With the temperature in the mid-80s on Monday and not a single cloud visible at Santa Anita, the draw was held for this weekend's Breeders' Cup, even though 14 horses entered in the world championships are still stuck in New York and Kentucky waiting for the weather to clear from Hurricane Sandy.
They're supposed to board a plane Wednesday morning for afternoon arrival in Arcadia, and among the missing are 2-1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile favorite Shanghai Bobby and 9-5 Mile favorite Wise Dan. Special security will be assigned to the horses to fulfill a Breeders' Cup rule requiring 72-hour surveillance before they race.
It offers further evidence about the possible home-track advantage enjoyed by a strong contingent of West Coast-based horses, led by the Bob Baffert-trained Game On Dude, who drew post position No. 5 in a field of 12 and was installed as the 9-5 favorite for Saturday's $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic at 11/4 miles. Game On Dude is unbeaten in five starts at Santa Anita.
Royal Delta, the defending champion in the $2-million Ladies' Classic, drew the No. 6 post for Friday's 11/8-mile race. Trainer Bill Mott said Royal Delta suffered a minor cut on a thigh Monday while being loaded on a flight from Newburgh, N.Y., and received some sutures from a veterinarian.