Favorite Jack Christopher Scratched From Juvenile; Domestic Spending, United Out Of Turf, Hit The Road Out Of Mile

Grade 1 Champagne Stakes winner Jack Christopher, unbeaten in two starts, has been scratched from Friday’s $2 million, Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile because of a reported shin problem. The 9-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/16-mile contest, the Munnings colt is owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and Peter Brant and trained by Chad Brown.

This was the second devastating blow for Brown, who earlier on Thursday told Breeders’ Cup officials that three-time G1 winner Domestic Spending would be unable to compete in the $4-million, G1 Turf because of inflammation in a foreleg.

News about Jack Christopher was first reported Thursday evening on Twitter by television racing analyst Michelle Yu and confirmed by Breeders’ Cup. Brown did not respond to text messages after the news broke.

Bloodstock agent Bradley Weisbord, racing manager for Bakke, said in a Tweet Thursday evening that Jack Christopher, who earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure while winning the Champagne by 2 3/4 lengths on Oct. 2, would return to the races as a 3-year-old.

Weisbord later told Thoroughbred Daily News Jack Christopher was scratched on the advice of veterinarians working for Breeders’ Cup.

 Favoritism in the Juvenile now falls on Bob Baffert-trained Corniche, who like Jack Christopher is unbeaten in two starts. The son of Quality Road won the G1 American Pharoah last out under Mike Smith, earning an 85 Beyer Speed Figure. He was installed the 5-2 second choice behind Jack Christopher in the morning line after drawing the outside post position in what is now a field of 11 2-year-old colts.

Meanwhile, the field for Saturday’s $4-million Breeders’ Cup Turf took a significant turn on Thursday morning with the news that Domestic Spending, second choice on the morning line at 4-1, and 2019 Turf runner-up United were both scratched because of inflammation.

Klaravich Stable’s Domestic Spending is out after trainer Chad Brown said the 4-year-old gelding by Kingman showed inflammation in his left foreleg. Brown told TVG’s Christine Blacker the three-time Grade 1 winner did not go to the track Thursday morning and was resting comfortably in his stall. He will be sent to Kentucky for further diagnostics.

Domestic Spending was coming off a second-place finish to Two Emmys in the G1 Mr. D Stakes (formerly the Arlington Million) at Arlington Park on Aug. 14. That ended a four-race win streak dating back to the Saratoga Derby Invitational in August 2020. He followed that with three consecutive G1 wins in the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar last November and this year’s Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and the Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day.

Domestic Spending galloping at Del Mar on Wednesday

LNJ Foxwoods’ United also had swelling in a leg that trainer Richard Mandella had been monitoring over the last several days

“United a few days had a little swelling over a suspensory ligament,” Mandella told TVG’s Michelle Yu. “We scanned it and it was clean. We thought maybe he just hit it. We worked on it a few days and today it was looking good but I thought with the race coming up I’m not going to go in wondering if he’s going to be alright or not. So I let him have a strong two-minute lick for a mile, and afterwards there was more swelling there than there had been. So that answered the question: we’re not going to take a chance.  The good news is it scans clean so there’s no real damage, but there’s some kind of strain going on and we can’t take a risk.”

United, a 6-year-old gelding by Giant’s Causeway, was coming off a nose victory in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Oct. 2, his 10th victory in 22 lifetime starts. This would have been United’s third run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, having come up a head short of Bricks and Mortar when second in 2019 and eighth behind Tarnawa last year.

United, who was to be ridden by John Velazquez, was 20-1 on the morning line. Flavien Prat, who had been United’s regular rider, opted instead to ride Domestic Spending.

The two defections put also-eligibles Bolshoi Ballet from the Aidan O’Brien stable and Bill Mott-trained Channel Maker in the starting field.

On Friday morning, trainer Dan Blacker tweeted the news that Hit The Road had spiked a fever and would be a scratch from the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“Unbelievably bad timing and bad luck,” wrote Blacker. “We will get him healthy, regroup and point for the next race.”

Hit The Road had a 15-1 morning line and was coming to the race after a third-place effort in the G2 City of Hope Mile. Earlier this year he won the G1 Kilroe and the G3 Thunder Road. John Velazquez had the mount.

The post Favorite Jack Christopher Scratched From Juvenile; Domestic Spending, United Out Of Turf, Hit The Road Out Of Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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