10/06/2008 12:04AM

A Juvenile-less Juvenile Champ?


Vineyard Haven is the clear leader of the 2-year-old pack on accomplishment: He's the only male two-time Grade 1 winner in the crop, and his winning Beyer of 99 in the Champagne is by far the best at a mile or more by any juvenile in the land. (By comparison, Square Eddie got an 87 winning the G1 Breeders' Futurity and Street Hero got an 86 winning the G1 Norfolk.)

Yet Vineyard Haven's trainer and co-owner, Bobby Frankel, said after the Champagne yesterday that "I don't think I'll run" in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Oct. 25. He said that he might instead point the Lido Palace colt for the Hollywood Futurity Dec. 20.

Vineyard Haven would be trying to become only the fourth 2-year-old champion in the 25-year Breeders' Cup era to have skipped the BC Juvenile, joining Forty Niner in 1987, Maria's Mon in 1995 and Declan's Moon in 2004:

Forty Niner had accomplished enough and some of his connections were cranky about the Breeders' Cup's being held in Southern California for the third time in its first four years; Maria's Mon was injured after winning the Champagne; Declan's Moon upended Juvenile winner Wilko in the Hollywood Futurity.

Download DeclansMoon.pdf

If Vineyard Haven were to win the Hollywood Futurity, he'd end the year as the only 2-year-old male with three Grade 1 victories, since the Juvenile and Futurity are the last of the year's seven G1's for the division:

I'm also pretty sure he'd be the first 2-year-old male since Chief's Crown in 1984 to win three American Grade 1 races as a 2-year-old. This is a somewhat misleading statnugget, because horses such as Forty Niner (Belmont Futurity, Champagne, Breeders' Futurity), Tasso (Del Mar Futurity, Breeders' Futurity, BC Juvenile) and Favorite Trick (Hopeful, Breeders' Futurity, BC Juvenile) each won three races that have been Grade 1's at various times, though not all were G1's in the years they won them. Also, Arazi and Johannesburg each won three European Group 1 races plus the Juvenile during their championship seasons.

ElAngelo More than 1 year ago
Shockingly, Favorite Trick won exactly two G1's in his career: the Hopeful and BC Juvy. It's worth noting that Storm Flag Flying won 3 G1's in 2002 (Matron, Frizette & BC JF)
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
While I agree with PomDeTerre that Frankel and Torre can certainly afford the supplemental fee for Vineyard Haven, there are some owners who end up with a horse better than they ever thought who would be putting a severe strain in their budget by paying the supplemental entry fees required in some cases to run. Here's an idea: Make the supplemental fees optional, BUT horses who aren't BC nominated and choose to run without supplementing run for 25% of the purse. That way racing fans won't be deprived of the chance to see a horse who deserves to be in the Breeder's Cup just because the connections can't afford the extra fees. Those who can afford it would still have the option of "ponying up" the sup money and running for the whole pot, while someone's bank account wouldn't deprive us of seeing what is intended on Breeder's Cup day: The best horses in each division compteting on one stage.
jim More than 1 year ago
Steve, Whats your take on NY grand slam. Not sure about the bet and the pool it attracts but i play ny and have not seen it promo'd too much nor any big payouts. Truthfully not too sure how it works. is it ontrack only?
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
Frankel just indicated VH will stay on east coast and possibly not make another two year old start. Wants to keep him on dirt. If he does run again, hope he goes in the Remsen so I can get out to see him.
Walt More than 1 year ago
As for those who think Vineyard Haven should run in the BC: Personally, if I were thinking Derby with a top two year old, I might also skip the BC and instead point for the Remsen (Grade 2, $200,000) at Aqueduct in late November for one specific reason: It is the ONLY Graded stakes event in North America for two year olds at 1 1/8 Miles (and produced back-to-back Derby winners in the mid-'90s), a distance I would like to the see the BC Juvenile permanently changed to. Also, the year Forty Niner skipped the BC, the BC was a one-turn mile in addition to being at Hollywood Park.
jrzingg More than 1 year ago
Steve, I can't believe they hit that pic 6 at Keenland
Ramon Rivera More than 1 year ago
I know a little off topic, but what was the deal with the arc d'triomphe? do official dead heats count towards payoffs, or counted only towards purse money. Every print source (drf, bloodhorse, thoro.times, etc)claims "official dead heat" for third between It's Dino and Soldier of Fortune, but that's the only place i see a record off it (not in charts or payouts)
Silver Charm More than 1 year ago
The year Forty Niner skipped the BC was being held at HP and the date was LATE November. Not good timing at all for a 2YO colt who needed some rest and then would launch the then traditional 3YO campaign at GP. Hutchinson, FOY, Fla Derby. This was the only year the BC was held in late November and produced a never to be from again winner. Success Express.
gofor broke More than 1 year ago
I think this BC might offer some good betting opportunities. If some horses are overbet based on their dirt form, there could be good value in a few of these races. I'd like to see Vineyard Haven there. And Curlin.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
"Harry Lime" - I couldn't agree with you more on the subject of the patently obscene changes made to the Breeders Cup. And that's a shame. The entire original point of a one-day affair is that only the very best horses, trainers, and jockeys would end up in the BC - and that the humans involved could focus 100% of their energies and thoughts on the event itself. But like ESPN's hijacking sports for its own corrupt and inane purposes, what we'll be looking at this year is a artificially-manufactured two-day circus where marketing matters more than the racing - inept, pointless marketing that results in nothing but wasted money and cosmetic name-changes that invite derision. The only thing we can hope for is that the people responsible for last year's financial train wreck at Monmouth and this year's tom foolery had their entire life savings invested in Lehman Brothers stock. Say, I like the "The Third Man" handle you're sporting. Considering that Orson Welles ended up running for his life in the subterranean sewers of Vienna, that's not a bad image of what the BC has become!