June 17, 2024

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Reigns as 2018 Derby Prep Season’s Top Race

Good Magic established himself as an early Kentucky Derby favorite recording a 4 1/4-length victory in the Breeders Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) is the strongest race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, according to proprietary data generated by Brisnet.com, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby Prep Season concluded with the Southwest Stakes (G3) on February 19 at Oaklawn Park, and the Kentucky Derby Championship Series began with the Risen Star Stakes (G2) on February 17 at Fair Grounds Race Course. Through 20 races, the 117.5 Race Rating of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was best.


Rank: Race: Race Rating: Winner: Class Rating: Speed Rating:
1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 117.51 Good Magic 123.9 105
2 Del Mar Futurity 117.22 Bolt d’Oro 123.0  94
3 Withers Stakes 116.78 Avery Island 120.4  94
4 Los Alamitos Futurity 116.71 McKinzie* 120.0 100
5 FrontRunner Stakes 116.65 Bolt d’Oro 122.9 105

*placed 1st via disqualification of Solomini

Good Magic’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was a superlative performance by any metric with the son of Curlin registering a 123.9 Class Rating and a 105 Speed Rating in winning America’s richest race for 2-year-olds. In doing so, he defeated multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro, whose 105 when winning the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) ties him for first in that category and whose 123.0 Class Rating when winning the Del Mar Futurity (G1) ranks second by that metric. The Del Mar Futurity also ranks second by Race Rating with a 117.2.

For comparison, the average winning Kentucky Derby Speed Rating the past five years (since the points system began in 2013) has been 103, and the average winning Class Rating 124.1, so this group appears strong.

Good Magic and Bolt d’Oro were the best 2-year-olds, but will they hold their form as 3-year-olds? Derby fans will have a better answer to that question over the next two weeks as both champion Good Magic and multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro are expected to make their 3-year-old debuts in March: Good Magic in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) on March 3 at Gulfstream Park and Bolt d’Oro in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) on March 10 at Santa Anita Park. Both races are worth 85 points (50 to the winner) as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series.

Of those Breeders’ Cup Juvenile starters who have run back, there’s plenty to suggest the form will hold. Runner-up Solomini finished first in the 17-point Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) but was placed third behind stablemate McKinzie and eventual Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner Instilled Regard.

McKinzie’s  104 Speed Rating for winning the Sham Stakes (G3) ranks 4th among all points races and is one of only 13 triple-digit Brisnet.com Speed Rating performances among the 20 points races.

Speed measures how fast a horse ran while Class is a measurement of performance relative to the competition in the race, and the overall Race Rating reflects the strength of the whole field. Brisnet’s proprietary data is available in the Ultimate Past Performances, which are free to TwinSpires.com players when they wager. For more information, CLICK HERE