TVG BREEDERS' CUP MILE | PURSE: $2 MILLION | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP| 1 MILE (TURF)
A marathon Breeders' Cup post position draw produced precious little liveliness Monday afternoon at Churchill Downs, but a short, excited cry came from a table of Frenchmen when Goldikova was assigned post 1 for the BC Mile.
"That's what we were hoping for," Regis Barbedette, the traveling head lad overseeing Goldikova until trainer Freddie Head arrives Tuesday, said afterward. "I just spoke to Freddie Head, and he was applauding us. We said we had nothing to do with it!"
Goldikova is scheduled to face 12 opponents Saturday when she attempts to win the Mile for the fourth year in a row. As usual, Olivier Peslier was named to ride, and Goldikova was installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite.
Second choice on the line, and drawn in post 5, is Gio Ponti, who, like Goldikova, is making his final start. Second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Classic, Gio Ponti finished second to Goldikova in the 2010 Mile.
Turallure, co-third choice with Courageous Cat (post 3), drew poorly in post 13, but is a come-from-behind horse who was going to be taken back in any case.
Trainer Todd Pletcher hoped to draw outside the race's other speed with front-running Sidney's Candy and may have gotten his wish. Sidney's Candy landed post 10, outside all the potential pace players save English shipper Strong Suit, who drew 11.
There are two other Europeans in the race: Byword, who breaks from post 8, and Zoffany, who landed post 2.
Goldikova, meanwhile, is scheduled to have her first day outside the quarantine barn Tuesday, and, Barbedette said, appears to have shipped well.
"There's not the slightest trouble," he said. "She's a trouble-free traveler."