10/28/2013 5:45PM

Breeders' Cup Mile: Wise Dan will be favored to repeat from post 8

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Michael Burns
Wise Dan is even money on the morning line for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. - There is something about the Breeders’ Cup Mile that bears repeating – namely, the race’s winner.

Four times in the Mile’s history has the previous year’s winner come home first again. Only four other Breeders’ Cup races have produced so much as a single back-to-back winner, and only the Distaff, with two, has seen more than one winner in consecutive years.

Wise Dan broke the Santa Anita course record winning the 2012 Mile, a performance that propelled him to Horse of the Year honors, and he will be favored to add his name to the list of Mile repeaters when he breaks from post 8 in Saturday’s $2 million Mile. John Velazquez will ride him for trainer Charlie LoPresti and octogenarian owner Mort Fink.

Wise Dan was one of 10 horses entered in the Mile, which has two European invaders in Cristoforo Colombo, who dew post 9, and the much more accomplished Olympic Glory, who got an apparently ideal draw in 5. Olympic Glory impressively won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Oct. 19 at Ascot, but Excelebration, more celebrated than Olympic Glory, only could finish fourth in the 2012 Mile racing on the same schedule.

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

Wise Dan won last year’s Mile at odds of  9-5 and would’ve gone postward a much shorter price Saturday had the Oct. 5 Shadwell Turf Mile never happened. Heavy rain at Keeneland forced the Shadwell to be switched from grass to Polytrack, and Wise Dan, breaking from a wide post position and losing ground on both turns, could not run down pacesetting Silver Max, suffering his first loss since the Stephen Foster in June 2012. Wise Dan ran well enough in defeat, but his loss punctured a shell of invincibility that had grown during his nine-race winning streak.

Wise Dan, one of the late Breeders’ Cup ship-ins, wasn’t scheduled to arrive here until Tuesday, but his Shadwell conqueror, Silver Max, shipped early and has logged two dirt workouts at Santa Anita. Silver Max – trained by Dale Romans, who won the 2011 Mile with Court Vision -  was making his synthetic-surface debut in the Shadwell and is a far more accomplished horse on turf, but he is a habitual front-runner who must dodge a compromising speed duel with Obviously. The two drew side by side, in posts 3 an 4, with Obviously getting the better outside post.

“If you’re a speed horse, you usually want to be drawn outside the other speed,” said trainer Mike Mitchell.

Obviously set the pace in the 2012 Mile before fading to third, and Mitchell said jockey Joe Talamo will make a beeline for the front end Saturday. Bright Thought, unraced since March 16 because of a small broken bone in his lower leg, lacks the raw speed of Obviously, but is a speed horse in his own right, and breaks from post 6.

No Jet Lag, currently the leading turf miler in California, drew the rail, while He Be Fire N Ice, a closing second behind No Jet Lag in the Oct. 5 City of Hope Mile on this course, breaks from post 7. Za Approval, who has finished second to both Wise Dan and Obviously this year, drew post 10, with Silentio, another Californian, in post 2.

Breeders’ Cup Mile
Purse: $2 million; one mile; turf; Grade 1
PP, Horse, Jockey, morning-line odds
1. No Jet Lag (M. Smith), 8-1
2. Silentio (R. Bejarano), 20-1
3. Silver Max (R. Albarado), 5-1
4. Obviously (J. Talamo), 10-1
5. Olympic Glory (R. Hughes), 4-1
6. Bright Thought (J. Leparoux), 20-1
7. He Be Fire N Ice (V. Espinoza), 15-1
8. Wise Dan (J. Velazquez), 1-1
9. Cristoforo Columbo (R. Moore), 15-1
10. Za Approval (J. Rosario), 15-1
Post time: Saturday, 7:40 p.m. Eastern