03/29/2006 12:00AM

Barbaro draws post 10

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Bill Denver/EquiPhotos
Flashy Bull is the second choice to win the Florida Derby at 4-1 odds.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The field for Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby grew to 11 horses by the time the race was drawn on Wednesday, with the unexpected additions of Hesanoldsalt and Sam's Ace. The turn of events may have provided a stumbling block for the undefeated Barbaro, who drew post 10 for the Grade 1 race, the marquee event on the Gulfstream Park stakes schedule.

Trainer Michael Matz, who has pointed Barbaro for the Florida Derby ever since his victory in the Holy Bull Stakes here on Feb. 4, did not attend the draw but took the news of Barbaro's post position in stride.

"Obviously we'd have preferred a better post, but there's not much we can do about it now, and I'm sure he's going to face a lot more adversity in his career than drawing the 10-hole for the Florida Derby," said Matz. "Heck, if he gets that for the Kentucky Derby we'll be happy."

Barbaro was established as the 8-5 morning-line favorite by track handicapper Chuck Streva for the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby. Barbaro has won all four career starts, the first three on turf and the fourth over a sloppy track in the Holy Bull. Edgar Prado will again have the mount.

"It's a short run to the first turn, but he's got tactical speed and I think he should be able to put himself in a good spot," said Matz.

Flashy Bull, the second choice at 4-1, fared better at the draw and will break from post 2 under Rafael Bejarano. Flashy Bull finished fourth, nearly four lengths behind Barbaro, after a three-wide trip in the Holy Bull. One month later in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, he crossed the finish line third but was placed second behind odds-on favorite First Samurai after the disqualification of Corinthian.

Hesandoldsalt is one of two horses entered in the Florida Derby by trainer Nick Zito, along with Doc Cheney. Todd Pletcher will also send out a pair, Sunriver and Saint Augustus. All four will run as separate betting interests.

Trainer Doug O'Neill made a last-minute decision to ship California-bred Sam's Ace cross-country for the race. Sam's Ace, claimed for $32,000 out of his career debut at Del Mar, has captured 3 of his 4 starts, including an entry-level allowance race for statebreds going a mile at Santa Anita on March 11. He had even worse luck at the draw than Barbaro and will break from the outside in post 11. Sam's Ace is owned by J. Paul Reddam and a partnership headed by Aron Wellman.

"It was a group decision amongst myself and the owners to take a chance and send him," said O'Neill. "We thought it might be a good opportunity to test the big boys and see where we were. The post is a bummer, but we're not going to let it bum us out."

The remainder of the lineup consists of Rehoboth, Sharp Humor, High Blues, and Charming Image.