on top than any other year. MAJOR MARE STAMINA.

2007 WAR PASS sloppy Monmouth

DP = 13-5-9-0-1 (28) DI = 4.09 CD = 1.04

Mare Profile = 7-4-4-7-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.96 Triads = 15-15-17

This is the only SLOPPY edition of the Juvenile on the list. SPEED WINS ON A SLOPPY TRACK. Mare stamina does not work in this case and his numbers are perfectly aligned for a sloppy bias. His mare index SHOULD be over .90 for a sloppy track. PERFECT SLOPPY BIAS AND NUMBER CONFIGURATIONS.

2006 STREET SENSE clear/fast Churchill

DP = 8-1-12-0-1 (22) DI = 2.14 CD = 0.68

Mare Profile = 3-7-1-13-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.58 Triads = 11-21-19

The mares numbers are perfectly staged for the Juvenile. 8 major points leaning to stamina coupled with displayed speed prior. Another easy read for the Juvenile. MAJOR MARE STAMINA.

2005 STEVIE WONDERBOY Cloudy/fast Belmont

DP = 4-6-18-0-0 (28) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 6-3-3-6-10 Speed = 9 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.62 Triads = 12-12-19

As you can see, his mares numbers follow the rules to a Tee. MAJOR MARE STAMINA.

The Breeders Cup Juvenile has been consistent at a 93% clip where the mare stamina (or Tapit Stamina) has dictated the winner. In the rare instance of a sloppy track, the rules would flip to the Speed Side. The fact that a horse won prior or he grabbed a prep, or whatever other silly stat one happens to read out there is completely and totally irrelevant. The only thing that will give a contender a trophy in this race is his BREEDING – exactly the way the Kentucky Derby works. The shorter distance has no bearing on a 2 year old – he needs the EXTRA STAMINA for this race to sustain the loss of energy and to over-compensate for his immaturity.

Handicapping using history is useless unless you are looking to align a colt’s inheritance with the bias of the track. Only then can you see the results read like a script. Everything else is meaningless. Understanding this will allow your handicapping skills to sky-rocket. The fact that these wanna-be handicappers/writers on various websites have a platform is a disgrace.

The 2021 Breeders Cup Classic Analysis will be posted soon.


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