Ten Things You Might Not Know About the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Racing
Last year’s field for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runs past the Santa Anita grandstand, with eventual winner Classic Empire (#5) near the early lead. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is an exciting race each year, and this year’s edition at Del Mar is no different. Not only does it feature the best 2-year-olds competing for $2 million and a shot at year-end championship honors, it often offers the first glimpse of next year’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls on a grand stage.

Get ready for the 2017 edition with the fun facts below, and tune in to NBC Sports on Saturday at 6:58 p.m. ET to watch live.

1. This year is the 34th running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. It is one of the original seven Breeders’ Cup races and has been run every year since 1984.

2. Only two of the 12 jockeys riding in this year’s race have won the Juvenile before: John Velazquez aboard Uncle Mo in 2010 and Mario Gutierrez on Nyquist in 2015. Velazquez rides Hazit this year while Gutierrez rides Bahamian.

3. Contender U S Navy Flag has a full sister (sharing both parents) also competing at this year’s Breeders’ Cup: filly Roly Poly in the Mile. They are both by War Front (sire/father) and out of Misty For Me (dam/mother). They are also both trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien.

Bolt d'Oro (Eclipse Sportswire)

4. Two horses enter this year’s Juvenile undefeated. Bolt d’Oro and The Tabulator have each won all three of their starts.

5. The Juvenile is often a steppingstone to the champion 2-year-old male Eclipse Award. Of 34 Juvenile winners, 25 were later named champion for the year.

6. Three horses in this year’s race are maidens, meaning they have never won a race (Bahamian, Givemeaminit, and Good Magic). No maiden has ever won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

7. Trainer Bob Baffert has three wins in the race, second only to D. Wayne Lukas’s five victories. This year Baffert has FrontRunner Stakes second-place finisher Solomini in the Juvenile.

8. Though it often produces horses prominent on the Triple Crown trail, just two horses have ever won both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Derby: Street Sense in 2006-07 and Nyquist in 2015-16.

9. This year’s Juvenile favorite, Bolt d’Oro, had his early training in the Montana wilderness. After being bought as a yearling he was sent to his owner’s Bigfork, Mont., ranch, where he got used to being ridden and was exposed to a variety of experiences on trail rides and on the ranch.

10. The Juvenile attracts some well-bred and expensive 2-year-olds each year. The aforementioned Good Magic was bought for $1 million as a yearling, and Bolt d’Oro ($630,000) and Hollywood Star ($550,000) also cost more than half a million. In contrast, Givemeaminit was a $20,000 purchase as a 1-year-old.

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