The Breeders' Cup Juvenile is usually seen as one of the finest tuneups for 2-year-old thoroughbreds and one of the most-visited stops for next season's Kentucky Derby contenders. But the 2012 Kentucky Derby field is dotted with Breeders' Cup Juvenile horses in a way that no prior Derby has ever been.
As And Down The Stretch They Come explains, a record nine horses that ran in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile also made the 2012 Kentucky Derby field:
Since the inception of the Breeders' Cup in 1984, only one year had more than five Juvenile runners come back to run in the Kentucky Derby (2006 Juvenile: six horses in 2007 Derby, including Street Sense), and traditionally, only three or four Juvenile runners make it to Louisville in the spring. In 2012, however, a record nine horses are expected to run in the Derby after competing in the Juvenile last fall, including the second time in Breeders' Cup history that the top five finishers are probable entries in the Derby: Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause, Dullahan, Take Charge Indy, Optimizer, Alpha, Daddy Long Legs, and Prospective.
Only Street Sense, the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, has swept the two races. Of the other 13 Breeders' Cup Juvenile champions to attempt it, only two have even taken third in the Derby.