02/21/2012 2:15PM

Looking Back at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile


One way to look at Creative Cause’s third place finish as the 1-2 favorite in Sunday’s San Vicente at Santa Anita is that it was the perfect prep, just enough to knock the rust off while setting him up for a successful stretch back out to two turns, around which he won the Grade 1 Norfolk and was a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall.

The other way to look at Creative Cause’s San Vicente effort is with concern. He couldn’t catch a colt in Drill who has been a repeated disappointment, and a gelding in American Act who was coming off only a maiden win (even if it was over the promising Bodemeister), all while earning a Beyer Figure of 92, which is somewhat uninspiring.

What I thought about after Creative Cause fell short in the San Vicente was, here was another horse to come out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with a losing performance. I have had a feeling that last fall’s Juvenile might not have been that strong a race, and with Union Rags being the next prominent Kentucky Derby aspirant to make his first start since the Juvenile when he goes in Sunday’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, I thought I should check to see if there is cause to feel the way I do.

Nine horses who started in the BC Juvenile have since raced, making a total of 18 starts between them. Four of these horses have since won a total of five races, which seems low, especially when you consider that by definition, the starters in the Juvenile should be amongst the best of their generation.

So that you can draw your own conclusions, here’s the complete rundown of horses who have started since last fall’s Juvenile, where they finished in the Juvenile in parentheses, and their subsequent performance, or performances:

Hansen (1st) – Second, beaten five lengths, in the Holy Bull.

Creative Cause (3rd) – Third, beaten a length, in the San Vicente.

Take Charge Indy (5th) – Second, beaten two lengths, in a Gulfstream allowance race.

Fort Loudon (7th) – Fourth, beaten 6 ½ lengths, in the Holy Bull.

Optimizer (8th) – Fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the Kentucky Jockey Club; sixth, beaten 6 ¾ lengths, in the Smarty Jones.

Speightscity (9th) – Eighth, beaten 10 ¼ lengths, in the Remsen; first, by 1 ¾ lengths in an Aqueduct allowance; fifth, beaten 10 lengths, in the Count Fleet; second, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the Withers.

Drill (10th) – Yes, he won the San Vicente by a nose. But in his three starts between the Breeders' Cup and San Vicente he finished seventh, beaten 17 ½ lengths, in the Delta Downs Jackpot; ninth, beaten 9 ¼ lengths, in the CashCall Futurity; fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the San Pedro.

Alpha (11th) – First, by 2 ½ lengths, in the Count Fleet; first, by 3 ¼ lengths, in the Withers.

Prospective (13th) – First, by a half length, in the Pasco; second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in the Sam Davis.