Updated on 09/17/2011 11:21PM

BC Juvenile: Byrne takes far different approach with Sorcerer's Stone


Eight years after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Favorite Trick, trainer Patrick Byrne appears headed back to that race with the undefeated Sorcerer's Stone.

Sorcerer's Stone punched his ticket to the Juvenile with an impressive 8 1/2-length win in Sunday's Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity, in which he set a stakes record by running one mile in 1:35.16. Sorcerer's Stone is now 3 for 3 and will simply train up to the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 29.

"It's only a one-turn mile and a sixteenth,'' Byrne said. "We're probably better off firing a fresh horse with him.''

Byrne's philosophy with Sorcerer's Stone is the antithesis of his approach with Favorite Trick in 1997. Favorite Trick debuted in April and won six stakes before completing an 8-for-8 season with a 5 1/2-length romp in the Juvenile. He was not only named champion 2-year-old, but Horse of the Year as well.

"Favorite Trick, when I purchased him, I was looking for an early 2-year-old,'' Byrne said. "I would be crazy to think he could have been Horse of the Year, but he proved himself to be a superior athlete. I never thought he could be a [Kentucky] Derby colt.

"We're almost at the other end of the spectrum here,'' Byrne added. "This colt was always going to be a two-turn horse. He obviously has a Derby pedigree - the criteria fits everything for a Derby horse. I really felt he would be a better two-turn horse.''

Sorcerer's Stone is by Gulch out of the dam Magical Holiday, who is a full sister to the Grade 1 winner Dramatic Gold. Sorcerer's Stone is a half-brother to Holiday Thunder, who was stakes-placed three times as a 2-year-old.

Byrne said he was surprised that Sorcerer's Stone was able to win sprinting, something he did twice in July. In his debut, Sorcerer's Stone beat Private Vow, who has come back to win three straight races, including last Saturday's Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park.

Byrne is in a far different position this year than he was in 1997, when he not only won the Juvenile with Favorite Trick but also the Juvenile Fillies with Countess Diana. The following year, he won the Breeders' Cup Classic with Awesome Again. In the late 1990's he trained for Frank Stronach, among others, and had a large stable. Now, Byrne has a 20-horse stable made up mostly of 2-year-olds.

"It's always exciting to get to the Breeders' Cup with a good one,'' Byrne said. "It's hard to get there when you have only a small group of horses."

In other Juvenile news:

* Stream Cat, who won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile on Saturday, will make his next start in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, trainer Patrick Biancone said. Biancone said that race would determine whether he would press on to the Juvenile.

* Flanders Fields, an impressive 6 1/2-length maiden winner at Belmont on Sept. 10, will run in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont on Oct. 8. Trainer Dallas Stewart has named John Velazquez to ride.

Juvenile Contenders
2-year-old colts & geldings, 1 1/16 miles. Purse: $1.5 million.

1First SamuraiF. Brothers3-1
Dominated Hopeful despite racing greenly; figures to only improve
2Henny HughesP. Biancone4-1
Second best in Hopeful at 3-5, but is capable of a stronger effort
3Bro LoD. O'Neill6-1
Speedball romped in first two at Dmr; gets distance test in Champagne
4Stevie WonderboyD. O'Neill5-1
Most impressive winning Dmr Futurity, but his time wasn't fast
5Sorcerer's StoneP. Byrne8-1
Trainer who brought you Favorite Trick has another serious 2-year-old
6Private VowS. Asmussen6-1
Crushed an iffy field in the Futurity; only loss was to Sorcerer's Stone
7Flanders FieldsD. Stewart15-1
A.P. Indy-Flanders colt devoured one mile in eye-catching maiden win
8Dr. PleasureJ. Ward Jr.15-1
Beautiful Pleasure's son by Thunder Gulch impressed in debut at Sar
9BashertW. Currin12-1
Acted up badly before Dmr Futurity, so ignore it; ran big in prior three
10In SummationF. Gomez20-1
Kingpin at Calder, where he is five for five, including four stakes scores
The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.