The draw for post position for Saturday's 28th running of the Washington, D.C. International at Laurel Race Course seems to give the two probable favorites, Le Marmot of France and Golden Act of the United States, the advantage.
The pair, both the tractable type of horse, yesterday drew the one and two posts, respectively.
The logic is that they will follow the inevitable pace of the speedster Native Courier, then make a clear run at the money with no interference.
Native Courier has drawn the No. 4 post but no post would matter to this horse due to the lack of any early competition for him in the short run to the first turn.
Dom Aleric, a Canadian entrant who runs from off the pace, has No. 3, a good draw considering that the more highly regarded stretch runners have drawn the outside. The 5-year old will be able to save ground while Native Courier is stalked by Le Marmot and Golden Act.
Trillion, fourth-place finisher last year in the International, had drawn the five post, not a good spot to be in. Last year, the Zilber-trained mare stalked the pace while outside all the way and came up empty for the stretch run. She broke from No. 6.
The toughest luck of the draw befell Bowl Game and Waya, both notorious stretch runners. Bowl Game drew the seven spot while Waya is on the extreme outside in No. 8.
Bowl Game will have to drop early in the 1 1/2-mile classic and try to save ground until he makes his late move. However, with several-tractable horses inside of him and several medium speed runners alongside, it is entirely possible that the Greentree representative will never get to save any ground during the entire race.
Since the International was inaugurated in 1952 11 races have been decided by the margin of a length or less. And with the possible exception of Le Marmot, who may have a class edge on the field, this running could have a close finish involving three or more contenders.
The dark horse in the race, Son Of Love II, is a confirmed late runner who had trouble negotiating the turns in New York in his last start. He has drawn the six post, a good lag early, then make his one run behind Bowl Game and Dom Alaric.