Jackie’s Warrior is this fall’s Dennis’ Moment. Now the question is whether he will be a victim of this fall’s Storm The Court.
A winner in all three of his races, including the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, Jackie’s Warrior is the 4-1 favorite in foreign futures for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The Maclean’s Music colt trained by Steve Asmussen also was established by an offshore bookmaker this week as a 33-1 choice for the next year’s Kentucky Derby.
Asmussen assistant Scott Blasi said after last Monday’s Hopeful victory that Jackie’s Warrior probably would race once at Belmont Park next month before the Nov. 6 running of the Juvenile.
“I’d expect he’d go on to the Champagne (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup from there,” he said. “But one race at a time. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Bettors and bookmakers do not need to abide by that rule. They appear to be using recency bias to guide them through the 2-year-olds’ build-up to the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.
Where Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner Dr. Schivel is a lukewarm 50-1 third choice in Derby wagering, he is a clear 8-1 second choice in the Juvenile pools. With two wins at Del Mar after two early losses in Southern California for trainer Luis Méndez, the Violence colt has been transferred to the more experienced Mark Glatt, who has one in-the-money finish in three Breeders’ Cup starts.
The next two horses, at 11-1 in the Juvenile futures, have only one race apiece to their names. Calibrate, sired by Distorted Humor, was a maiden winner at Saratoga for Asmussen and owner Ron Winchell. Freedom Fighter, also by Violence, won his debut in early August at Del Mar for Bob Baffert. In a microcosm of Derby history, Baffert is 4-for-27 in the Juvenile; Asmussen is 0-for-8.
The market tilt toward experience and graded-stakes success is similar to last year. That was when Dennis’ Moment had an impressive victory at Churchill Downs in the Iroquois Stakes (G3), traditionally the first prep on the Derby trail.
The early wagering markets are certainly no barometer of success. Dennis’ Moment eventually was bet down to nearly 2-1 in the futures and 9-10 at the track when he came in last in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup. After another last-place finish in this year’s Fountain of Youth (G2), he has not raced since.
Storm The Court was 33-1 in last year’s futures and 45-1 in post-time pari-mutuels when he won last year’s Juvenile. This year, 11 horses carry futures odds at least that long. The average $2 win ticket that cashed in the first 36 runnings of the race was worth $19.10, including the 12 victorious favorites.
The current Breeders’ Cup Juvenile futures collate the best prices from a market basket of eight foreign bookmakers, including one offshore and seven others monitored by the European website Oddschecker.com.
Following are the 26 horses listed in the Juvenile markets:
Calibrate, Freedom Fighter
Sittin On Go
Cazadero, Founder, Mutasaabeq, Spielberg, Team Merchants
Dixie’s Two Stents, Roderick
Nutsie, Risk And Reward, Weston, Wyfire
Drop Anchor, Fearless Fly, Irish Unity, Papetu, Tenor