The $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) features 2-year-old colts and geldings going 1 1/16 miles around two turns of the Churchill Downs main track, and traditionally determines the early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby. Game Winner was sent off as the even-money favorite off wins in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and American Pharoah (G1). In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Complexity, winner of the Champagne (G1) and 17-2 third choice Standard Deviation, 3rd in the Breeders' Futurity (G1).
Game Winner leads in the stretch.
Jockey Jose Ortiz sent Complexity to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.24 and 46.87 while pressed by 40-1 Knicks Go and stalked by 10-1 Well Defined. On the far turn jockey Albin Jimenez sent Knicks Go to lead through 3/4 in 1:11.23 and 1 mile in 1:37.05. Game Winner, 7th early under Joel Rosario, came out 5 wide for room and rallied to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:43.67. It was a length from Knicks Go back to 67-1 longshot Signalman third.
Game Winner wins the Juvenile
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
9 Game Winner Rosario 4.00 3.20 2.80
10 Knicks Go Jimenez 21.40 11.20
14 Signalman Hernandez 15.80
Winning Time: 1:43.67
$1 Exacta 9-10 56.60
$1 Trifecta 9-10-14 965.60
$1 Superfecta 9-10-14-2 16,279.80
Right: The trophy presentation. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, “Talk about a rough trip! I was glad Joel was patient with him. I felt a lot of pressure coming here because I have really thought a lot about this colt. I know he is a really good horse. He showed it today; he was much the best. I am so happy for Gary and Mary West. I felt more pressure because I told Gary ‘I don’t think they can beat us.’ They have put a lot into the game. This horse likes Churchill Downs; that’s a good sign. These races are hard to win. I have great crew and a great team and we got it done.”
Left: Game Winner races in seventh first time by. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, “He broke fine but it looked like they took my spot and I had to go wide. He seemed like he didn’t mind that. He was comfortable. That’s why we got him moving at that point, instead of getting inside and taking back. Turning for home the more I rode him the more he gave it to me.”
Right: Game Winner heads back to the barn. "He broke a little squirrelly at the gate, was wide around the first turn, (and) was wide down the backstretch" owner Gary West said. "Going into the far turn, I knew he was going to run, but I didn't know if he was going to run fast enough to catch the leaders. I didn't think it was a very good trip."
Left: Second place finisher Knicks Go in the post parade. Trainer Ben Colebrook said, "That was a thrill. Turning for home, I thought we might get there, but Baffert's horse was the one to beat all along. He ran his eyeballs out, the pace was hot, but he was always going well within himself. It was just like we drew it up; just follow [Complexity] around there and hope to get first run on [Game Winner], and we did. But he’s just too good.”"
Right: Third place finisher Signalman returns after the race. The Ken McPeek trainee improved his record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 4 starts, earning $336,150 for owners Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen, and Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek).
Left: Dueling had a fit in the post parade, but jockey Manny Franco managed to hang on and get him back under control to finish 6th.
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Juvenile.
Saturday at the Breeders' Cup - Saturday had 9 Grade 1 Championship races, headlined by the Breeders' Cup Classic won by favorite Accelerate over Gunnevera and Thunder Snow. Also on the card, Enable won the Turf, Monomoy Girl won the Distaff, Expert Eye won the Mile, Roy H repeated in the Sprint, Sistercharlie won the Filly & Mare Turf, City of Light won the Dirt Mile, Stormy Liberal repeated in the Turf Sprint, and Shamrock Rose won the Filly & Mare Sprint. Get the results, charts, and photos here. More photos: Classic - Turf - Distaff - Mile - Sprint - F/M Turf - Dirt Mile - Turf Sprint - F/M Sprint
Breeders' Cup Weather - Check out the latest weather forecasts for the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs. Looks rainy and cold right now.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2018 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs. Updated for 2018, this is their 27th anniversary edition and seventh for Churchill Downs.
2017 Breeders' Cup Wrap Up - Records set, statistics, first-time winning jockeys and trainers, how previous winners finished, and more for the 34th running of the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar.
2017 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Del Mar headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Forever Unbridled held off Abel Tasman to win by a half length. Also on the card, Rushing Fall won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Battle of Midway won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Mendelssohn won the Juvenile Turf (G1). Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 stakes on the card. More photos: Juvenile Turf -
Juvenile Fillies Turf - Dirt Mile - Distaff
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track since the change.