10/28/2013 4:56PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf: Bobby's Kitten draws No. 5 post as favorite

Barbara D. Livingston
Pilgrim Stakes winner Bobby's Kitten will start from post 5 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – A two-turn, one-mile race on a seven-furlong turf course like Santa Anita’s should, in theory, put outside-drawn horses at a serious disadvantage. But the 13 such Breeders’ Cup races run here don’t supply a great deal of evidence supporting that notion.

Among the 52 horses who secured top-4 finishes in those races, 17 broke from post 8 or wider, and six horses who won or placed broke from post 9 or wider. Two horses won from post 12, three from post 10.

That history should lend hope to the connections of horses drawn wide for Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and suggests that handicappers not automatically dismiss them.

Among that group is one of the top domestic hopes, Bashart, who landed the outside post among 13 2-year-olds entered in the $1 million Juvenile Turf. Bashart, the winner of the Grade 2 With Anticipation, has enough speed to get into decent position before hitting the first turn, but that will require a sharp break and quick action from jockey John Velazquez. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, won the 2010 Juvenile Turf at Churchill with Pluck, who broke from post 12.

A wide draw, post 12, could be tougher on English shipper Shamson, who probably lacks the tactical early speed of a horse like Bashart. Poker Player, who landed post 11, beat Bashart in an off-the-turf edition of the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland after rallying from post 10.

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

The connections of Bobby’s Kitten, the 5-2 morning-line favorite on the Santa Anita line, need not talk themselves into the idea of a decent post, since he actually has one. Bobby’s Kitten will break from post 5, a seemingly ideal spot. Bobby’s Kitten won the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont by more than six lengths in his most recent start, and his trainer, Chad Brown, sent out the second- and third-place finishers in the 2012 Juvenile Turf, Noble Tune and Balance the Books.

European-trained horses have won the Juvenile Turf four times in its six-year history – including all three at Santa Anita – and trainer Aidan O’Brien has captured the race the last two years, with Wrote in 2011 and George Vancouver in 2012. O’Brien has two entrants for this year’s race in Giovanni Boldini, who drew post 2 and was installed as the 7-2 second choice, and Wilshire Boulevard, who breaks from post 9.

Outstrip, the most accomplished of the Europeans and the first to arrive at Santa Anita, breaks from post 4 under an American jockey, Mike Smith.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

Purse: $1 million; 1 mile; Grade 1

1. All Cash (L. Saez), 30-1
2. Giovanni Boldini (R. Moore), 7-2
3. Got Shades (G. Stevens), 30-1
4. Outstrip (GB) (M. Smith), 4-1
5. Bobby’s Kitten (J. Castellano), 5-2
6. Home School (Ire) (R. Bejarano), 30-1
7. Aotearoa (C. Nakatani), 12-1
8. Bon Accord (J. Rosario), 20-1
9. Wilshire Boulevard (W. Buick), 8-1
10. Ontology (M. Gutierrez), 30-1
11. Poker Player (C. Hill), 12-1
12.  Shamshon (Ire) (R. Hughes), 12-1
12. Bashart (J. Velazquez), 6-1
Post time: Friday, 5:25 p.m. Eastern