Diamond A Racing's Pleasantly Perfect was installed as the 5-2 favorite and drew the 12 post position as he attempts to defend his title in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Texas' Lone Star Park Saturday.
A 6-year-old son of Pleasant Colony trained by Richard Mandella, Pleasantly Perfect has won nine of 17 starts and earned $7,349,880. Since rallying to defeat Medaglia d'Oro in the Classic last year at Santa Anita, Pleasantly Perfect has four wins in five starts, including victories in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Trainer Richard Mandella said he was not concerned about the post, noting, "He'll ease back in the early going and settle off the first flight of runners anyway."
Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Roses in May is the 5-1 third choice and breaks from the number 6 post. Trainer Dale Romans said John Velazquez should have time to dictate his running position when he breaks from the middle of the field because Ghostzapper, the 3-1 second choice, will have to commit early from inside post.
"I thought we drew very well," Romans said.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year who is facing males for the second time in the Classic, drew post 3 and assigned morning-line odds of 15-1 by oddsmaker Rick Lee. In her only previous effort against males, Azeri finished eighth in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) earlier this year.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that post position should not be a factor in her race.
"When Azeri came up at three, I had to contain my enthusiasm because the other ones that were left were 10, 11 and 13," Lukas said. "It's a good draw for her."
Funny Cide, who comes into the Classic on top of his game after winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) in his last start, drew post 9.
"I think the post is terrific," said Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg. "It's the same post he drew for the Preakness."
The post positions for the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
1-Ghostzapper, Javier Castellano, 3-1
2-Freefourinternet, Greta Kuntzweiler, 50-1
3-Azeri, Pat Day,. 15-1
4-Perfect Drift, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1
5-Fantastica, Gerard Melancon, 50-1
6-Roses in May, John Velazquez, 5-1
7-Birdstone, Edgar Prado, 6-1
8-Personal Rush, Frankie Dettori, 50-1
9-Funny Cide, Jose Santos, 6-1
10-Newfoundland, Eibar Coa, 20-1
11-Bowman's Band, Cornelio Velasquez, 50-1
12-Pleasantly Perfect, Jerry Bailey, 5-2
13-Dynever, Corey Nakatani, 15-1