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From the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to the 2020 Kentucky Derby
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2019
by: Rich Bieglmeier
The road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby runs through the Breeders' Cup. Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile rewards the winner with 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points; second receives eight, third gets two and fourth adds on to his column.
DENNIS' MOMENT (PP: 1 ML 8/5) and EIGHT RINGS (PP: 6 ML 2-1) are tied at the top of the current 2020 Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 10 points each. The early Breeders' Cup Juvenile favorites faceoff for the first time in what could be many matchups, including the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
Dennis' Moment taking the tape at Churchill Downs
They share the top spot on the Derby leaderboard with MAXFIELD and TIZ THE LAW. Trainer Brendan Walsh's MAXFIELD was entered to run in the Juvenile but scratched out with a "foot issue." Walsh said the horse "didn't look 100%." MAXFIELD owner, Jimmy Bell of Godolphin Llc says the injury could be "as simple as a bruise in his foot" but "it was a pretty easy call" despite missing the Juvenile.
SCABBARD (PP: 5) is the third favorite in the Juvenile at 8-1 and sits tied for fifth in the 2020 Kentucky Derby standings with four points. He's coming off a second-place finish in the Grade III Iroquois Stakes, coming home 1 3/4 lengths behind DENNIS' MOMENT.
SCABBARD made up 3 1/4 lengths on DENNIS' MOMENT in Churchill Down's stretch; however, like the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the Iroquois Stakes is 1 1/16 miles. Jockey Mike Smith rides SCABBARD for the first time and will need to place his horse a little closer to the leaders to have the chance to run by all of them at the wire.
STORM THE COURT (PP: 4 ML 20-1) is the other Juvenile entrant with 2020 Kentucky Derby points, tied for ninth with two. The colt earned his position by finishing third behind EIGHT RINGS in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita.
WRECKING CREW (PP: 2 ML 20-1), SHOPLIFTED (PP: 3 ML 20-1), ANNEAU D'OR (PP: 7 ML 15-1) and FULL FLAT (PP: 8 ML 30-1) are all longshots and looking for their first 2020 Kentucky Derby points. All eight contestants are hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, GAME WINNER, and make their way to the Derby.
Our handicapper believes the Juvenile will be a heavyweight battle between the two favorites, DENNIS' MOMENT and EIGHT RINGS. The duo could come out of the gates one, two and stay that way all the way around the track.
Eight Rings scoring at Santa Anita
EIGHT RINGS could have the advantage as he calls Del Mar and Santa Anita home; whereas, DENNIS' MOMENT flies in from Kentucky. After watching videos for all the horses, our handicapper says, "EIGHT RINGS<.strong> gets the head bob over DENNIS' MOMENT as his wins are visually more impressive."
Regardless of Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile outcome, DENNIS' MOMENT, EIGHT RINGS, the injured MAXFIELD and many more horses will cross paths with the hopes of meeting on the first Saturday of May, at the end of the 2020 road to the Kentucky Derby.
Good luck at the races!
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