Bad luck for Frankel; post 12 for Aptitude
ELMONT, N.Y. -- Bobby Frankel says he won't admit he's jinxed in the Breeders' Cup until he goes 0-for-6 in Saturday's World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park. But Frankel surely wasn't feeling like a lucky guy after Wednesday's post position draw for all eight Breeders' Cup races.
That fortunate horse was the Frankel-trained You, who landed post five and was pegged an 8-5 favorite in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
But in the biggest race of the day, the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Frankel's fortunes were far worse. Aptitude, the 2-1 favorite, drew post 12 in a field of 13 which will break from midway on Belmont Park's clubhouse turn, placing added value on an inside post.
"This changes my confidence a bit," said Frankel, who sports an 0-for-36 record in the Breeders' Cup. "My horses are going to have to be a few lengths better than I thought they were to win.
"Aptitude's draw was the worst. I hate where they start the race."
The field of 13 for the 1 1/4-mile Classic surprisingly included Godolphin's Sakhee, the Arc de Triomphe winner who was also nominated to run in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
It was expected that Sakhee would run in the Turf and stablemate Fantastic Light would start in the Classic, but instead Fantastic Light was entered in the Turf, where he drew post and was posted as an 8-5 favorite.
"From Tuesday's work [on the dirt at Belmont] we know that Sakhee can handle the dirt and he has the class to run a big race in the Classic," trainer Saeed bin Suroor said. "Fantastic Light trained for two years on the dirt in Dubai and handled it well. But his best races have been on the turf, so we decided to run him in the Turf."
European challenger Galileo, who like Sakhee will be making his first start on the dirt, was made the 4-1 second-choice in the Classic and drew post five.
Reigning Horse of the Year Tiznow (5-1 morning line) also landed an outside post (10) in his bid for back-to-back wins in the Classic.
The rest of the Classic field in post position order includes: Orientate (post one, 30-1); Guided Tour (two, 15-1); Black Minnaloushe (three, 20-1); Include (four, 15-1); Macho Uno (seven, 20-1); Gander (eight, 20-1); Albert the Great (nine, 8-1); A Fleets Dancer (11, 30-1); and Freedom Crest (13, 30-1).
The $2 million Turf attracted a field of 12 with Frankel's Timboroa, the 5-1 second-choice, winding up with post eight.
The biggest favorite on the $13 million program is The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Officer, who was priced a 4-5 favorite over 11 foes in the $1 million Juvenile. Officer will break from post two.
"Post position doesn't make a difference to him," Richard Mulhall, racing manager for The Thoroughbred Corp., said of the undefeated Officer. "He can lay close to the lead or come from off it."
Lailani, the 3-1 favorite in the $1 million Filly & Mare Turf, will have to overcome the outside post in a field of 12. Second-choice England's Legend (7-2) drew post two and Frankel's Starine has post 10.
Kona Gold (7-2 favorite), bidding for successive wins in the $1 million Sprint, landed post four in a full field of 14. El Corredor (9-2) has post 10 and Caller One (6-1) post six, while Frankel's Squirtle Squirt is mired along the inside with post three.
"We love the draw," said Bruce Headley, trainer and co-owner of Kona Gold. "There's a lot of speed inside us."
Snow Ridge and Yonaguska were excluded from the field for the Sprint.
The $1 million Mile on the turf boasts a field of 13, topped by 3-1 favorite Noverre, who has post three. Irish Prize, the 4-1 second-choice, wound up with post 13.
The inside portion of the track often resembles quicksand at Belmont, explaining why Frankel was dismayed at getting post two for Flute, the 5-2 favorite in the $2 million Distaff.
"I would have rather seen her farther outside," Frankel said of Flute, "but I have no choice."
Second-choice Exogenous will break just outside of Flute from post three. Fleet Renee, the 5-1 third-choice, has the outside post in a field of 13.