Updated on 09/15/2011 2:19PM

BC Morning Roundup: Stevens likes three from Drysdale


ELMONT, N.Y. - If you're looking for value in your Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships wagers, then jockey Gary Stevens advises to keep an eye on three Neil Drysdale-trained horses: Irish Prize (Mile), Kalypso Katie (Filly & Mare Turf) and Bella Bellucci (Juvenile Fillies).

All three, incidentally, will be ridden by Gary Stevens.

"Those three Drysdale horses are doing very well," said Stevens, who has won eight Breeders' Cup races in his Hall of Fame career, on Thursday morning. "None of them are favorites, but I don't look at the odds board too much on Breeders' Cup Day. These horses are here for a reason. You have to have faith in the people you're riding for."

Stevens faces a difficult challenge in Saturday's Mile as Irish Prize, the 6-1 third-choice in Mike Watchmaker's Daily Racing Form line, drew the far outside post in a field of 13. But Stevens believes the one-turn configuration of the mile turf races at Belmont Park makes it easier to work out a smooth trip from a post in a different area code.

"The post isn't as bad as it would have been last year with a two-turn mile at Churchill Downs," Stevens said. "You have a long run to the first turn. The main thing in this race is if your horse is doing well and Irish Prize is doing very well."

Bella Bellucci, who is undefeated in two career starts, is the 4-1 third-choice in the Juvenile Fillies, while Kalypso Katie, who has not raced since late June when she was third in the Beverly Hills at Hollywood Park, is pegged at 30-1 in the Filly & Mare Turf.

Baffert wanted it all

Trainer Bob Baffert was greedy going into Wednesday's post position draw for Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

He said he wanted the best of both worlds. He wanted to have the best horse in the race and the best post.

He settled for half of the equation.

Baffert still has the horse to beat in the Juvenile - The Thoroughbred Corp.'s unbeaten Officer. But if Baffert had his druthers, Officer, a heavy 3-5 favorite, would be breaking from farther away from the rail than post two.

"We got post two for Officer, and I was disappointed," Baffert said Thursday morning. "But you deal with it."

Having a colt with a perfect 5-for-5 record, which includes a victory in Belmont's Champagne Stakes at the Juvenile distance of 1 1/16 miles, certainly helped temper Baffert's feelings.

"With an inside post, [jockey] Victor Espinoza has to make his move early," Baffert said. "He may have to make the pace in the race. You don't want to get shuffled back, so the break is very important for us."

Talent is another important factor in race like the Juvenile, and Baffert is quite comfortable with the hand he'll be playing in that regard.

"If Officer fires, we're OK," Baffert said, "and he should fire Saturday. He looks like he's ready to run a big race."

Baffert was equally disappointed when his 2-year-old filly, Habibti, drew the rail for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Like Officer, Habibti is undefeated, but she has only started twice and has not raced since Aug. 26 when she posted an impressive victory in the Del Mar Debutante.

"She's doing well," Baffert said of The Thoroughbred Corp.'s daughter of Tabasco Cat. "I think she'll be sharp for the race. She didn't eat well after she arrived here [Tuesday] but she ate everything today."

One of the four fillies Habibti defeated in the Debutante was Godolphin Racing's Tempera and trainer Eoin Harty said Thursday post positions could help his filly turn the tables on Habibti (7-2) and upend 9-5 morning line choice You.

Tempera (6-1) drew the far outside post in a field of nine.

"Tempera's doing well and we drew a much better post than in the Debutante," said Harty, whose filly broke from the rail in the Debutante. "A mile-and-a-sixteenth race at Belmont is like an elongated sprint. You can get much better position on the outside. You can run whichever way you choose. Tempera has settled down a bit lately and being on the outside should help her relax in the race."

Mutamam works in 50.03 seconds

With the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships two days away, virtually all of the Breeders' Cup entrants were content to either walk or gallop Thursday.

The lone exception was Canadian International winner Mutamam, who prepped for the $2 million Turf by working four furlongs over the turf in 50.03 seconds.

The $400,000 question

Getting $400,000 out of someone should always be this easy.

Trainer John Kimmel insists there was no arm-twisting involved in convincing brothers Leland and Robert Ackerley, who race under the name of Ackerley Brothers Farm, to put up $400,000 to supplement Spinster winner Miss Linda to the $2,360,000 Distaff.

"The Ackerleys asked me. 'If this horse was fully eligible would we run in the Distaff?' and I said, 'No question.' They put no pressure on me about putting up the money."

Though Miss Linda is a 10-1 longshot in the Distaff, Kimmel has no regrets about forking over the Ackerleys's cash.

"The horse looks to me to be on the upswing," Kimmel said. "The Spinster didn't take anything out of her."

How fast will they go?

There's no shortage of wagers on the Breeders' Cup. There's exactas, triples, superfectas, a pick six. You can even get in contact with British bookmakers William Hill and get 13-8 that Bobby Frankel will not win a single Breeders' Cup race or 225-1 that 2000 Breeders' Cup winners Spain, Kona Gold and Tiznow will all repeat in 2001.

But if you want an over/under for the opening fraction in the Sprint, ask Kimmel. He says 21.40 or 21.60 is a good starting point, though, he said he'll wait to see Saturday's weather conditions before deciding whether to take the under or over.

"It's supposed to a gusty, windy day," Kimmel said, "and if the wind is blowing into the horses's face heading into the turn, you might expect a 21 fraction and get 22 - and that is actually fast."

Kimmel's starter in the Sprint, 30-1 shot Hook And Ladder, has the dreadful outside post 14, but Kimmel is hopeful there's enough speed in the race that his horse will have room to move inside before the turn.

"You don't want to be stuck wide the whole trip in a race like Sprint," Kimmel said.