Breeders Cup Classic Could see Huge Favorite in Flightline
The fields are set for the 39th Breeders’ Cup, with 14 championship races featuring the best horses from the U.S. and around the world to be run Friday-Saturday at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
All of the races offer purses of at least $1 million, with undefeated Flightline the overwhelming 3-5 favorite in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the richest event on the two-day card.
Twelve of the 14 races have fields of 10 horses or more. The Classic has the shortest field, with only seven rivals lined up to face Flightline. The Distaff also drew a field of eight.
Entries for the Classic were drawn Monday afternoon by University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari at Rupp Arena, located about six miles from Keeneland, which is hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the second time in three years and third time overall.
Flightline, who has won his five career races by more than 60 lengths, could go off the biggest betting favorite in Breeders’ Cup Classic history. The John Sadler-trained colt drew the No. 4 post, outside of likely pacesetter and second-choice Life Is Good.
The ‘Future Stars Friday’ card features five races for 2-year-olds. The remaining nine Breeders’ Cup races are carded on Saturday. The early forecast is for a fast track and firm turf course on both days.
Europe will again be well represented with several strong contenders in nearly all of the races contested on grass. Irish-bred Rebel’s Romance is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the $4 million Turf. Modern Games, an Irish bred who won the Juvenile Turf last year, is the 7-2 morning-line choice in the $2 million Mile.
The winners of the 2022 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are on the Saturday card and both are long shots. Rich Strike (20-1) is taking on Flightline in the Classic; Secret Oath is 15-1 in a deep Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
The turf sprinter Golden Pal is seeking to become the third horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race in three consecutive years, joining Goldikova and Beholder. Golden Pal is defending his title in the Turf Sprint after winning the 2020 Juvenile Turf Sprint.
The biggest surprise from Monday’s draw was the absence of the speedy Jack Christopher, who was not entered in Breeders’ Cup Sprint. As a result, the race’s other leading contender, Jackie’s Warrior, was made the 4-5 favorite. Jackie’s Warrior went off at an even lower 1-2 in last year’s Sprint and finished sixth.
The two-day Breeders’ Cup is a wagering bonanza for bettors. Three Pick 5 wagers will be offered on Saturday; along with three two-day daily doubles (juvenile fillies/distaff, juvenile/classic and juvenile turf/turf), an All-Turf Pick 3 and Pick 4; and a Pick 6 each day. Any carryovers from Friday roll into Saturday and all Saturday multi-race wagers are mandatory payouts.
Breeders’ Cup minimum wagers:
$1 for win, place, show, daily double, exacta, Pick 6, special daily double.
$0.50 for trifecta, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Super High 5 and All-Turf Pick 4.
$0.10 for superfecta.
$3 for All-Turf Pick 3.
Breeders’ Cup race schedule
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