A number of horses connected, in one way or another, to the mid-Atlantic are headed to Santa Anita. Following yesterday’s post position draw, here, in part one of two, is the early scoop on some of ’em:
Breeders’ Cup Classic
- Tonalist — a horse bred by Virginia breeders Rene and Lauren Woolcott and which lived for 14 months at their Woodslane Farm — is, at 5-1, the third choice and will start from post eleven. Says Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, “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 is a big horse so you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to take him back or send him early. He comes from off the pace, so we just want him to be in the best position and have the best opportunity to run his race.”
- V E Day, another runner bred elsewhere but with extensive Virginia connections, including owner Magalen Bryant, is 20-1 on the morning line and breaks from post five.
Breeders’ Cup Turf
- Main Sequence, winner of three consecutive Grade 1 races, enters the 12-furlong Turf as the most well-respected of the American contingent but just the fourth favorite overall, at 6-1. He’s trained at Fair Hill by Graham Motion, who has three in Cup races, and will break from the 12-hole. “I’m kind of indifferent about it (Main Sequence’s post),” Motion said. “Magician won from the 11 last year, I think. My horse isn’t very quick out of the gate, so we’ll just have to see how the race unfolds.”
- Hardest Core burst onto the racing scene with an upset win in the Arlington Million, one race after scoring in the Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park. Trained at Fair Hill by Eddie Graham, Hardest Core is 10-1 on the morning line and will break from the nine hole under Eriluis Vaz. “I think it’s great. It’s really good for a field of 13,” Graham said of the post position. “I don’t want him to be too far inside so he doesn’t get stuck, or too far outside. Nine is perfect.”
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
- Pants on Fire, seventh in this race a year ago, enters on an up note after cruising in the Wild and Wonderful on the Charles Town Oaks undercard. Trained at Monmouth Park by Kelly Breen, he is 6-1 on the morning line, which makes him the co-third choice. He’ll break from post number four.
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
- Thank You Marylou, the Virginia-bred daughter of Birdstone named in honor of Marylou Whitney, is a 20-1 outsider on the morning line and will break from the four-hole in this seven-furlong event. She enters off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland.
- Stonetastic, another horse trained by Kelly Breen at Monmouth Park, is 8-1 and will break from post number three. She has won two of four starts this year and enters off a third-place effort in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.