UPDATE: Garrity's Friday Breeder's Cup Picks: With Jack Christopher scratched, Japan's Jasper Great in play
Del Mar, Race 9, 7:50 pm ET
Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 2-Year-Olds
There was big news in Breeders Cup land late Friday night, when morning favored Jack Christopher was scratched. Since he was our pick, it’s back to the drawing board.
The absence of the favorite will affect the betting, of course, but it will have an equally big impact on the way the race will be run, since Jack Christopher, who has abundant early speed, figured to be a major pace presence. Without him in the lineup, the early fractions will likely be slower than if he ran, and the race shape will consequently be significantly different.
And his absence, we think, opens the door for a big upset: our pick is Jasper Great, a colt who with an all-American pedigree -- he is a son of Arrogate, and was bred in Kentucky -- but who has Japanese connections. He has run only once, winning a race at Hanshin Racecourse in Osaka a month ago, and we like both how he did it, winning by ten lengths, and that he showed speed, leading from gate to wire. While we have been unable to find or obtain a speed figure for that race, we think the effort was legitimate, and we think that he is live in this spot. Japan sent a strong contingent to this year’s Breeders Cup, and we have suspected for the past two weeks that one of them could win, and Jasper Great could just be the one. We will bet him to win at 15-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 9, $35 to win on 2-Jasper Great.