Apr 132018
 

At last we’ve reached the final Derby lock prep and we have quite the competitive field with two morning line favorites SAINTMEISTER & TITANOM who come in at 6-1. After that we have six horses with odds of 9-1 or better. Before we dive into the post parade let’s take a look back at the last 10 years of the Arkansas Juvenile.

 

In the last 10 years horses setting or close to the pace have had the most success in the Arkansas Juvenile notching 6 victories. The average speed figure of the last 10 winners is a crisp 108 with the high coming from KEYS TO THE GEMS (2014) & KILLING GAME (2011) posting 111’s while the low came from the deep closing TIME FOR BUDA (2012) who ran a 101. From an odds perspective, 15-1 is the biggest number on a winner we’ve seen which dates back to 2015 when READY TO TRAVEL won going away.

 

The big question is how did the past victors of the Arkansas Juvenile compete in the Bluegrass? I’ll let you be the judge of the results:

YEAR

HORSE

FINISH

2017

WORLDCLASSFUNNY

6TH by 9

2016

HIDDEN IDENTITY

6th by 4

2015

READY TO TRAVEL

13TH by 8.5

2014

KEYS TO THE GEMS

6th by 7

2013

TANINO GIMLET

1st

2012

TIME FOR BUDA

12TH by 12

2011

OVERDOZE

7th by 11

2010

KILLING GAME

5TH by 8

2009

DISTORTED STORM

3rd by 3

2008

TAP DANCES

19th by 25

 

Now on to more pressing matters. From a handicapper’s perspective I’ll be looking for a horse with a front running style, is under 10-1 odds and has comparable speed figs. As stated above this year’s Arkansas Juvenile is a wide open affair that has all of these colts at odds of no more then 20-1 many of which fall under my 10-1 cut off.  Any one of these talented colts listed below could punch their ticket to the Bluegrass this Saturday.

 

Arkansas Juvenile – Derby Lock Prep
Grade I / Group 1*CPU – Purse: $1,500,000 
Restricted to 3 Year Olds 
9 Furlongs 

 

POST PARADE: 
1. TAKODANA (11-1)
WAR FRONT x SEEKING THE GOLD x AWESOME AGAIN
Jockey: K Banner
Trainer: fairhaven9


 

A 3 year old scratch bred out of War Front who is 3-3 as he’s dominated his competition in UAE. He got his first start in the states at the Grade 3 Buccaneer Derby  where he finished an admirable 2nd place by 2.5 lengths. There are some questions as to whether or not he wants the distance as he was soundly beaten by WINTER SANDS in his graded stakes debut. That’s not to say he can’t come out and beat this field but I believe he’d need a lot to go his way.

 

2. THE NEXT LIFE (12-1)
UNCLE MO x STREET CRY x  ALYDAR
Jockey: J White
Trainer: stormboot2


As a 2 Year old he won the Grade 3 Cornstalk but his 3 year old campaign has shown that he might have some limitations with going the 9 furlongs. He’s raced a total of 6 times thus far in his career and each time he’s gone past a mile he hasn’t done enough to sustain his position. However, there were signs of life in his last out  at the G2 Land’s End as he changed his running style, coming from about 8 lengths off the pace and gaining a few positions along with a couple of lengths on the leader to finish 3rd by 6.5 lengths. The downside is with so many good looking late runners he might be a bit over matched using that running style here.

 

3. SAINTMEISTER (6-1)
BODEIMEISTER x KINGMAMBO x SAINT BALLADO
Jockey: P Wright
Trainer: horizonkj


Despite being one of the more frequently raced horses in this one he’s never run with graded company but has been running with stakes company in his last 7 races in which he’s tallied a record of 4-1-0. He looks like an extremely talented runner and even though he has a lack of experience with graded company I’d expect him to be there duking it out in the stretch.

 

4. TITANOM (6-1)
GIANT’S CAUSEWAY x REDOUTE’S CHOICE x SEATTLE SLEW
Jockey: M Zeus
Trainer: odin


Crazy to think that just 21 days ago he ran in the G1 All Saints Derby as the morning line favorite where he fell just short finishing 4th by a length to OG MINE MINISTER. 21 days isn’t exactly short rest, but its also not the traditional month-plus that most runners coming into this will have. Its worth mentioning that out of all of these he looks as though he might be the one to relish the extra distance.

 

5.  UNHACKTHEVOTE (9-1)
EMPIRE MAKER x SEATTLE SLEW x MR. PROSPECTOR
Jockey: F Gossett
Trainer: letitgrow


He looks as though he might be peaking at the right time as he’s already nailed the distance down in his last couple winning the Vengeful Sea and a 43K Allowance event in which he posted speed figs of 105 and 99. While both of those are great wins he’ll be facing a different animal as the competition will increase significantly here.

 

 

6. EL MALQUERIDO  (20-1)
GRAYDAR x DISTORTED HUMOR x STORM CAT
Jockey: J Selden
Trainer: navegantes


He finished 2nd in the Take it Easy Stakes and has never finished out of the money, but he’s also never run with the likes of these. Competition aside I’d imagine with so many late runners in this one that his front running style is going to benefit him.

