Kotashaan, the California-based, French-bred horse, can take a big step toward being selected horse of the year in the United States by winning the Japan Cup today.
A victory would be the seventh in 10 starts this year--all on the turf--for Koashaan, winner of the $2-million Breeders' Cup Turf in his last start at Santa Anita on Nov. 6.
The 5-year-old horse drew the No. 7 post for the 1 1/2-mile Japan Cup, worth $3.65 million with a winner's purse of $1.57 million.
"It's a good place, not far out or inside," trainer Richard Mandella said. "But for me, the important thing is the finish, not the start."
Kent Desormeaux will ride Kotashaan, recently purchased by a Japanese group.
Star Of Cozzene, another U.S.-based grass specialist bought this year by a Japanese group, drew position No. 3. Jose Santos will ride the 5-year-old.
Seven other foreign horses are entered: Luazur of the United States; Urban Sea of France, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner; Italian Derby winner White Muzzle of Britain; Misil of Italy; Platini of Germany; Naturalism of Australia; and The Phantom Chance of New Zealand.