By Jarrod Horak
The 2023 Breeders’ Cup Friday card will be run at Santa Anita Park on November 3. Five BC races are on the docket including the Juvenile, a Kentucky Derby 2024 points race. In this post, I will share my early thoughts including updated information for all five Breeders’ Cup Friday races with defections, pre-entries, Today’s Racing Digest Final Time Ratings for the Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile, and much more.
The following horses will not be running on BC Friday:
Breeders’ Cup Friday Races 2023 Defections
BC Juvenile Turf Sprint
Pearls and Rubies
BC Juvenile Turf
Legend of Time
Breeders’ Cup Friday Races
Race 5 – BC Juvenile Turf Sprint – 5 furlongs turf
This five panel turf sprint figures to be a mad dash to the wire. I posted handicapping angles articles for all 14 BC races on the Digest Breeders’ Cup page. Make sure to check those out, and I will share some of my Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint angles below.
This is the newest Breeders’ Cup event. It has only been around since 2018 and speed horses captured four of the five runnings. Horses based in North America struck four times, and Irad Ortiz. Jr. booted home the winner of this race on three occasions. Based on that data, I am looking for a U.S. trainee with early-pressing speed, and so much the better if Ortiz Jr. is the pilot. Some of the more likely early pace candidates include Crimson Advocate and No Nay Mets from the George Weaver barn, and California juveniles Dreamfyre and Slider.
Race 6 – BC Juvenile Fillies – 1 1/16 miles dirt
I am sharing the Today’s Racing Digest Final Time Ratings in this event (see chart below), and Tamara stands out after earning a strong speed rating in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante. If she duplicates that number in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the others are in big trouble. If she stubs her toe, look for Grade 1 Alcibiades winner Candied to pick up the pieces.
Race 7 – BC Juvenile Fillies Turf – One mile turf
In my Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf angles article, I mentioned that Chad Brown’s Miss Grillo winners have a good track record in this race. If that angle holds up, look for Hard to Justify to make a serious impact. Horses from Canada and Europe have had success in this race as well, so don’t underestimate Carla’s Way (IRE), Content (IRE), Porta Fortuna (IRE), and She Feels Pretty.
Race 8 – BC Juvenile – 1 1/16 miles dirt
Once again, I am sharing Today’s Racing Digest Final Time Ratings, and Brad Cox’s Grade 1 Champagne hero Timberlake holds the narrow speed figure advantage over American Pharaoh (G1) winner Muth. Locked, the Grade 1 Breeder’s Futurity winner, and Prince of Monaco, the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity hero round out the big four. If I had to give an edge to one of these colts, it would probably be Muth. His Grade 1 win was at 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park, the same course and distance of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Race 9 – BC Juvenile Turf – One mile turf
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is the final BC Friday race, and it figures to be a doozy. Overseas invaders win this race more often than not. Aidan O’Brien has had tremendous success in this event and he is slated to run Mountain Bear (IRE), Group 2 winner River Taber (IRE), and Unquestionable (IRE). The latter seems to be screaming for the added ground of this race, and watch to see which runner Ryan Moore rides. He has teamed up with O’Brien to win this race five times.