ARCADIA, Calf. - The Breeders' Cup Juvenile just got a whole lot tougher for unbeaten Lookin at Lucky, who drew post 13 in a 13-horse field that will race 1 1/16 miles.
While trainer Bob Baffert downplayed the post, many handicappers will agree the draw transformed Lookin at Lucky from one of the most solid favorites Saturday to perhaps one of the most vulnerable.
"At least he's going to be in the clear," Baffert said.
Unfortunately, yes. But if all 13 runners start, Lookin at Lucky and jockey Garrett Gomez face the unenviable challenge of trying to become the first to win a 1 1/16-mile race from that far outside since fall 2007, when Santa Anita went to a synthetic surface.
According to Daily Racing Form statistics, the past two years at 1 1/16 miles on synthetic, post 13 is 0 for 4, post 12 is 0 for 24, post 11 is 2 for 38, and post 10 is 4 for 57.
"At least he'll get a good sheets number," Baffert said, referring to speed figures that incorporate ground loss into the number. Baffert added, "Once you have the hole, you can't worry about it."
Lookin at Lucky was pegged as the 5-2 favorite by Daily Racing Form handicapper Mike Watchmaker. The 4-for-4 colt is 8-5 on the track line set by Santa Anita line maker Jon White.
D' Funnybone drew post 5 as he tries to extend his win streak to three after back-to-back blowout wins in Grade 2 dirt races in New York. D' Funnybone was scheduled to arrive in California on Tuesday. He won the Grade 2 Futurity and Saratoga Special his last two starts.
Noble's Promise, the winner of the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, drew post 4 and is fully recovered from a leg infection that forced him to scrap a planned workout Oct. 25 workout.
"Ten days ago we were behind the eight-ball, but he is coming out of his issue just fine," trainer Ken McPeek said.