Key questions and quotes as O'Brien seeks another victory with Anthony Van Dyck
9.22 Churchill Downs
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf | Grade 1 | 1m | turf | 2yo colts and geldings | ATR
The Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore pairing has claimed so many races around the world, and the duo have already established a dominance in this race's short history.
First staged in 2007, the Juvenile Turf has been won by O'Brien and Moore on four occasions, with the most recent winner, Mendelssohn, set to contest the biggest prize of the meeting on Saturday in the Classic.
This year O'Brien relies on Anthony Van Dyck, who has been campaigned over seven furlongs for the majority of the season, but his sole run at a mile resulted in an eight-length maiden victory at Killarney in July.
Although drawn widest of all in stall 14, the colt could have the class to overcome that stalls position, having finished second to Quorto in the National Stakes two runs ago before finishing four lengths adrift in third behind Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst last time.
O'Brien said: "We thought we'd probably finish Anthony Van Dyck after the Dewhurst but he came out of it so well we thought we'd let him take his chance. He didn't have a hard race.
"We think he'll stay middle distances, though he'd have no problem starting at a mile next year. He doesn't have a good draw but we think the experience will do him good."
Appleby relying on experience with Line Of Duty
Outstrip handed Charlie Appleby a first success at the highest level when winning this race in 2013.
Since then big-race successes have arrived regularly for the Godolphin trainer, and he is chasing another with Line Of Duty.
A troubled passage thwarted Masar's bid in the race last year, but Appleby thinks that experience helped the colt, who went on to win the Derby.
Line Of Duty will be having his fifth start of the season, and Appleby said: "They need that experience in these Breeders' Cup races. The competition is so intense.
"Line Of Duty was able to make the immediate progression from his maiden win to Group 3 success, and he brings experience to the table. I expect him to be competitive."
Can Arthur Kitt can cap fairytale season?
Arthur Kitt's backstory would be a suitable script for a Hollywood movie, as the colt has overcome a huge amount of adversity from the beginning of his short life.
His mother, 2012 Queen Mary winner Ceiling Kitty, sadly died giving birth to him, and Arthur Kitt needed to be resuscitated several times during the ordeal.
A badly twisted leg caused further complications, but the son of Camelot made it to the track, and delivered a hugely emotional victory for trainer Tom Dascombe and owner Andrew Black when emulating Ceiling Kitty with a Royal Ascot victory in the Chesham Stakes.
But the ground may prove Arthur Kitt's undoing following rain at the track, and Dascombe said: "He's fit and well and has been lovely and fresh here, but this rain has put a huge downer on it. His mother hated soft ground and he's never run on it.
"There's a possibility he won't run but I'll speak to his owner Andrew Black and we'll see. We've come a long way to be a non-runner and Bert being the sporting man he is might give it a go."
What they say
Bob Baffert, trainer of Much Better
I put him in the Turf even though he's probably more of a dirt horse. He's run well on the turf so we're just taking a shot with him.
Michael Maker, trainer of Henley's Joy and Somelikeithotbrown
Both are doing excellent. I think there are some quicker horses in there. I don't want to handcuff the jockeys or anything, but I think both will be stalking the pace.
Todd Pletcher, trainer of Current and Opry
Current is training very well and seems to improve with each start. He's high spirited, but in a good way. Opry didn't seem to handle the softer turf in the Pilgrim Stakes as well as he did in the With Anticipation Stakes. We'll just have to see what the weather does. In a perfect world we'd have firm ground but that is looking unlikely.
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