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