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Oct 27, 2006

Post positions set for 23rd Breeders' Cup


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Bernardini, the Preakness and Travers Stakes winner, has been made the even-money morning-line favorite for this year's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The 23rd edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships will be conducted at Churchill Downs this Saturday.

Post positions for the eight races were drawn Wednesday morning and the morning line was also set. The maximum 14 horses have been entered in five of Breeders' Cup races.

Bernardini will start from post three in the 13-horse Classic. The three-year- old will again be ridden by Javier Castellano for the Darley Stable and trainer Tom Albertrani. The colt has won six of seven career starts for more than $2 million.

Pimlico Special victor Invasor has been made the 5-1 second choice and Pacific Classic and Santa Anita Handicap winner Lava Man is slated as the 6-1 third pick in the 1 1/4 mile Classic.

Invasor will attempt to win the Classic after a three-month layoff. He last raced in early August when he won the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, and will start from post 11 on Saturday with rider Fernando Jara. Shadwell Stable owns the four-year-old, who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. Invasor has career earnings of better than $1.2 million with eight wins in nine starts.

Lava Man will have Corey Nakatani in the saddle and break from post eight. The five-year-old gelding is owned by STD Racing and Jason Wood, and trained by Doug O'Neill. Lava Man also won the Hollywood Gold Cup to become the first horse to capture southern California's three major handicap races in the year. He has won all seven starts this year for $2.7 million.

Completing the field for the Classic in post position order are Brother Derek, Alex Solis, 30-1; Premium Tap, Edgar Prado, 30-1; George Washington, Mick Kinane, 10-1; Lawyer Ron, Patrick Valenzuela, 20-1; Perfect Drift, Garrett Gomez, 20-1; David Junior, Jamie Spencer, 10-1; Giacomo, Mike Smith, 30-1; Flower Alley, John Velazquez, 30-1; Suave, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1; Sun King, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1.

The Breeders' Cup races that will have 14 starters are the Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile, Sprint, Mile and the Distaff.

Ten females have been entered in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, where 2004 winner Ouija Board is back for another try. She was second last year to Intercontinental. Ouija Board will start from post two with Frankie Dettori riding.

The $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at 1 1/2 miles will have 11 starters. Hurricane Run, coming over from Europe, has been made the 3-1 favorite. The four-year-old colt will have Christophe Soumillon in the saddle and break from post seven.

Fleet Indian, undefeated in 2006, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $2 million Distaff at 1 1/8 miles. The five-year-old will start from post seven in the 14-horse field. Jose Santos has the riding assignment.

The 14 fastest thoroughbreds in the world will compete in the $2 million six furlong Sprint. The 2-1 morning-line favorite is Henny Hughes with jockey John Velazquez. The pair will leave from post four.

The field for the Breeders' Cup Mile is headed by 4-1 morning-line favorite Gorella. The four-year-old filly is the lone female in the 14-horse field. Gorella, third in last year's Mile, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and start from post 12.

Two-year-olds will kick-off the World Championships with two fields of 14 each. The $2 million Juvenile Fillies race at 1 1/16 miles has a post-time of 12:30 p.m. (et). Two-year-old colts and geldings will vie in the 1 1/16 mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile also worth $2 million.

ESPN will broadcast the event for the first time beginning at noon (et). NBC televised the first 22 runnings of the Breeders' Cup.

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