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Breeders' Cup Classic: Game On Dude gets comfortable post
ARCADIA, Calif. – After a morning that went ideally for Game On Dude with his final workout, co-owner Bernie Schiappa anxiously awaited the draw on Monday afternoon for the post positions for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. There was an audible sigh of relief from him when Game On Dude landed post 9 in the field of 12 for the Classic on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Game On Dude has a tendency to break a half-step slow, so an inside draw, in a large field, might have been problematic. From post 9, Game On Dude will be in the clear. He still, however, has to be good enough.
Game On Dude flopped as the favorite in last year’s Classic, and four horses who finished in front of him that day are back for another go-round this year. But because Game On Dude has not lost since last year’s Classic, he is the favorite again.
Fort Larned, last year’s winner of the Classic, ended up in post 7, and with Palace Malice, one of the leading 3-year-olds in the country, in post 8.
One of the first posts to be pulled during the double-blind draw was 1. Waiting for the name assigned to that post, “I almost threw up,” Schiappa said. It went to Last Gunfighter.
From the rail out, the field is Last Gunfighter, Paynter, Planteur, Moreno, Declaration of War, Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, Palace Malice, Game On Dude, Will Take Charge, Ron the Greek, and Flat Out.
The Classic is the last of 14 Breeders’ Cup races that will be run Friday and Saturday. Five of the races, highlighted by the Distaff, are on Friday, with nine more on Saturday. Total purses for the 14 races is $25 million.
There were 162 horses entered in the 14 races on Monday. Only one race, the Dirt Mile, drew more than the maximum number of horses allowed for that race. With that field limited to 12 runners, Easter Gift was placed on the also-eligible list, in post 13. The only way he can get in is if there is a defection from the 12 in the main body of the race by 8 a..m. Pacific time Friday, which is scratch time for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races.
There were 172 entries in 2010, the last time there were 14 Breeders’ Cup races. There were 15 races in both 2011 and 2012, but the Juvenile Sprint, added for those two years, has been dropped.
The Distaff has the smallest field, with six. There are full fields of 14 in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Turf Sprint, and Juvenile. Most of the fields number between 10 and 12 runners.
The draw was significant in at least three races, with well-regarded runners landing poor posts. Verrazano (post 10) and Goldencents (12) are marooned outside in the 12-horse Dirt Mile, which has a run of a little more than 110 yards to the first turn.
Testa Rossi, Sky Painter, and My Conquestadory drew posts 12 through 14, in that order, in the 14-horse Juvenile Fillies Turf, at one mile. Because the turf course is inside the main track, there is a longer run to the first turn in a one-mile grass race than a one-mile dirt race, but it’s a bigger field and the runners are less experienced.
Havana and Strong Mandate landed posts 13 and 14 in the 14-horse Juvenile, at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
There are eight BC winners from 2012 back this year – Beholder, Fort Larned, Groupie Doll, Little Mike, Mizdirection, Trinniberg, Wise Dan, and Royal Delta, who also won in 2011. Another horse, Secret Circle, won the Juvenile Sprint in 2011.
In order of the way the races will be run, here are the early favorites in each race, according to Daily Racing Form handicappers, and Jon White of Santa Anita:
Marathon – Worldly (4-1, DRF’s Brad Free), and Ever Rider (7-2, White)
Juvenile Turf – Bobby’s Kitten (5-2, both Free and White)
Dirt Mile – Goldencents (3-1, Free), and Verrazano (3-1, White)
Juvenile Fillies Turf – Clenor (4-1, Free), and Vorda (4-1, White)
Distaff – Royal Delta (9-5, Free; 8-5, White)
Juvenile Fillies – Sweet Reason (5-2, both DRF’s Mike Watchmaker and White)
Filly and Mare Turf – Dank (9-5, Watchmaker; 5-2, White)
Filly and Mare Sprint – Groupie Doll (5-2, both Watchmaker and White)
Turf Sprint – Mizdirection (9-2, Watchmaker; 4-1, White)
Juvenile – Havana (5-2, both Watchmaker and White)
Turf – The Fugue (4-1, Watchmaker; 3-1, White)
Sprint – Private Zone (3-1, both Watchmaker and White)
Mile – Wise Dan (7-5, Watchmaker; 1-1, White)
Classic – Game On Dude (2-1, Watchmaker, and 8-5, White)
Breeders' Cup Classic
Purse: $5 million; 1 1/4 miles; Grade 1
PP, Horse, Jockey, morning-line odds
1. Last Gunfighter (J. Castellano), 20-1
2. Paynter (M. Garcia), 12-1
3. Planteur (R. Moore), 20-1
4. Moreno (J. Talamo), 15-1
5. Declaration of War (J. O'Brien), 10-1
6. Mucho Macho Man (G. Stevens), 5-1
7. Fort Larned (B. Hernandez), 6-1
8. Palace Malice (J. Velazquez), 10-1
9. Game On Dude (M. Smith), 8-5
10. Will Take Charge (L. Saez), 12-1
11. Ron the Greek (J. Lezcano), 8-1
12. Flat Out (J. Rosario), 12-1
Post time: Saturday, 8:35 p.m. Eastern
Think this is Game on Dude's year with a great post draw. I'll be looking at a few others that could have the possibility to nail him late. Don't sleep on Flat Out.
Can anyone imagine Moreno winning the Classic and Guilliot smiling in the winners circle ?
It's OK to bet 8-5 horses when you're able to lock them in at +348 (7-2) though I did have to worry about a bad past draw or a scratch. I've lost enough betting on Baffert favorites but hopefuly GOD gets there first.
Unless you are a millionaire, you don't bet 8-5 horses to win. I won't get to angry about all of the people who do throw away their money on over rated horses like game on dude (not saying he is bad, hes great but still, no horse deserves 8-5 ML), guess its just better for the rest of us with 20 bucks to bet, we can put it on a 5-1 horse. And dang, you're getting 12-1 on Will Take Charge? wow, hoping it stays anywhere near that at post time, can't complain with anything hes done since the blinkers.
Only a couple of days left on the Dude debate. If you live in last year, he doesn't have a chance. He didn't show up in the biggest race and didn't win HOY. If you live in this year, you have to respect him. FL is going to beat him up or do you have it the wrong way? Maybe he beats up FL and doesn't look back. He has run like a monster all year and deserves HOY with a win. I like MMM and Flat Out with his usual third and then the field for fourth in the super. None of the 3 yr olds have seen a horse like this, but it is good to see them still running. Health to the horses and wealth to us for good handicapping or having the right lucky #s. Good luck.
Paynter at 12-1,have to love the horse and the price. Expect a big race from Paynter. In my opinion, he was clearly the best horse in his last race, when they carried him six wide, and was almost sitting in the grandstand, and mad a huge move to finish second.
There it is folks, time to put our money where our mouths are. Haven't looked at the PPs yet but based on what I know and seen this year, gut feeling is telling me MMM, Fort Larned, Dude, Palace Malice...MMM is training like a beast and sitting on a huge race...look out.
wow the other baffert inside,what are they going to do last race paynter took back and made a run from the parking lot, now that everyone has jumped off the paynter bandwagon it is time to get tied on. paynter is coming into this race just ready to expode and the "other baffert" at double digit odds is a must use. i wish i was a fly on the wall when baffert gives out instructions to smith and garcia,they will not go at each other so with the inside draw what will paynter do? love paynter see lkyou all in hawaii
10-6-11-9 box it