October 26, 2005
On Wednesday, the entry box closed and post positions were drawn for the 22nd edition of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Owners, trainers, jockeys, and members of the media gathered at the pavilion tent at Belmont Park for breakfast and to witness the proceedings, hosted by TV host Kenny Rice.
Although all eight Championship races had full fields pre-entered, only the Classic, Filly and Mare Turf, and Juvenile had fourteen horses make final entry. The Juvenile Fillies suffered the most, with just 10 making entry from 14 pre-entered. Among the late withdrawals was Turf hopeful Alkaased, due to a poor blood test result.
Not all trainers were happy with the posts their charges will break from. Luca Cumani, trainer of Starcraft, was unluckiest of all, drawing the outside 14 hole in the Classic, a very unfavorable situation given the position of the starting gate at Belmont for 1 1/4 mile races. Cumani said, "We got the 'visitors' draw. He'll just have to run a bit faster now. We're giving a lot of ground away and ground given away is ground lost. It was going to be hard but 14 makes it even harder." Starcraft was listed at 12-1 on the morning line.
Bobby Frankel, trainer of Mile favorite Leroidesanimaux, was equally frustrated when his 7-5 shot drew 11, one away from the far outside. He said, "I can't say I'm too happy about it. They start this race on a turn, so being outside isn't good. He's got plenty of speed, but you don't want to have to use too much to get into position. Still, what are you going to do?"
By comparison, trainer Don Chatlos Jr, of defending Mile champion Singletary, was pleased with his post. "I'm glad. Somewhere between 6 and 10 was all I wanted. Nine is perfect. Anywhere where (jockey David) Flores has options. I didn't want him walking out of the jock's room with the rail or the far outside with only one thing in mind. This way he can just break and ride his race. Flores always rides him well, I don't expect any different Saturday."
Greg Gilchrist trains Sprint favorite Lost in the Fog, who figures to be the shortest price on the board on Breeders' Cup day. The even-money choice on the morning line drew post 7. Gilchrist said, "I'm fine with the post position. If I had to rule one out, I wouldn't want to be the 11. On the far outside he'd really have to use himself. The configuration at Belmont, the start of the 3/4 has a short run to the turn." Asked about the short price on his horse, Gilchrist said, "He has the amazing respect of at least one man (the morning line-maker). I knew coming in he'd be a short price. I suppose he's deserving of it. Every race is something new."