December 9, 2018

International invaders top contenders in Juvenile Turf

Masar gallops at Del Mar in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (c) Horsephotos.com/Jamie Newell

English Group 3 winner Masar has been installed as a narrow 9-2 morning line favorite and the international contingent is six-deep with several top contenders in Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). A full field of 14 will face the starter in the one-mile test at Del Mar.

Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, Masar exits a respectable third to the filly Happily in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), the big race for 2-year-olds on the Arc undercard that Arazi captured prior to winning the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). William Buick will be in to ride the well-regarded New Approach colt and Masar drew well in post 6.

James Garfield was pegged as the 6-1 second choice following a nice tally in the September 23 Mill Reef (G2) at Newbury. George Scott conditions the Irish-bred son of Exceed and Excel and Frankie Dettori guides the English-based raider.

Mendelssohn exits a second in the Dewhurst (G1) at Newmarket for Coolmore/Aidan O’Brien and is one of six youngsters listed as the 8-1 third choice. Three-time Juvenile Turf winner Ryan Moore rides. Group 2 winner and Group 1 runner-up Beckford is part of the group and adds the services of Joel Rosario for his U.S. bow.

Group 2 scorers Rajasinghe and Sands of Mali, both 30-1 on the morning line, also hail from overseas.

The Summer (G2) at Woodbine has served as a key prep in previous years and Untamed Domain merits respect off a nice triumph. He’s from the first crop of Animal Kingdom and Jose Ortiz rides for Graham Motion. Pilgrim (G3) runner-up Voting Group can’t be dismissed from the dangerous Chad Brown and keeps Javier Castellano in the saddle.

Other runners of note include a pair of last-out stakes winners in Kentucky, Flameaway and Snapper Sinclair. The former was last seen capturing the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland while the latter exits a convincing score in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf. Catholic Boy will bring a two-for-two record into the Juvenile Turf for trainer Jonathan Thomas, most recently upsetting the With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga.

Summer (G2) runner-up Hemp Hemp Hurray and Zuma Beach hero My Boy Jack are also part of the mix.