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Aaron previews the 2022 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, then gives his top picks and longshots from this “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. After winning Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes (G1) in the slop last time out, the Todd Pletcher trainee Forte stretches out while facing his toughest field yet. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Forte, winner of the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga in his most recent start, heads a field of 14 2-year-olds plus two also-eligibles entered Wednesday for the $600,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Scheduled as Saturday afternoon’s ninth race with a 5:14 ET post time, the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity is a “Win and You’re In” race for the 39th running of the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to be run here Nov. 4.
Five winners of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with the most recent being Essential Quality in 2020.
A winner of two of three starts, Forte is trained by Todd Pletcher, a two-time winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount Saturday and will break from post position seven.
Pletcher has one other entrant in the race: Harrell Ventures’ Lost Ark. A half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Nest, Lost Ark is unbeaten in two starts and won the Sapling at Monmouth in his most recent start. Flavien Prat has the mount and will break from post 10.
The field for the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, with riders from the rail out, is: Frosted Departure (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Loggins (Florent Geroux), Honed (Julien Leparoux), Confidence Game (James Graham), Instant Coffee (Luis Saez), Bourbon Bash (Rafael Bejarano), Forte (Ortiz Jr.), Newgate (John Velazquez), Funtastic Again (Joel Rosario), Lost Ark (Prat), Red Route One (Ricardo Santana Jr.), Good Heart (Tyler Gaffalione), Two Phil’s (Jareth Loveberry), Powerful (Jose Ortiz). Also-Eligible: Carmel Road (Luis Saez), Jin Tong (Paco Lopez). All starters will carry 122 pounds.
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