 

7. WESTERDINI TED (8-1)
BERNARDINI x SADLERS WELLS x GONE WEST
Jockey: G Wendorff
Trainer: hijacked


He’s the type of late running horse that can cause a bettor to be a bridge jumper. Most recently ran in the Grade 1 Florida Derby just 14 days ago and didn’t take very kindly to the off surface. After running back to back 102 speed figs he’s perfectly capable of improving enough in this one to get the victory. The 1.5 million dollar question is: Coming back on short rest how much does he have left in the tank here?

 

8. EXAGGERATE MY JAMZ (18-1)
EXAGGERATOR x UNBRIDLED’S SONG x TAPIT
Jockey: T Ace
Trainer: dkstables23


His resume certainly doesn’t hold up in comparison to most of these, but he’s not a slouch either recording his top speed fig (97) in the Grade 3 Gary Asher Memorial where he finished 2nd. He’s going to need a big kick in the stretch in order to get over here and much like  EL MALQUERIDO I think his front running style helps him stay competitive here.

 

9. WATCH THY RUN (18-1)
COMING BY YA NOW (AUS) x  UNBRIDLED’S SONG x RUNAWAY GROOM
Jockey: A Arthur
Trainer: meguire8th


The winner of the Blazing Saddles Breeders Showdown Juvenile as a 2 year old his three year old season looked as though it would start very promising. However that wasn’t the case as he got thoroughly handled in the Kowboy Dirt Route to start his 3 year old campaign. Down but certainly not out he came back to crush the competition in the Cheap Wine Dirt Route where he put up a 102 speed fig. Will we get the horse from the Cheap Wine Dirt Route or the Kowboy Dirt Route?

 

10. SO YOU SEE (12-1)
MEDAGLIA D’ORO x SMART STRIKE x AWESOME AGAIN
Jockey: K Ebner
Trainer: awesomeagain


In his last two races he’s had a couple of good runs with graded foes finishing 2nd by .5 lengths in the Grade 3 Scam and 4th by 4.75 lengths in the Grade 2 Felipe Alou Stakes. The 9 furlongs seems to suite him and after posting back to back 99 speed figs I think he’ll break the triple digit speed fig barrier.

 

11. THE ART OF FAILURE (9-1)
LORD NELSON x CURLIN x NIJINSKY 2ND
Jockey: M Clooch
Trainer: dumptrump


He’s got one of the top speed figs in here already hitting 105 in his 2nd place finish at the G2 Land’s End. The high speed fig is all well and good but based on his history, he typically takes a step backwards after posting a career high. He’ll most certainly need every bit of that 105 here, so no bouncing!

 

12. FLAT SKUNK LV  (9-1)
FLATTER x INTO MISCHIEF x TALE OF THE CAT
Jockey: L Radzinski
Trainer: zbiz0


His speed figs are the epitome of improvement as they’ve steadily increased every race since his 2nd race as a 2 year old. He’s been on a nice win streak with his defining moment coming in the G3 Rebel Yell where he posted a 107 in his 3rd straight victory. Having never gone the 9 furlongs would be the only knock on him as he’s venturing into some foreign territory.

 

13. MONTESORI (9-1)
CURLIN x STORM CAT x MR. PROSPECTOR
Jockey: O A Haack
Trainer: fernando


His pedigree is about as blue blooded as it comes and it also helps to own the top speed fig going into this one (108). His front running style looks as though its tailor made for this group as he already wired two of today’s foes with his impressive performance in the G2 Land’s End. The only aspect that might hurt him is the wide post. If he can’t clear the field early then he may be stuck wide throughout.

 

14. KICKIN’ BOURBON (9-1)
MAJESTIC WARRIOR x STREET CRY x HENNESSY
Jockey: B Kloak
Trainer: dyoto8


After posting a 103 speed fig in his victory at the Enough Come Dirt Route Stakes he’ll give graded company a shot. Despite not having the graded experience what helps him here is that he’s already ran and won at the distance or longer on more than one occasion. The ML odds maker seems to think that’s worthy enough to be with the upper echelon of horses here.

 

MY PICKS: 

1. #13 MONTESORI (9-1) – He’s the class of the field and his front running style really seems to fit the bill. 

2. #12 FLAT SKUNK LV (9-1) – He’s constantly improving and no reason to think he won’t continue here.

3. #4 TITANOM (6-1) – I’m not sure what to make of him, but I keep getting drawn back to him which makes him my 3rd choice. 

 

 

 

 

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  6 Responses to “Arkansas Juvenile – Preview”

  1. Nice write up!!!!! I like how you put the Past winners up. Nice touch!

  2. Congrats to the winner! Was a great race!

  3. Thanks Francua great read!

  4. good luck trainers see ya on derby day I’ll be at the 2 yr old champs table getting simulated drunk ,ya know the one by the kitchen doors so as not to block a potential winner from watching the race as I have no chance in hell of winning as the curse is real :)

  5. Nice article, thanks.

  6. Really good write up, nice to see someone give their opinions on a horses chances with reasoning behind the opinion, rather than just precis a horses last couple of runs.

    GREAT READ!