Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Draw kind to Breeders’ Cup favorites

The racing gods were kind to the favorites who were given their post positions for this week’s biggest Breeders’ Cup races —- the Classic and Distaff —- at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park.

The same couldn’t be said for some of the other races on Friday and Saturday.

Game On Dude, a perfect 5-for-5 in 2013, drew the No. 9 spot on Monday for Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Defending Classic champion Fort Larned (6-1) drew the No. 7 post. The Classic is one of nine BC races on Saturday.

“You really need racing luck,” said Bob Baffert, Game On Dude’s trainer. “I like his outside post (No. 9). We didn’t want to be buried inside.”

Friday’s five races are headed by the $2 million Distaff, which features a small but star-studded field of six females. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens called the draw for that 1 1/8-mile race “irrelevant” on Twitter.

Stevens will come out of the No. 5 hole with the 3-year-old filly Beholder (5-2) while favorites Royal Delta (8-5 and the two-time defending champ) and Princess of Sylmar (9-5), another 3-year-old filly, drew No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.

As for the rest of the races, the biggest loser might be the 2-year-old filly My Conquestadory (9-2), who drew the outside post in a field of 14 going 1 mile on Santa Anita’s turf course in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf. Trainer Mark Casse said the draw was so bad for his undefeated filly that he might consider scratching.

“I haven’t been feeling well, and I can’t tell you that made my stomach feel any better,” said Casse. “I’ve been on the phone with Ernie (Semersky, owner of Conquest Stables) and we may not even run, but we’ll see.”

Trainer Doug O’Neill didn’t have any luck with the No. 12 draw for speedy Goldencents (4-1) in Friday’s Dirt Mile plus another speed horse, and morning-line favorite Verrazano (3-1), drew No. 10.

“(The 12 post for Goldencents) is the one post I wasn’t thrilled about, but as I thought about it, I think it will work out,” said O’Neill, who also has the favorite in Saturday’s Sprint with Private Zone (3-1), which drew No. 7.

Defending Turf Sprint champion Mizdirection (4-1), owned in part by radio talk show host Jim Rome, drew an advantageous No. 12 for Saturday’s race on Santa Anita’s famed downhill grass course.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter


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