The Breeders' Cup Classic draw was completed late this afternoon in the Chandelier Room at Santa Anita Park, where 14 horses and one also eligible entrant completed the field for the $5 million race. Post time for the Classic is 8:35 p.m. EDT on Saturday evening in prime time on NBC (Ch. 2).
Shared Belief, last year's 2-year-old champion was installed the 9-5 favorite drew post No. 6. The undefeated son of Candy Ride is just inside one of the main speed horses, Bayern (6-1), a position Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has no problem with. "There is a lot of speed all around us and I can just follow them to the turn and work out a trip," said Smith.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, also a Hall of Famer, was equally pleased with Shared Belief's draw. "That’s a pretty good spot. It is going to be a great race with a lot of great horses in there and we are just happy to be a part of it.”
Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner California Chrome (4-1) drew outside post No. 13 for North America's richest race. It was the first time since 2005 that the race drew a full 14 participants, including eight 3-year-olds. Trainer Art Sherman was content being outside of all the speed in the race. "He’s never been on the outside. He had been inside in most of his recent races. If he gets a clean break, he can get a look at the horses inside of him. I’d like to see everybody in contention at the top of the stretch, and let the best horse win,” said Sherman.
Tonalist (5-1) was made the third choice on the morning line and drew post No. 11. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement had no complaints on the outside gate. “His post is not a big deal. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup from post eight and won the Belmont from post 11 so it should all work out fine. It is much better for him to break from this post than to start from anything more inside. The race is a mile and a quarter, so there is plenty of time for the jockey (Joel Rosario) to work it out and get him into position," he said.
Below is a snapshot of the morning line odds, post positions, jockeys and trainers for the $5 million Classic:
— Gene Kershner (@EquiSpace) October 27, 2014
The News will be on-site at Santa Anita on Thursday morning from the backside observing morning workouts, so stay tuned to the Post Time twitter account. We'll have a handicap of the Friday stakes races on Thursday afternoon and a Breeders' Cup Classic advance in Saturday's print edition.
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.