10/28/2013 4:48PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Havana, Strong Mandate draw far-outside posts

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 1 winner Havana drew post 13 for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Top contenders Havana and Strong Mandate drew posts 13 and 14 for Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, further muddling an already-difficult handicapping puzzle.

Meanwhile, the inexperienced but very exciting debut winner Tap It Rich drew nicely in post 6 several hours after he put in his final workout for the Juvenile at Santa Anita.

The Juvenile is run at 1 1/16 miles, and at Santa Anita, there is a short run from the gate to the first turn.

No horse has won the Juvenile from post 13 in 15 attempts. In the 2009 Juvenile at Santa Anita, Lookin at Lucky, the 2-1 favorite, finished second from post 13, beaten a head by 30-1 longshot Vale of York.

Havana, unbeaten in two starts, including the Grade 1 Champagne, figures to be one of the favorites for the Juvenile.

“He’s got natural speed,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’s a good gate horse, but you have to use your horse a little going into the first turn. Like I’ve said before, sometimes you get a very good trip from a bad post, and vice versa.”

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: Fields with DRF odds and comments]

Pletcher’s other entrant, We Miss Artie, drew post 10.

There have only been five Juveniles run with 14 horses. The only time a horse has won from post 14 was Arazi in 1991. Strong Mandate, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, won the Hopeful from post 9 in a 10-horse field and drew post 7 of 9 in the Champagne, where he finished seventh.

“Not good,” Lukas said of the draw. “I’ve been here for 20 years, and I know this course. You get to that [first] turn awfully quick. Being anywhere from 8 out, you got to be creative a little bit.”

Diamond Bachelor, a speedy horse trying dirt for the first time, is drawn in post 12.

The draw probably proved beneficial for Tap It Rich, a horse who overcame a slow start to rally from off the pace and win his debut impressively here Oct. 12. On Monday, he worked five furlongs in 1:00.57 for trainer Bob Baffert, although he had his head cocked to the left around the turn as he was fighting his rider, Rafael Bejarano, a little bit.

Baffert’s New Year’s Day did well at the draw, being assigned post 4.

If all 14 horses run, this would be the first time since 2006 that occurred. Street Sense won that race and a year later won the Kentucky Derby, the first and only horse to win both races.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Purse: $2 million; 1 1/16 miles; Grade 1

1. Smarty’s Echo (Baird), 20-1

2. Dance With Fate (R. Bejerano), 8-1

3. Mexikoma (A. Garcia), 12-1

4. New Year’s Day (M. Garcia), 8-1

5. Bond Holder (Gutierrez), 8-1

6. Tap It Rich (M. Smith), 6-1

7. Cleburne (C. Nakatani), 12-1

8. Conquest Titan (Da Silva) 30-1

9. Rum Point (Maldonado), 30-1

10. We Miss Artie (J. Castellano), 8-1

11. Medal Count (R. Albarado), 20-1

12. Diamond Bachelor (J. Leparoux), 12-1

13. Havana (J. Velazquez), 5-2

14. Strong Mandate (J. Rosario), 6-1

Post time: Saturday, 5:43 p.m. Eastern


B More than 1 year ago
I think this pretty much eliminates Havana. Don't like Strong Mandate's PP either, but I think he has a better chance of overcoming it. Taking a strong look at others.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Tap It Rich WILL NOT be 6-1 when the race goes off, I can guarantee all of you that.
EnthusiastOfAll More than 1 year ago
I was set on Tap It Rich before the post draw and this only made me feel more confident. There's a lot of speed and the best two speed horses drew super wide, and this isn't a super tough edition of this race in my opinion. I'll stick with the horse with upside and key him over the usual suspects.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Shanghai Bobby was a two year old freak. The history of breeders say west coast horses win on there home track at breeders. Ill take baffert pair in this spot, cleburne is interesting and We Miss Artie, pletcher 2yo always good. Havana might be best horse in field, but not enough starts to overcome this post position. IMO
redboy More than 1 year ago
Romans and Cleburne in somewhat of a upset
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I like
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
If Tap it Rich isn't the winner i'd expect a bomb. Think the two outside logicals will really be compromised by their posts
Lefty More than 1 year ago
I am rooting for Smarty's Echo all the way. One question though why is the PP listed for Breeders’ Cup Sprint, when we are talking about the Juvenile Division for the "Boys?" Since we are though, it sure would be a nice gesture if they would leave an empty gate for Points Offthebench. I am still very disappointed about that and I am sure everyone that worked with him is even more so.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I don't know if there is a handicapper/gambler that is not related to the owner and trainer more devastated than myself. I know it sounds selfish, but I say this, because I've followed him since February of 2012. I watched his first 2 starts, but in his 3rd in Feb 2012 I watched POB go 6 1/2 in 114 flat. I knew right then by the way he did it,he was going to be something special. He didn't make another start until February of this year. I knew he had been injured and they were trying to get him back to the races. He ran second in his comeback after a year layoff. He was beaten a half length by Italian Rules. Points OffTheBench never lost again. He avenged that defeat to Italian Rules with one of the most impressive performances by a sprinter I have ever seen. He stalked a 45 half, surged up at the top of the lane to engage the leader. Made the lead, waited on the outside horse to catch up and then re-broke and won by 21/2 under a stranglehold with Tyler Baze looking like his arms were going to pop out of the sockets. Thats exaggerating, but Tyler had a ton of horse. His wins in the Bing Crosby and Santa Anita Sprint Championships were just previews for the world to see on BC day or in future races. Most people don't realize what type of horse we lost on Saturday. What we lost on Saturday was one of the best sprinters to come around since Kona Gold. Its just a shame we lost him so soon. 8 starts. 6 wins, 1 second and 1 third. The two times he didn't win were his debut and his comeback after the year off. I'll never forget him and I've been watching and wagering for 33 years. Good luck on BC day Lefty!
uwgb08 More than 1 year ago
Yes, that was devastating. And as you mentioned, I don't think people truly appreciated the talent that he had (partially because of his injury issues and not being able to race very often). In that race that he lost to Italian Rules I believe he was just a 1/2 length off of a 43 and 1 half mile, and yet still had enough left in the tank to finish and just get beaten a half length. And that allowance race that you mentioned at Hollywood in May was amazing to watch. I was watching that live and when T. Baze got POTB even and the top of the stretch and still had a tight hold of him, I was saying out loud "what is he doing?" Then when he turned him loose around the 16th pole, I said "oh my." The way POTB exploded was something special. His death is so sad. His career was just getting going. He had multiple stakes wins ahead of him.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I'm glad you were able to see him in May. Just amazing.
long_shot_alert More than 1 year ago
Can you say Cuvee?
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Its possible to get a bomber here. Especially after the PP draw, but I think Tap It Rich could be the real deal.