Union Rags headlines Juvenile


Some announced post positions drew gasps and groans from the crowd during Monday's Breeders' Cup draw at Churchill Downs, but the draw for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile was largely void of any drama.

The 2-1 morning-line favorite Union Rags seemingly drew favorably in post 10 in the 1 1/16-mile race as did 7-2 second choice Creative Cause, who landed in post 7. Furthermore, there were no exclusions from the race, which had drawn 16 pre-entries.

In the end, 13 horses were entered -- with Majestic City bypassing the Juvenile in favor of the Juvenile Turf as expected, while the connections of Right to Vote and Sabercat bypassed the race with their horses.

This cleared the way for Speightscity to make the field when just a few days earlier it seemed he could be stuck being an also-eligible, in need of a scratch in order to start.

His trainer, Gary Contessa, expressed relief that his colt, a dominant winner of a 1 1/8-mile dirt race at Saratoga in his last race Sept. 2, would get the chance to compete, though he knew it wouldn't do him any good to worry.

"It was out of my hands -- we would get lucky or not," he said.

Contessa said Speightscity would ship to Kentucky on Tuesday and breeze over the Churchill Downs strip Wednesday.

In addition to Speightscity, horses are shipping from all over the country -- even from Europe -- to run in the Juvenile.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien entered two European-based group stakes winners -- Crusade and Daddy Long Legs, who will both race on dirt for the first time after racing exclusively on turf overseas.

In addition to the latter two horses, other leading Juvenile contenders making surface switches to dirt include Dullahan and Hansen, who won the Breeders' Futurity and Kentucky Cup Juvenile over Polytrack at Keeneland and Turfway, respectively.