Breeders Cup 2022 – Keeneland Friday 4th & Saturday 5th November 2022

Breeders Cup Keeneland 2022 Ante-Post Portfolio

Breeders Cup Mile : Modern Games 2-1 & 3-1 

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf: Silver Knott 6-4

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf: Mediate 11-4

Update: A rollercoaster of a couple of days with some great racing and a couple that I tipped losing out on the bob of the heads but it was still a winning 48-hours as I finish +2.55 to level stakes 

Breeders' Cup Future Stars Friday

If like me you are here in the UK rather than across the pond you can still enjoy every race of the Breeders’ Cup weekend as Sky Racing will be all over it showing all the action. ITV Racing will be on ITV3 from 6.30pm on the Friday evening for Future Stars Friday and from 3.40pm on ITV4 for all nine races on Saturday. We have five races to get involved with on Future Stars Friday and hopefully I have a winner or five to get the meeting off to a flying start.  

It’s good racing ground out in Keeneland after an unseasonal warm spell out there with another warm dry day forecast for Friday. There is the chance of a few showers on Saturday so keep an eye on the going.  

5½f Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

The first of the big races is due off at 7.00pm our time Friday evening. The Platinum Queen is a filly I have been backing and she is a top-class speedy two-year-old filly that has winning form on fast and soft going, there is plenty to like about her. The problems are her draw, stall 12, hasn’t helped her chances and as fast as she is out of the stalls, and it is a fair run to the first bend, she will need to be shit off a shovel quick here to get over and not get trapped wide. The second question she has to answer is how fast is she going round a bend? Mischief Magic has won going round a bend, albeit on the All-Weather at right-handed Kempton, and he has an each-way chance. I missed the bigger prices about Love Reigns but the Wesley Ward trained filly is the one for me at the 7-2 BPG early. She was beaten at the Royal Meeting, I backed her, but is two from two back in the States including her very impressive debut victory over this track and trip back in April. Breaking from stall two Irad Ortiz will have little choice but blast out and go and she can do that. The jockey and trainer combo know what they are doing having won last three running's of this, this should complete the Yankee - apologies for the American pun ;o)

1m½f Grade One NetJets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Dirt)  

This looks an open affair. Wonder Wheel and Chop Chop are closely matched from their meeting over track and trip last month when first and second in the G.1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes. Chop Chop blew the start and had to pass the entire field to finish second beaten just a nose and I can’t help but think with a better start she could reverse the placings. Chocolate Gelatto won the G.1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont nicely last time on sloppy and is also shortlisted along with And Tell Me Nolies who arrives off the back of a hat-trick of victories. Chop Chop is the tentative pick at carpet 3-1 with Coral BPG this morning in the hope that she is ridden a bit more aggressively here and then can power clear up the homestretch as our ex-colonial cousins like to call it.  

1m Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

There is a little more European interest in this one but it is another race that looks a wide-open on paper. Mediate is sent over eight-furlongs by Aidan O’Brien for the first time. I noted the master of Ballydoyle saying in a preview “She’s usually sharp from the gates and is a strong traveller, which is always a help in America. We don’t think going around a bend will be a disadvantage to her either.” She is a G.2 winner and her two seconds in the Group One company in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes is certainly the best form in the book albeit over shorter. I backed her on both those occasions, also backed her when she won at Ascot, and I think her second to Tahiyra in the 7f Moyglare Stud Stakes will prove to be a decent bit of form as the winning filly looks very classy and is of course at the head of the market for next seasons 1,000 Guineas. I thought the 11-4 on Wednesday looked big and took that. She likes to be prominent, no bad thing here, stall ten gives Moore options of where to place her and a mile on a tight turning track gives her every chance of seeing out the trip. 

1m½f Grade One FanDuel Breeders' Cup Juvenile Presented By T'bred Aftercare Alliance (Dirt)  

Unbeaten three-time winner Cave Rock is all the rage for this and has been odds-on for a while. The Bob Baffert trained son of Arrogate has won all three starts as he liked including his last victory in the G.1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita over 1m last month, beating National Treasure by 5 lengths. No-one wants to tip 4-6 shots but I will be flabbergasted if he gets beat and I am on this morning BPG on the nights good thing. Winner of the G.1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity Stakes over track and trip Forte looks likely to be the one to chase him home. 

1m Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

Anyone who has visited the site this year will be surprised to learn I am on Silver Knott in this and I took 6-4 on Wednesday. I have tipped the colt on every start to date and I am not about to desert him now. I have mentioned before this colt has some bloodstock royalty on his page, it isn’t surprising he cost 725,000 Guineas as a yearling. By Lope De Vega, the French 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner, he is out of God Given, a multiple Group winner in her day, and should progress with Shamardal and Nathaniel as grand-sires; Shamardal was also of course Champion two-year-old. Last seen winning the G.3 Autumn Stakes over a mile at HQ he’s two defeats have been to that very good Juddmonte colt Chaldean and there’s nothing of his class here. He has a cruising speed most can only dream of and that will be a big advantage here. Charlie Appleby is plotting a similar campaign to that he did with Modern Games, take note and get on. 

