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Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: D’Funnybone tops ratings
by Geir Stabell ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2009-11-06 02:53:53 (First published: 2009-11-02 03:10:05 )

Santa Anita Saturday

The Californians may well be right when they say that Lookin At Lucky is the one to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), but no fewer than four of his rivals take a higher Globeform rating into the battle.

Home court advantage counts for a lot though, if our figures are anything to go by, Bob Baffert’s Norfolk Stakes (G1) winner needs to improve to put pressure on D’Funnybone, trained by Richard Dutrow and coming off a deeply impressive win in the Futurity Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. Lookin At Lucky can improve, of course he can, but then so can D’Funnybone, and what about European raiders like Beethoven, winner of a Group One last out, Radiohead, runner-up in a Group One last out, and Vale of York, also second best in the highest grade on his most recent start. How do these and the rest of the Euros stack up against the home team?

Only Globeform provide ratings giving you a direct comparison of US and Euro form, and you are also just one click away from the valuable rating profiles for all these youngsters.


Santa Anita 7 November 2009 – 1 1/16 miles Pro-Ride

Purse: $2 million

Contenders presented with best Globeform ratings,
sires, trainers, best GF most recent starts (l-to-r), jockeys

114 – D’FUNNYBONE (D’wildcat) / R Dutrow / ?p – 110p – 114p / E Prado
113 – RADIOHEAD (Johannesburg) B Meehan / 100 – 113p / M Dwyer
110 – BEETHOVEN (Oratorio) / A O’Brien / 99 – 103 - 110 / R Moore
110 – ALFRED NOBEL (Danehill Dancer) / A O’Brien / 110 – 105 – 95 / J Murtagh
109 – LOOKIN AT LUCKY (Smart Strike) / B Baffert / 100p – 109p – 109p / G Gomez
107 – NOBLE’S PROMISE (Cuvee) / K McPeek / ?p – 99p – 107p / W Martinez
107 – VALE OF YORK (Invincible Spirit) S bin Suroor / 102p – 107 – 107 / A Ajtebi
106 – ESKENDEREYA (Giant’s Causeway) / T Pletcher / ?p – 106p / J Castellano
106 – AIKENITE (Yes It’s True) / T Pletcher / ?p – 100p – 106p / A Garcia
105 – PULSION (Include) / P Biancone / ?p - ?p - 105 / M Smith
104 – GALLANT GENT (Yankee Gentlemen) / C Lewis / ?p - ?p - 104 / M Pedroza
102 – ASPIRE (Tale of the Cat) / E Kenneally / ?p – 97p – 102p / J Leparoux
…? – WILLIAM’S KITTEN (Kitten’s Joy) / M Maker / GF ? / R Dominguez
..96 – PISCITELLI (Victory Gallop) / ?p – 95p – 96p / K Desormeaux

D’FUNNYBONE is a clear pick on form. If he can run as well over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita as he did when landing the Futurity Stakes (G2) over the dirt track at Belmont Park he will take some beating. The son of D’wildcat stormed away to win that 7-furlong event, by almost five lengths from Discreetly Mine, who was 8 lengths ahead of the third-placed Thiskyhasnolimit. D’Funnybone earned Globeform 114p in the process, improving yet again following his runaway win in the Saratoga Special (G2) a month earlier, when he slammed Zip Quick by over ten lengths over 6.5 furlongs. Will he stay 8.5 furlongs? That is the big question. D’Funnybone did not seem to be stopping at Belmont and if he would have been happy over a mile there he will have no problems with half a furlong further here. Top pick!

RADIOHEAD was visually so impressive when winning the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot, coming home by 2 lengths from Reignier despite nearly being knocked over inside the final furlong. It was a remarkable recovery, and he confirmed his class by running third against older horses in the 5-furlong Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York (he was flying late, over an inadequate trip). Radiohead then flopped in the Mill Reef (G2) at Newbury but bounced back in great style in the Middle Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket. A bit outpaced early on, he finished best of all and took second, ¾ length behind the unbeaten colt Awzaan (who also won the Mill Reef) and a neck in front of Showcasing (impressive G2 winner on his previous start).

While other European juveniles at this Breeders’ Cup are coming out of the Dewhurst Stakes (G1), normally the best 2yo contest in England, it is worth pointing out that the Middle Park Stakes (G1) was a stronger race this year. Awzaan and Showcasing are both potentially top class sprinting prospects for next year. Radiohead therefore makes more appeal than BEETHOVEN, a narrow winner for the Dewhurst on his tenth start, VALE OF YORK, second in a sub-standard G1 in Italy last time out, and ALFRED NOBEL, who has been regressing since taking the Phoenix Stakes (G1) on heavy ground in Ireland in July.

LOOKING AT LUCKY, seemingly a bit of a ‘pro’ and one with a G1 win over course and distance to his name (but what did he beat?), will get a lot of support. Perhaps he will start favorite, though taking short odds about a runner from the wide post in a race like this does not make much sense.

ESKENDEREYA’s form is hard to assess. He sure looked good (and sure did improve) when he ran out a smooth 7 ¼-length winner of the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park a month ago. Coming here with two wins from two starts, the Todd Pletcher trainee has been declared for the Juvenile in preference of the Juvenile Turf. That is probably a tip in itself.

NOBLE’S PROMISE enjoyed an easy time up front from halfway when holding off the closer AIKENITE to wn the Breeders’ Futurity (G2) at Keeneland last month. Both these are candidates for the trifecta ticket.




WIN: 5 D’Funnybone

EXACTA BOX: 5 and 11


A: 5 with 11 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13
B: 5 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 11

C: 11 with 5 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13
B: 11 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 5


A: 5 with 11 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13
A: 5 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 11 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13
A: 5 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 with 11


1 – MIDSHIPMAN (Unbridled’s Song) B Baffert / G Gomez - Globeform 116p

2 – Square Eddie - GF 113p
3 – Street Hero - GF 112p

Won by 1 ¼ lengths, ½ length

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