October 26, 2018
APPLEBY REPORTS FOR DUTY
by Brian W. Spencer, Xpressbet
ANALYSIS: While Europeans hold a nearly two-to-one edge on their North American counterparts in the BC Juvenile Turf, there are a couple runners from our side of the pond that look capable of making some noise. It doesn’t appear on paper that we’ll be looking at too serious a pace, and that could advantage the forward players. The Euros who appear to fit the bill best are ANTHONY VAN DYCK and LINE OF DUTY; they’ll meet a capable home team this year led by recent stakes winners FORTY UNDER and CURRENT.
MAIN CONTENDERS: LINE OF DUTY overcame a tough trip to break his maiden two starts back before stepping up to capture the Group 3 Prix de Conde at Chantilly last out. He’ll get his class test, but trainer Charlie Appleby is no stranger to Breeders’ Cup success, having saddled Outstrip ($14) to win this race in 2013 and Wuheida ($24) to win the Filly & Mare Turf last year – from just three career Breeders’ Cup starters. I had originally liked Broome for trainer Adian O’Brien, but they opted to keep him in Europe. Instead O’Brien, who has won this race four times, ships ANTHONY VAN DYCK stateside. He seems even more likely to be a main player, but the wide draw in a 14-horse field did him no favors. CURRENT was the only one to close any ground in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, and he has now won over turf courses rated ‘firm’ and ‘good,’ so he should be able to adapt to whatever the weather throws his way. His only loss came at the hands of a next-out Grade 1 winner, so there’s some quality. FORTY UNDER has been a revelation on the grass in his two most recent starts, but he has been the beneficiary of a couple of decent setups in those scores, and to these eyes he’s still got some proving to do.
VALUE PLAYS: HENLEY’S JOY isn’t flashy, but he’s tactical and has proven that he know how to dig in and doesn’t mind a fight in the lane. He should get one of the better trips from just off the speed and might get a bit forgotten on the tote.
WAGERING STRATEGY ($100):