Breeders' Cup Saturday

Following an annoying Friday evening with just the one winner from five bets, one beat on the nod, and the 'dangers' I mentioned in three races going on to win I go into Saturday slightly behind to level stakes. No matter, I go into Breeders' Cup Saturday full of hope and expectation. The loses are only lent Mr Bookmaker. 

7f Grade One Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Dirt)  

It’s a nice mid-afternoon start for us here in the UK with the first for the Breeders’ Cup races off at 3.50pm our time; I am all set with betting slips at the ready, betting apps open, hot dogs for dinner and a few lagers chilling in the fridge. It’s a tricky little affair to get us underway with a number in with chances in this. Frank's Rockette has been very consistent and somewhat unlucky to have just one victory to her name since her three-year-old campaign. She is actually officially top-rated and if any of these deserve a big win it’s her. Goodnight Olive took her form to a different level when winning the G. 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga over 7f on her latest outing in August. She has reportedly had a number of physical difficulties but she showed there the ability trainer Chad Brown always thought she had. Obligatory was third there having been dropped out last from the stalls and was doing her best work late. It is a tactic they use with her and if they go too fast early here, not unusual at the Breeders’ Cup, she will be staying on passed horses late. Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Echo Zulu (tipped on here) will have to blast out of stall 13 to lead but I expect they will try and look to get her prominent at least. She didn’t get home in the 1m1f G.1 Kentucky Oaks but was back to winning ways in the 7f G.3 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs in September. Steve Asmussen said recently of her “I think it’s as obvious as the sun up in the sky that she’s a one-turn horse, just brilliant at it. Instead of finding what she couldn’t do, it’s great to get back at what she excels at.” I am with Steve, and on at 6-1 BPG this morning with Coral. 

5½f Grade One Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint  

There are a few names in here you’ll likely recognise including Dirty Dozen member Creative Force. Annoyingly the four-year-old hasn’t won a race in four starts this season but has been a model of consistency in Group One company. Despite being drawn in stall one I don’t suppose he’ll be anywhere near them early but if he can hang on to the coat-tails of the leaders he’ll likely be finishing the strongest in the field. I can't back him though as he'll need plenty of luck in running. It’s no great surprise Wesley Ward has a couple in here. Frankie Dettori is reunited with Campanelle and the four-year-old filly has to be considered but may have to play second fiddle to her stable mate tonight. The only blot on the copybook for Golden Pal this season was when beaten at Ascot in the G.1 King's Stand Stakes; he clearly doesn’t like it over here as he has been beaten on all three runs in the UK. The four-year-old colt is unbeaten over this track and trip in four starts, cruising to an easy victory in a Grade Two event as his warm-up. Get on at 7-4 BPG this morning.  

1m Grade One Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

I was impressed with Laurel River when he won the 7f G.2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar as his warm-up but sadly he won’t be here. Godolphin have a contender in the shape of Cody’s Wish trained by Bill Mott in the States. Beaten on seasonal debut he arrives off the back of three victories including beating Jackies Warrior in the G.1 Forego Stakes over seven at Saratoga in August. The Dirt Mile here is around two turns and Cody’s Wish might be 5 for 5 as they say in Kentucky at one mile but, all those victories came in one turn races either at Churchill Downs or Belmont Park and even Bill Mott has said “I’d prefer the one-turn, long straightaway, gives him a chance to get into his stride.” Cyberknife has chased home Taiba over 1m1f and Epicenter over 1m2f on his last two starts and they both line-up later in the Classic so it is strong form. Prior to those runs he beat Taiba in the G.1 1m1f Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park all of which is pretty impressive as I have a feeling, he might be better over the mile. I am on at carpet 3-1 early BPG with Power.

1m1½f Grade One Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf

The fact Tuesday is here almost goes without saying, the Oaks winner having danced every dance this season. I think her busy schedule has taken its toll though and I can’t have her here. Nashwa has been sent over by team Gosden and looks to have a great chance. She was beaten on her latest outing in the G.1 Prix de l'Opera Longines over 1m2f on heavy ground last month at Longchamp. I was on for that and in fact a bit surprised that they let her run; I had mentioned on the site that it was by far the softish ground she had ever encountered. This is her trip and the daughter of Frankel will surely appreciate the return to quicker ground conditions. I think she'll be tough to beat if at her best and I am on at 6-4 BPG with Coral for her to take this.  

