There were winners and losers in Monday's draw for post positions for the 14 Breeders' Cup championship races to be run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Friday and Saturday. Following is a sample of comments from trainers and owners of many of the contenders.
Trainer Bob Baffert (McKinzie, Classic, Post 8) – “I was happy with it. You never want to be down inside. This is the last thing that you don't have any control of. It looks like all the horses drew pretty well in there. All the good horses are next to each other. At the end of the day the cream rises to the top. That's what the Breeders' Cup is all about. It's great racing. You have to be really good and really good that day.”
Trainer Shug McGaughey (Code of Honor, Classic, Post 11) – “That's OK. That's fine.”
Bill Mott (Yoshida, Classic, Post 5; Elate, Classic, Post 6) – “I think it's OK. I think it's fine. I don't see any problems with them. I don't think the post position is any excuse for us. I mean, the fewer horses you have, the fewer chances of getting hung up wide. But we're inside enough. You can't win these races going around everybody. I guess with Yoshida, he comes from a good ways back so he can always get hung up a little wide.”
Trainer John Sadler (Higher Power, Classic, Post 7) – “We really just didn't want the 1 for him because he stumbled so badly last time. That's a good post. It's a long run to the first turn he should be a factor.”
Trainer John Sadler (Ollie's Candy, Distaff, Post 2) – “Post 2, that's a good post for her. She doesn't need a lot of pace. So I don't think it will be factor for her.”
Owner Jeff Bloom (Midnight Bisou, Distaff, Post 4; Snapper Sinclair, Dirt Mile, Post 10) – “I'm thrilled about Midnight Bisou. If I had to pick a post, four is what I would pick. She's so versatile and adapts so well. I have the luxury of sitting back and letting Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith make the decisions.
“I'm not so thrilled with Snapper Sinclair. I'd imagine he'll be up on the pace from that outside post. He will have to use his natural speed to get position.”
John Shirreffs (Paradise Woods, Distaff, Post 1) – “I don't think anyone really likes the 1 post position. We'll see how it goes.”
Trainer Bob Baffert (Eight Rings, Juvenile, Post 6) – “That's good. You don't want to be down in the inside. I'm pretty happy with all my draws. There's tough 2-year-olds in there. You've got to break well. They're young horses.”
Trainer Bob Baffert (Improbable, Dirt Mile, Post 2) – “I was hoping to be further outside with him. He's the only one of our horses that drew bad. I would have liked to see him outside.”
Trainer Carlos Martin (Come Dancing, Filly and Mare Sprint, Post 4) – “I'm happy. I didn't want to be 1 or 2. She's such a big mare. I was kidding around with the owner Marc Holliday before and said that if we got 5 I'd be really happy. So 4, I'll take it. Covfefe, she's a great filly, she has the 1. I guess we know her strategy, what's she's going to have to do. I think I have some options, so I'm happy.”
Trainer John Sadler (Catalina Cruiser, Sprint, Post 1) – “We'll leave it up to Joel Rosario. When you're looking at the race, I factored in that he might get a bad post. It's not the post you would pick but that is what we have and we'll have to figure it out.”
Trainer Richard Mandella (Omaha Beach, Dirt Mile, Post 5) – “I couldn't have picked a better one. He's right in the middle there. Everything should go well, but we know we have to have a little bit of luck to go along with that post position.”
Trainer Mark Glatt (Eddie Haskell, Turf Sprint, Post 10) – “At these short distances, the best horse doesn't always win. The draw is critical. I'd have been happy starting anywhere in the middle of the gate between posts 5 and 10. This gives us options as the race unfolds.”
Trainer Peter Miller (Spiced Perfection, Filly & Mare Sprint, Post 9; Stormy Liberal, Turf Sprint, Post 6; Belvoir Bay, Turf Sprint, Post 12; Om, Turf Sprint, Post 11; Wrecking Crew, Juvenile, Post 2; Billy Batts, Juvenile Turf Sprint, Post 8; Mo See Cal, Distaff, Post 10) – “I'm happy with Spiced Perfection and love the nine for her. With the long run into the first turn and being on the outside, she'll have the speed inside of her. That's my best draw of them all. I also loved Stormy Liberal in the six-hole. That's a great draw for him. I'd actually say those are my two best, him and Spiced Perfection.
“I'm not so happy with Om and Belvoir Bay stuck on the outside. Belvoir Bay has a ton of speed and should be able to clear and get a position. The plan was always to put her up in the race. She's very fast and we wanted to be up close, but she may lose some ground now. I don't think it really changes things too much. You lose ground, but you're also not going to have a lot of traffic.
“The two-hole is fine for Wrecking Crew and the eight is fine with Billy Batts, but that's as far as out as I'd like to be with him.
“Mo See Cal has speed, so the 10 isn't too bad. We'll just follow Serengeti Empress from there.
“There were some I really liked and some I really didn't like.”
Trainer Jorge Navarro (Shancelot, Sprint, Post 6) – “I wanted to be in the middle, so I can't feel any better about it. If you ask me if I would rather have the post 1 or post 6, I would rather have the 6. I'll take him to the gate tomorrow and see how he behaves. Hopefully his bad gate days are behind him.”
Dale Romans (Dennis' Moment, Juvenile, Post 1) – “It's not historically my favorite (post) but I think he can pick it up coming away from there. The inside might be the place to be this race. He's going to be fast enough to be up close. It just makes it most important that he breaks more clean, that he doesn't miss the break at all. And I don't think he will anyway. I probably would have picked 2, 3 or 4. I wanted to be down on the inside but I'd just as soon not be in the 1. Like I said, it just makes it more important that he breaks good. But he's never turned a hair or done anything wrong.
“It doesn't matter where Baffert is. You have to always factor in the Baffert effect. They sure seem to run well in big races. I said in an interview earlier, there are a lot of good things about (Eight Rings), the best thing he has going is Bob is training him.”
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