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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Santa Anita Derby Post Draw Reactions


With a field of 10, possibly only nine, and a long run to the first turn, post positions may not matter much, but as one participant said, it never hurts to have a little luck.

Trainer Mike Harrington said drawing the rail wouldn’t have been his first choice, he he said he "can live with it." The potential problem is that "you might get boxed in,” Harrington said.

Ron Ebanks, agent for Joe Rosario, aboard Creative Cause, said, “If you’re in the five hole, the one hole or the 10 hole, you’ve got to have some racing luck. Things can really develop wrong anyway. Going a mile and an eighth they’ve got a long run to the turn, he’s going to be forwardly placed I think, he’s a very good horse, and he’s got a very good rider on him. I have no worries about where he’s starting from. I’m glad he’s in the starting gate. He’s 6-5 for 750 and he’s got Rosario on him.”

Doug O’Neill, trainer of I’ll Have Another, said he is happy with the 4 post. “We drew well, and he’s training great,” O’Neill said by phone from his Hollywood headquarters. “He’ll gallop here Saturday morning and ship to Santa Anita after the gallop.” I’ll Have Another galloped Thursday with his rider wearing a “helmet cam” for the benefit of NBC-TV, which will televise the Santa Anita Derby from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

John Sadler said a decision wouldn’t be made for another 48 hours on whether Holy Candy will run. He drew post 3.

“We won’t decide until Saturday morning,” Sadler said. Holy Candy has no graded earnings. “We’re also looking at the Arkansas Derby and the Blue Grass,” Sadler said. “ We’ll have a conference call Saturday and make up our mind. What if he went back East and didn’t get in? The Illinois Derby is way overfilled, so a horse with low earnings is always last to draw in.

“We’ve got to work the races and the racing secretaries to see if we can get in. You don’t want to go somewhere and not get in. He’s entered here, the weather’s good, he’s got a good draw, he’s got the home court, all that stuff. He’s got a lot in is favor, but we’ll look at everything and then decide.”

Bob Baffert, just back Monday from Dubai where he suffered a heart attack on March 26, said he is “feeling a lot better,” and “we’re good” for the big race. “We were hoping Liaison would run a little better last time (fourth by 5 1/2 lengths behind Creative Cause in the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe on March 10), but he wants distance. I think the mile and an eighth will suit him better.”

“I don’t think the outside post will matter,” trainer Jim Cassidy said of the 10 hole for maiden Brother Francis, adding with a laugh, “but they didn’t give me a choice. It’s a very good field. It’s the best field so far this year, I think, as far as preps for the Kentucky Derby go, definitely.”

--Edited Santa Anita release

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