The 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships began with Future Stars Friday and Gary Barber’s Ontario-bred two-year-old colt MY BOY PRINCE did his hometown proud with a strong effort when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
The dark grey colt, bred by Murray Smith, was sent hard to the lead by jockey Joel Rosario and the pair locked up with Air Recruit through fast fractions of 22.26 and 46.72 early in the one mile turf race.
My Boy Prince, trained by Mark Casse, was still fighting on into the stretch as the closers came calling, including favoured UNQUESTIONABLE for Europe. The latter worked his way out of traffic to win the $1 million race and in the last strides, My Boy Prince was caught for second by another Euro, Mountain Bear. Aidan O’Brien trained the top two finishers.
Casse also saddled CAN GROUP, who rallied for fourth. The time was a sharp 1:33.65.
Unquestionable was ridden by Ryan Moore, who was to ride River Tiber but that colt was a morning scratch. Unquestionable was bought for more than $350,000 as a yearling in France and he is a son of top sire Wooten Bassett.
For My Boy Prince, his third-place finish in a Grade 1 sealed his Sovereign Award for Champion two-year-old male in Canada – he had it wrapped up anyway – and bolstered the case for Barber as owner of the year. Barber purchased My Boy Prince from Smith, through agent Gail Wood, at the CTHS Ontario sale of Canadian-bred yearlings in 2022 for a sale-topping $110,000.
“I think we just got beat for second,” said Casse. “I am proud of both of my horses, they ran well. I was a little surprised to see (jockey Luis) Saez (on Air Recruit) up on the lead. I thought we (My Boy Prince) would be on the lead. Joel (Rosario) said he was running great; we just got run down. My other horse [Can Group] ran good, too. Flavien (Prat) said, ‘please let me ride him back.’ He just needs more ground. Look, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The only thing you can ask for is for them to show up and have the opportunity to get a good trip. How can I be disappointed in either horse? It’s not easy to beat those guys from over there (Europe).”
Joel Rosario, who rode My Boy Prince said, “It looked like I was going to (be able) to make the lead early, but they sent the 1 (Air Recruit) out early. I just had to sit in second. He did everything right. He still ran good. Turning for home, I thought was going to make a run, but the closing horses were fresher but it was a good race for my horse.”
All-sources handle for the 10-race program on the first day of the 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA, was $61,747,341, the third consecutive year the Friday handle has topped $60 million.
Wagering was down 6.6 percent from the 2022 Friday totals when the championships were held at Keeneland.
The Future Stars Friday card featured five Breeders’ Cup races for two-year-old horses, the sixth consecutive year the Breeders’ Cup has carded all of the juvenile races on the same day since the event expanded to its two-day format in 2007.
Future Stars Friday Wrap:
JUVENILE TURF SPRINT – BIG EVS (Ire), battled the filly Crimson Advocate for half of the five furlong dash and then edged clear under Tom Marquand (his first Breeders’ Cup ride). Big Evs was foaled in Ireland and a son of top sire Blue Point from the unplaced mare Hana Lina by Oasis Dream, and was bred by Rabbah Bloodstock.