The Brock Talk

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Closer Look At The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Jinx

The psychiatric condition commonly referred to a PBCS (Post Breeders' Cup Syndrome) aflects thousands of racing fans each year at this time with anxiety and mild depression caused by a sudden decrease in handicapping and the placing of losing trifecta and Pick-4 tickets into a tax records shoe box.

Researchers believe the side effects of this affliction may be reduced this year due to the embattled debate over Horse of the Year, but recommend that persons suffering from PBCS be prepared for a reoccurance of symptoms once the annoncement is made as to who gets the golden Eclipse Award.

Little is know about this disease other than early handicapping of the Kentucky Derby and perscribed daily plays on Gulfstream, Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Aqueduct winter racing have been known to ease the suffering.

I'm not a psychiatrist... I just play one on this blog.

I must warn you that my therapy begins by taking you to a very dark, dark place that many of you may have already erased from your memory due to the shock and pain you may have felt when you first experienced the event.

I'm sorry. But I think it's important that we talk about the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile now. I know Lookin at Lucky may have been your key horse. Or if he wasn't, I doubt Vale of York was. It's painful. I know. But let's push through this together.

History tells us that Vale of York has little chance of pulling off the Breeders' Cup Juvenile-Kentucky Derby double. Only Street Sense in 2006-07 has been able to accomplish the feat of taking the Juvenile and repeating in the Kentucky Derby winner's circle some six months later.

His connections of trainer Saeed bin Suroor and Goldophin Racing certainly have a good record of getting horses to the Kentucky Derby - having been to the run for the roses with seven horses going back to Worldly Manner in 1999 who finished seventh. The problem lies in looking at their results after each respective Derby. As a team their best finish came in 2000 when China Visit finished sixth and Curule was seventh. They have also finished eighth twice with Express Tour in 2001 and Regal Ransom last year; ninth with Essence of Dubai in 2002 and 14th with Desert Party, also in 2009.

The news doesn't get much better for Juvenile runner-up Lookin at Lucky, although he races from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert who has won three Kentucky Derbies with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem.

The historical bad news is two-fold for Lookin at Lucky however. First, none of those Baffert-trained Derby winners even started in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and never has a Juvenile runner-up come back to win the Derby. Although 10 of the Juvenile bride's maids have made to the Derby the following year, the best Derby finish by a Juvey second-place finisher goes to Easy Goer who pulled off a Juvenile-Derby runner-up/runner-up double in 1988-89.

Interestingly though, three Juvenile place horses have come back to win the Preakness. Point Given, 2nd in the 2000 Juvenile behind Macho Uno, won the 2001 Preakness and Belmont; and Afleet Alex, second behind Wilko in the 2004 Juvenile, won the Preakness in 2005. Tank's Prospect, second in the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1984, got it all started when he came back to win the Preakness the following year.

Also interesting is the fact that Juvenile third-place finishers have had more success in the Derby than any of their top two finishing counterparts. Good news for Noble's Promise, but don't go racing to the future book location near you just yet.

Success for Juvy third-place finishers started with the first Breeders' Cup winner when Spend a Buck finished third in 1984 behind Chief's Crown and Tank's Prospect, then came back to win the 1985 Derby. Alysheba did the same thing two years later finishing third behind Capote and Qualify in the Juvenile, before taking the 1987 Derby.

Since then, things have been a little dry for the Juvenile bronze medalists so-to-speak. Tejano Run finished third in the 1994 Juvenile behind Timber Country and Eltish before finishing second in the Derby behind Grindstone; and Cat Thief finished third in both the 1998 Juvenile and 1999 Kentucky Derby.

Now I don't know if I've given you the winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby or if any of this will be of much five months from now. But we've helped create an awareness for those suffering from PBCS... and I hope our time together has helped.

1 comment:

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