"A lot of people said not to come because of the war, but it will be great for me," Baze said before the World Cup post-position draw on Wednesday. "It will take me to a new level in the world and also hopefully help me get mounts in the important races in America."
Winner of the Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice for 2000, Baze pointed out that Cayoke, trained by Julio Canani, set a course record for 6 Ĺ furlongs on turf earlier this year with a blistering time of 1:11.45. The six-year-old son of Always Fair drew post ten in the 16-horse Godolphin Mile field.
As for Avanzado, handy winner of the six-furlong Palos Verdes Handicap (G2) on January 26 at Santa Anita in 1:07.85, "I donít think he can get beat," Baze said. "He takes off like a rocket ship. Heís so fast itís just unbelievable."
Trained by Doug OíNeill for Cees Stable, Avanzado competed previously in races on a straightaway track, such as offered by Nad al Sheba in a chute down the stretch for the about six-furlong Golden Shaheen, the jockey noted.
Avanzado drew post position two, just outside blazing fast 2001 champion filly Xtra Heat, so the Golden Shaheen pace probably will be demanding. English bookmakers have listed Xtra Heat as the heavy favorite at odds of less than 2-to-1, with Southern California-based Captain Squire the next choice, and Avanzado third in the current Coral listings at 6-to-1.
"Itís a tough race, but heís doing great right now," Baze said.
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