The Bob Baffert trained KLIMT (9/1) looks good value to take the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Saturday night. The two-year-old colt can be forgiven his second to Gormley in the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes here at this course last month as he was very slowly away. He will have to take full advantage of his good draw in Stall 1 if he is to win this, but they have been working hard on his stalls work over the past few weeks. He won his maiden at Santa Anita in good style over the extended 5 furlongs before going on to land the Grade 2 and the Grade 1 Futurity Stakes at Del Mar in decisive fashion. He will be doing his best work late on; he is a powerful horse and he looks an excellent each way value.
1 KLIMT – Very smart colt who bolted up in Grade 1 company at Del Mar two starts back. He went off a long odds on favourite for the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes here last time out, but was very slowly away and paid the price – three lengths behind the winner Gormley in second. If he breaks on terms, he will be successful.
2 SYNDERGAARD – Todd Pletcher trained colt who won his maiden on debut comfortably before going on to land the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga by over ten lengths. Beaten a nose by Practical Joke in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park over the mile last time out and should be on the premises once more.
3 TERM OF ART – Doug O’Neill trained colt who has improved with each start to date; third on debut at Del Mar then going on to finish second to Plum Dandy in a mile maiden. Won a maiden at Santa Anita by a flared nostril last time out and he needs to improve considerably to get involved in this company.
4 THEORY – Gemologist two-year-old who hacked up on debut at Saratoga over 6 furlongs. The Todd Pletcher trained horse then won the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes in impressive fashion at Belmont Park. He looks an improving sort and should relish the step up to a mile. A massive player.
5 CLASSIC EMPIRE – Mark Casse trained colt who has won three of his four starts to date. He has plenty of speed and showed that when landing a gamble on debut over the extended 4 furlongs at Churchill Downs. Won a Grade 1 at Keeneland over the extended mile last time out after a terrible run at Saratoga and is another with a live chance in a very open race.
6 THREE RULES – Colt who has done all of his racing at Gulfstream Park, but he has won all of his five races to date and could potentially be overpriced here. Yet to run in Graded company, but he won by ten lengths last time out over 8.5 furlongs and he warrants plenty of respect.
7 GORMLEY – Took full advantage of Klimt’s slow start out of the stalls to maintain his 100% record from two starts at Santa Anita last time out. Victor Espinoza keeps the ride on the John Shirreff trained colt who will have conditions to suit and also likes to race prominently, which is a big advantage here.
8 STAR EMPIRE – Hacked up on debut over the sharp 5 furlongs at Belmont Park and followed up with victory in a claimer over the extended 6 furlongs at Presque Isle Downs. Didn’t appreciate the step up to 7 furlongs next time out so he may struggle to get the mile here. Hard to fancy.
9 PRACTICAL JOKE – Undefeated Chad Brown trained colt who has impressed on all three starts to date. Won on debut at Saratoga before winning a Grade 1 on just his second start in the Hopeful Stakes at the same track. Won the Champagne Stakes by a nose last time out and, although they weren’t wide margin wins, he has a lot of good battling qualities. Good chance.
10 NOT THIS TIME – Dale Romans trained colt who is well bred by Giant’s Causeway. Won by 10 lengths on his second start at Ellis Park and absolutely bolted up in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs when last seen. He surely has more to come and is one of the more likely contenders.
11 LOOKIN AT LEE – Second in the Iroquois Stakes behind Not This Time, but was beaten by nearly 9 lengths so he has a lot of work to do just to reverse the form with that horse. Also has work to do to reverse a 3 length beating by Classic Empire last time out and is easily swerved for win purposes.