10/26/2004 11:00PM

Speightstown stuck near the rail

Our New Recruit, here getting some exercise at Lone Star, will start between Champali and Kela on Saturday.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A quick break from the gate took on even more significance than usual for the front-running Speightstown on Wednesday when he drew post 2 in a field of 13 for the $1,060,000 Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"It wouldn't have been one of our first five choices, but they didn't give us a choice, and we'll deal with it the best we can," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Speightstown. "Normally he's an exceptional horse from the gate."

Speightstown will have to be on Saturday.

"With an inside post, the break becomes even more important," said Pletcher.

Speightstown is the probable favorite for the Sprint. He put together an outstanding campaign over the summer, winning the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap, the Grade 2 True North, and the Grade 2 Vanderbilt, with his Beyer Speed Figures in those races ranging from 115 to 117.

Speightstown will be ridden by John Velazquez. One of his biggest threats will be Kela, who figures to come charging late. He will break from post 5 under Jerry Bailey.

"I was just happy I didn't draw the rail," said Mike Mitchell, who trains Kela. "In the first quarter-mile, I can see him dead last. But then I can see him beginning to make his run in the middle of the turn."

Kela won both the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup and Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup at Del Mar.

Champali, winner of the Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup, will break from post 3. He arrived at Lone Star on Tuesday, and the draw pleased his trainer, Greg Foley.

"I didn't want the 1- or 2-hole, and I didn't want to be hung out on the outside," he said.

Rafael Bejarano has the mount on Champali.

Gold Storm, who has drawn the rail in his last two starts - a victory in the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup and a second-place finish in the Phoenix - drew post 9. Trainer Bubba Cascio has given the mount to Larry Taylor. Gold Storm has won 3 of 4 starts at Lone Star.

Pt's Grey Eagle, who won the Grade 1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita, was supplemented to the Sprint for $90,000. He is trained by Craig Dollase and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.

The complete field from the rail with riders is Bwana Charlie, Richard Migliore; Speightstown; Champali; Our New Recruit, Tyler Baze; Kela; Abbondanza, Eibar Coa; Clock Stopper, Pat Day; Pt's Grey Eagle; Gold Storm; Cuvee, Robby Albarado; Cajun Beat, Cornelio Velasquez; My Cousin Matt, Ramon Dominguez; and Midas Eyes, Edgar Prado.

Sprint (Grade 1) 6 furlongs Purse: $1,060,000

13Midas EyesR. FrankelForego score in his last was his best effort yet5-1
7Clock StopperD. StewartCloser needs a little racing luck, and that's all6-1
11Cajun BeatR. FrankelLast year's winner will improve off Vosburgh6-1
2SpeightstownT. PletcherNo Pico Central is good for him; tailing off?3-1
5KelaM. MitchellA monster at Dmr, and has won at Lone Star8-1
4Our New RecruitJ. SadlerLiked his return at Dmr; he'd be no surprise8-1
3ChampaliG. FoleyHis Phoenix win says he back to his best10-1
9Gold StormC. CascioFine try in Phoenix, but this is much tougher15-1
8Pt's Grey EagleC. DollaseWon a less-than-vintage Ancient Title20-1
1Bwana CharlieS. AsmussenTwo duds after a decent Amsterdam victory30-1
6AbbondanzaT. Tullock Jr.No evidence that he can compete with these50-1
10CuveeS. AsmussenTough to win this if he couldn't win Ky. Cup30-1
12My Cousin MattJ. MullinsAnother forgettable year for one-time tiger50-1

- Listed purses do not include supplemental fees
- Odds and commentary by Mike Watchmaker.