Breeders' Cup Classic favorite California Chrome 'better now than he's ever been'

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TwinSpires Staff

November 1st, 2016

Breeders' Cup press release


Kiaran McLaughlin (Frosted, Classic, Post 2) – “We're happy. We'll save some ground. There weren't any bad posts. We're OK. We're just happy to be in the race.”

Art Sherman (California Chrome, Classic, Post 4) – “Victor (Espinoza) and I were talking about the draw and he told me that it really didn’t matter to him which post we got.  We’ve all got that long run into the first turn; I agree with him. This horse is ready.  He’s better now than he’s ever been.”

Jockey Victor Espinoza (California Chrome, Post 4) – “I’d rather be outside, but ‘4’ will be good. As long as California Chrome is ready, I should be able to move out of there quick.”

George Papaprodromou (Win the Space, Classic, Post 5) – “I like my post position. I like number 5. Is a good post to attempt to get a favorable position.”

Dave Hofmans, (Melatonin, Classic, Post 6) – “I thought it was just great. We have the option to do what we want. If Arrogate doesn't break we'll be close. If Arrogate breaks we'll be sitting off him.”

Bob Baffert (Hoppertunity, Classic, Post 9, Arrogate, Classic, Post 10) – “I never like any draw until after I win. But it’s all right. A lot will depend on the break (for Arrogate especially). But it’s a long run to the turn and it’ll get sorted out. At least we’re not in the No. 1 where if they don’t break someone will shut them off. I didn’t want to be in the No.1 hole with all those horses on top of you. But it’s all up to Mike Smith and John Velazquez.”

Jockey Mike Smith (Arrogate, Post 10) – “He’ll be very forwardly placed and he won’t have horses next to him on both sides. Sometimes, you can get bumped coming out of there. If all goes well, I should get away well.”



Mike Smith (Songbird, Distaff, Post 1) – “She just jumps away from the gate so quickly, that drawing the rail really should have no effect on her.  I think she’s the natural speed in the race to start with.  It’s pretty straight forward.”

Guillermo Frenkel Santillan (Corona Del Inca, Distaff, Post 4) – “To have a starting gate spot is plenty. She drew a good post. I run Estrechada in the Marathon (hoping that race goes earlier), which will help our jockey Pablo Falero get acquainted with the turns.” 

Victor Espinoza, jockey, (on Stellar Wind, Distaff, Post 5) – “Stellar Wind, she's doing great and the post position is great. I really like my chances. (Is it a disadvantage for undefeated Songbird in Post Position No. 1?) Yes and no. I like it because I want to win, but sometimes it doesn't matter the post position if the horse is so good on the day of the race."

Dallas Stewart (Forever Unbridled, Distaff, Post 6) – “I don't see any problem with it. It's a great post.”

Richard Mandella (Beholder, Distaff, Post 8; Avenge, Filly & Mare Turf, Post 4) – “With Beholder, it’s nice to get off the rail, but I am a bigger believer in good luck and a good post; so we are hoping for good luck.  With Avenge, she drew a good post. I don’t think it’s really that important going 1 1/4 miles. She is going to be first or second coming down the hill so I think she will be in good position from the start.”

California Chrome photo by Cecilia Gustavsson/