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Reddam Racing's Bond Holder, with a Grade 1 victory at his home racetrack, drew post 5 in a full field of 14 for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2.
Bond Holder figures to be one of the top choices in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile off of his victory in the Sept. 28 FrontRunner Stakes, also at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. Champagne Stakes winner Havana, who drew post 13, and sharp debut maiden winner Tap It Rich, from post 6, also figure to draw attention."It was a great draw," said Doug O'Neill, who trains Bond Holder. "He's doing so good, and he gets to walk out of his own stall to the track."
Bond Holder won the FrontRunner in 1:45 after rallying late off honest early fractions. O'Neill said he liked the effort, which produced the Mineshaft colt's maiden victory in his fifth start.
"He has always been a mature horse mentally," O'Neill said. "His win in the FrontRunner was really nice, because he went against the bias from off the pace on a day when speed was good."
Mario Gutierrez will ride the 2-year-old colt for the sixth time in the Juvenile.
Fog City Stable's Tap It Rich, trained by Bob Baffert, impressed his connections in his Oct. 12 debut at Santa Anita so much that he was entered in the Juvenile. The Tapit colt circled foes after a slow start in the one-mile maiden special weight event and pulled away to win by 4 ¼ lengths.
Mike Smith gets a return call aboard Tap It Rich, who has appeared full of himself on the track in the mornings at Santa Anita. The ridgling worked a half-mile in :48 ⅕ Oct. 28 in his final work for the Juvenile.
Havana, owned by Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, never has raced two turns but could be favored in the Juvenile for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Dunkirk colt won the Champagne at Belmont Park around one turn in his last start Oct. 5, and won his debut sprinting at Saratoga Race Course in late August.
John Velazquez will ride Havana from the tricky post, though the colt has displayed sharp early foot in his two starts thus far.