Breeders’ Cup Betting Preview 2022: Flightline Heads Stellar Cast

FlightlineThe world is looking forward to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on November 4 and 5 and the Classic could provide a sensational finale to the meeting. The phenomenally talented, unbeaten Flightline handled by John Sadler is understandably the heavy favorite at 8/15.

Owned by Hronis Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds he is the second highest rated horse in the world. He was last seen romping home with an advantage of almost 20 lengths in the TVG Pacific Classic in September at Del Mar but he faces extremely tough competition.

This son of Tapit will have to contend with Todd Pletcher’s 2022 Pegasus World Cup and 2021 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Life Is Good (5/1) who has not been beaten in the US this year. He comes into the race with three consecutive wins on his resume, most recently in the Woodward Stakes.

The impressive Travers winner Epicenter (6/1) is an incredibly consistent colt with a chance of challenging Flightline too. He is in the form of his life and has been masterfully handled by Steve Asmussen. Epicenter has never finished further back than second and filled that position in the Kentucky Derby when only Rich Strike (33/1) headed him after he was ridden too close to the extremely generous pace.

Hot Rod Charlie (28/1) is a serious talent too and was last seen narrowly beating Rich Strike in the Lukas Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs on October 1. This is a Breeders’ Cup Classic with extraordinary strength in depth, Flightline will need to be in good shape to beat these rivals.

The second most popular starter in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup card and only other odds-on shot is the Bob Baffert-trained Cave Rock who leads the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile betting at 4/5. Baffert also handled his incredibly talented and ill-fated sire, Arrogate who was lost as a seven-year-old soon after starting his career in the breeding shed. Cave Rock is a son of Georgie’s Angel, a daughter of Bellamy Road, who scored in a grade three sprint as a juvenile for Todd Pletcher but failed to build on that result.

Cave Rock has so far done a good job of emulating his sire rather than his dam and is unbeaten in his three starts. He was last seen winning the grade one American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita in early October, beating his stablemate National Treasure impressively by over five lengths. He has won his other starts by a similar distance suggesting he is a worthy favorite. Baffert also saddles National Treasure who is fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile betting at 10/1.

Pletcher is responsible for the second favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile betting, Forte at 7/2 who also has three wins to his name, including two at the top level which he won by much shorter distances. He was last seen winning the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity by a neck.

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile provides an intriguing challenge for bettors with Cody’s Wish, Cyberknife and Laurel River leading the betting market, all at odds of approximately 3/1. In the Juvenile Fillies Chocolate Gelato (7/2) and Wonder Wheel (4/1) are neck and neck in the betting and half the price of their closest rivals. In contrast Jackie’s Warrior is the clear favorite at evens for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, well ahead of Kimari at 5/1 and Elite Power at 13/2. 

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup looks likely to be an interesting one for bettors with only two heavy favorites. Flightline could reward many of them if he is at his best on the day and justify his odds in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic betting.