11/03/2016 2:12PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Key contenders


Classic Empire, by Pioneerof the Nile
Last 3 Beyers: 88-NA-87

Is basically 3 for 3  - it’s hard to count his participation in the Grade 1 Hopeful, where he wheeled at the break, unseating jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Following that incident, he was equipped with blinkers and won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity by three lengths, overcoming post 11 of 12.

In July, he overcame a poor start to run down a seemingly home-free Recruiting Ready. Trainer Mark Casse called that the most impressive win by one his 2-year-olds in his lengthy training career.

Not This Time, by Giant’s Causeway
Last 3 Beyers: 88-83-63

- Overcame a slow start to dominate the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes by 8 3/4 lengths Sept. 17 at Churchill Downs.

- He broke very well when he won a one-mile maiden race at Ellis Park by 10 lengths, a race from which the top four finishers came back to win their next starts. The fourth-place finisher was disqualified from that win, but then came back to win his subsequent start.
- Finished fifth in debut, where again he broke poorly, but that race’s winner, Bitumen, came back to win the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga.

- Worked well here Oct. 29 and looked particularly good galloping over the track on Wednesday.

Syndergaard, by Majesticperfection
Last 3 Beyers: 88-90-86

- Two dominant wins over New York-breds were followed by a heart-breaking nose loss to Practical Joke in the Grade 1 Champagne, where he carved out all the early fractions.
- Has looked good in two subsequent works at Belmont Park, where he finished well and galloped out strong.
“I thought in all of his breezes leading up to the Champagne he’d given us the feel he’d stretch out and in his two five-eighths after the Champagne I thought were not only strong works but were very solid gallop outs. It certainly gave us confidence he’ll handle the mile and a sixteenth.”

Theory, by Gemologist
Last 2 Beyers: 85-85

- Was regarded as trainer Todd Pletcher’s top 2-year-old at Saratoga and lived up to the billing with a 5 1/2-length victory in a six-furlong maiden race.

- Was taken out of training in late August, and was forced to miss the Hopeful with what was ultimately diagnosed as a foot bruise.

- Returned to the races with a 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Belmont Futurity, a race in which he galloped out another quarter-mile past the wire.
“He put in probably even more of a gallop out than I would have liked him to,” Pletcher said. “To me, he almost ran a mile that day. The the way he came out of it, the way he trained since, will hopefully set him up for this race.”

Practical Joke, by Into Mischief
Last 3 Beyers: 88-85-83

- Unbeaten in three starts including a victory in the Grade 1 Champagne in which he ducked in at the start and was still able to run down a very good Syndergaard.

Klimt, by Quality Road
Last 3 Beyers: 86-94-82

- Reeled off three-race winning streak that included victories in the Grade 2 Best Pal and the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.
His ascension to the top of the division was curtailed when he finished second to Gormley in the Grade 1 FrontRunner.
Was given a fast workout Monday morning to sharpen him up and he’ll have to be sharp as he drew the rail post.

Gormley, by Malibu Moon
Last 2 Beyers: 93-64

- Recorded front-running three-length victory in Grade 1 FrontRunner in race where Klimt broke slowly.
- Has had a busy worktab, breezing four times since the FrontRunner in an attempt to take the edge off, according to trainer John Shirreffs.

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