01/24/2018 10:01AM

Bolt d'Oro, Good Magic co-highweights in juvenile rankings

Debra A. Roma
Good Magic's victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile made him the co-topweight in the annual 2-year-old rankings.

Bolt d’Oro, the losing favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and Good Magic, the winner of that race, have been assigned highweight of 126 pounds in the The Jockey Club’s Annual Top 2-Year-Old Rankings for 2017.

The ranking, which would be more familiar to racing fans as the Experimental Free Handicap, is an annual assessment of the previous year’s top colts and fillies, using an assigned handicap weight for a theoretical race at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. In previous years, 126 pounds has been considered the standard for the highest assignment for a colt.

Bolt d’Oro, who posted the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any 2-year-old in 2017, a 103, was undefeated going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was the heavy favorite in the race. He had a troubled trip when finishing third in the Juvenile, and Good Magic won the race going away at odds of 11-1, to earn a 100 Beyer.

Bolt d’Oro and Good Magic received the two highest Beyers assigned all year to a performance by a 2-year-old colt.

:: The Jockey Club’s Annual Top 2-Year-Old Colt Rankings for 2017

The third highest-weighted colt on the list was Mendelssohn, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Rounding out the top 10 were Firenze Fire and Free Drop Billy, at 122 each; and Catholic Boy, McKinzie, Sporting Chance, and Untamed Domain, all at 120 pounds each.

The highest weighted filly was Caledonia Road, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, at 123 pounds. Fillies in the ranking are given a theoretical 3-pound allowance, so the 123 weight is equal to the 126-pound assignment to a colt.

Even though Caledonia Road was the assigned highweight, more than a dozen fillies posted higher Beyer Speed Figures than her during their 2-year-old campaigns last year. Caledonia Road’s highest figure was the 82 she received for her Breeders’ Cup win, an uncommonly low number for the race.

Rushing Fall, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf to finish the year at 3 for 3, was the second-highest-weighted filly, at 122 pounds. The ranks were filled out by Moonshine Memories at 121 pounds; Dream Tree, Separationofpowers, Best Performance, and Heavenly Love, all at 120 pounds; and Road to Victory, Alluring Star, September (IRE), Wonder Gadot, and Lady Ivanka, all at 118 pounds.

:: The Jockey Club’s Annual Top 2-Year-Old Filly Rankings for 2017

The Jockey Club replaced the Experimental Free Handicap with the Annual Top 2-Year-Old Ranking list last year, though the replacement was largely in name only. The Free Handicap was launched in 1933, and following a one-year break in 1934, the rankings have been tabulated in every year since.

The rankings used to have far more importance in eras in which 2-year-olds started far more frequently than in the modern day and the vast majority of 2-year-olds went on to extended 3-year-old campaigns in the winter and early spring to prepare for the Triple Crown races. However, the rankings still reflect the overall assessment of that year’s crop, with an eye toward the Derby and Oaks.

This year’s rankings were compiled by a committee of racing secretaries comprising P.J. Campo, of The Stronach Group; Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland Racecourse; Steve Lym of Woodbine; Martin Panza of the New York Racing Association; and Thomas S. Robbins of Del Mar.