10/25/2005 11:00PM

BC Juvenile: Henny, Samurai adjacent

Stevie Wonderboy, post 12, is in the second tier of betting choices behind the 8-5 First Samurai.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Familiar foes First Samurai and Henny Hughes will line up side by side, and the majority of top contenders drew outside post positions in Saturday's $1,590,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park.

First Samurai drew post 9 and was installed as the 8-5 favorite, while Henny Hughes is to his immediate outside and was made 5-1 second choice by Belmont oddsmaker Eric Donovan.

Private Vow, the Belmont Futurity winner, drew post 11, followed by Del Mar Futurity winner Stevie Wonderboy and Norfolk winner Brother Derek. The undefeated Sorcerer's Stone drew nicely in post 8.

Unlike past years, when some major 2-year-old stakes winners would sit out the Breeders' Cup for whatever reason, all the major players in the division are here this year. The 14 horses entered for the Juvenile include 11 graded or group stakes winners, as well as a horse that won his maiden in a stakes race. All told, this group has won 17 stakes.

First Samurai is undefeated in four starts, including wins over Henny Hughes in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont. Prior to the Hopeful, Henny Hughes was considered the top 2-year-old, with runaway victories in the Tremont and Saratoga Special.

"First Samurai and Henny Hughes, how dominant are they against this group?" asked Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Private Vow. "These are the horses they haven't faced. Stevie Wonderboy, if he wins, everybody will say they knew it. If Sorcerer's Stone wins, everybody will say they knew it. If Private Vow wins everybody will say they knew it. That's what this does; this puts them all together. No excuses Saturday."

Frank Brothers, the trainer of First Samurai, certainly won't use the post position as an excuse on Saturday. He was content with post 9, though he would have preferred to have drawn outside of Henny Hughes.

"In a perfect world you always want to be outside the speed, but it's fine," Brothers said. "A one-turn mile and a sixteenth, I don't think there's any real bad spot."

Kiaran McLaughlin, who took over the training of Henny Hughes on Oct. 11, said he wanted an outside draw and even wrote down 11 next to his horse's name before the draw commenced.

"You'd rather be outside and not be forced to move earlier than you want to so he can break and just see what's happening," McLaughlin said. "First Samurai is right next to him so we'll probably be in front of him early, so I'd like not to go too fast."

Henny Hughes and First Samurai will both be on Lasix for the first time in the Juvenile.

The field

Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Purse: $1,590,000; 1 1/16 miles; Grade 1

1SuperflyE. Coa30-1
2Ivan DenisovichK. Fallon12-1
3LeoF. Dettori20-1
4Set AlightR. Bejarano20-1
5Jealous ProfitC. Nakatani50-1
6Dawn of WarJ. Castellano20-1
7Stream CatG. Stevens30-1
8Sorcerer's StoneM. Guidry12-1
9First SamuraiJ. Bailey8-5
10Henny HughesE. Prado5-1
11Private VowJ. Velazquez8-1
12Stevie WonderboyG. Gomez8-1
13Brother DerekA. Solis20-1
14Dr. PleasureJ. Santos20-1

* All starters carry 122 pounds
* Track odds