It's the first 10 days of September... you know what that means?! Yes, it's BC Juvenile crazy time!
Let us first say that Dublin was good but not impressive. The same can be said for Lookin' at Lucky on the West Coast. The big factors here, though, are they are trained by horsemen who are being slyly conservative with their charges. Aikenite and Aspire were impressive, but took advantage of a hot pace.
Backtalk, the previously undefeated winner of two graded stakes, was impressive in defeat. As he is a certified grinder who never changed leads in the stretch, he ran on to finish well, considering that. One has to wonder if he may be a better horse closer to the pace with his grinding style. I think, around two turns, you will see him closer to the pace. Had he changed leads, I believe he would have easily secured second, despite his 5-wide trip from the outside post. Still none of these colts are in my top three juveniles of the moment.
Believe it or not, the three I place first have yet to go over 6.5 furlongs, but I believe they will progress quickly. My rankings (with links to pedigrees and sire/damsire lines):
1. Sidney's Candy (Candy Ride - Storm Cat)
So impressive in his last two races. SO impressive. And, you know my adoration of all Candy Rides... especially those whose granddam was the brilliant and sturdy Exchange.
2. General Maximus (Freud - Good and Tough)
My favorite debut of the year (July 5f Belmont). Screamed speed and distance abilities. 93 Beyer.
3. Discreetly Mine (Mineshaft - Private Account)
Bred to be something special (half to Discreet Cat). Watch him next out in the Futurity. The best bet to upset D'Funnybone.
4. Dublin (Afleet Alex - Storm Bird)
Knows how to win and has a trainer hungry for a comeback. Best bred of these.
5. Lookin' at Lucky (Smart Strike - Belong to Me)
Knows how to win, already. Reminds me of so many other Baffert slightly-above-pars.
6. Backtalk (Smarty Jones - Affirmed)
Grinder who may be better on synthetic, or equally as good (much like his half sister Bsharpsonata).
7. Bulldogger (Dixie Union - Tricky Creek)
Speedy Baffert charge who is bred to be a miler. May be a good colt up to 8.5F.
8. Aspire (Tale of the Cat - Southern Halo)
A great effort in his second start. Pletcher is always dangerous.
9. Liston (Storm Cat - Metfield)
Look for a big rebound next time out for this half brother to super-impressive Country Star, out of a Kentucky Oaks runner-up (also an Ashland-G1 winner).
10. D'Funnybone (D'Wildcat - Woodman)
Looks like a true miler with a sprinter on top of a 10f bred (Woodman/Roberto) mare. With Roberto and Lyphard in there, he is bred to adore the synthetic. May be able to stretch on there, as well. Watch out for him next out. Should go to CA instead of the Futurity (for both the distance and to avoid Discreetly Mine), but I doubt he will.