6f Grade One Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (Dirt)

The part Ballydoyle owned Kimari trained by Wesley Ward has to be shortlisted and can be in the mix. Elite Power has improved all season it appears. The chestnut colt won the 7f G.2 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont very impressively last time having won a claiming race over six at Saratoga prior to that following a couple of lower grade wins at Churchill Downs previously. “He’d need to have a good pace up front,” trainer Bill Mott said in a preview interview “at the shorter distances, if there’s not a realistic pace, it’d be more difficult for him.” They are likely to go off like scalded cats but can he stay in touch? I tipped Jackies Warrior last year at a short price and he got beat, I also backed him in 2020 for the Juvenile and he got beat in that as well! Stall nine aint great but it aint a disaster either and in truth this is his trip and everything suggests he should win, he has won 11 Graded stakes, five of them G.1s. I've had my fingers burnt twice by him now at the Breeders’ Cup though. I have taken a chance with Power at 8-1 each-way on Elite Power as I think they will go too fast early, giving the Juddmonte owned colt the chance to run into a place and if the jolly blows-up again....... who knows. 

1m Grade One FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile presented by Permanently Disabled (Turf)

Unusually for me this year I had just the one ante-post bet for the Saturday and it is Modern Games in this, I have actually backed him twice! Having left him alone for the G.1 Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at QIPCO British Champions Day I am on the colt at 2-1 ante-post for the Breeders' Cup Mile (bet placed before that race) with Power and again at the 3-1 Coral went after his second in the QEII on ground he wouldn’t want. He drifted after everyone got over excited, I think, about Kinross, a 7f specialist that’s wants it soft. My main thinking was, and remains, the colt wants the faster ground and Charlie Appleby had been quite vocal about the fact that Keeneland was always the target hence the run in the G.1 Woodbine Mile Stakes in September (tipped on here). Talking on the Godolphin website Charlie Appleby said this week “He’s been there, he’s done it….he is the ultimate professional. He looks great here in the barn. We sent him on the turf for a canter (Wednesday), just to let him get a feel of the track. There are no negatives with him. Physically, he is a neat horse. He has a nice draw and the two-turn mile at Keeneland is going to suit him. He is a typical Dubawi in that at this stage of his career he is strengthening all the time. He is stronger and better now than he was when he was third in the French Derby in June. I feel he is the best of our runners at the meeting. He has plenty going for him.” Last year's G.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner is a tough cookie and has no problem turning left-handed on good fast ground, which is an obvious plus when racing across the pond – something Kinross has very much yet to prove and stall thirteen aint done that one any favours either. Dreamlopper is a good colt but his best efforts this season have been in France on softer ground. Another negative for me with him is he has never won turning left-handed; tired once at Haydock and once at Leopardstown and didn’t make the frame on either occasion.  

1m1f Grade One Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (Dirt)  

This looks to be at the mercy of Todd Pletcher. Nest has been in great form all season. Having won a Listed heat she took the G.1 Ashland Stakes here at Kenneland over 1m½f before a couple of seconds in the G.1 Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Stakes. She then won the G.1 American Oaks and G.1 Alabama Stakes both at Saratoga confirming that she is top-class. After a short break she won the G.2 Beldame Stakes at Belmont as her warm-up without breaking sweat. I am on at the 15-8 BPG with Power this morning. Stable mate Malathaat is the danger arriving as she does on a hat-trick bid having bolted up in in the G.1 Spinster Stakes over track and trip last time.  

1m4f Grade One Longines Breeders' Cup Turf  

Globetrotting five-year-old Mishriff, trained by John and Thady Gosden, will be having the final start of his career in this. He has won some big ones but hasn’t got his head in front all season and probably isn’t as good as he was. War Like Goddess is the big hope for the Yanks and has a chance of making the places, I tipped her for the Filly and Mares last year when third, whilst Broome and Stone Age, both over from Ballydoyle, should nick some prize-money. I have backed Rebels Romance a few times this season, including for his two G.1 victories in Germany in the run-up to this, but this is a step-up in class again in reality and I think he may be better with a little give in the ground. Nations Pride is the one to be on here. I have backed him for every start this season except at Epsom when he didn’t see out the 1m4f of the Derby; he owes me nothing and I am a big fan. He has shown he can race this side of the pond winning the 1m1½f G.1 Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes at Saratoga and the 1m4f G.1 Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont on his last two starts following an agonising second in the G.1 1m2f Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes before that. I am on at the 9-4 that was available in places on Friday. Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website this week talking of his two “Both jockeys have good knowledge of their respective mounts. Both horses have great profiles for this race, but I lean towards Nations Pride, who has shown a real liking for the tight American tracks at his last three starts. Physically, he is another who is neat in build and perfectly suited to racing in the States. He brings great experience of America to this race. He is much stronger than when he ran at Epsom in June. He starts from gate seven but there is no significant draw bias over a mile and a half.”

1m2f Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (Dirt)  

It’s the big on at 9.40pm the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. Flightline is the highest rated horse in the world and is unsurprisingly odds-on at around 2-5. There was a question about the 1m2f trip until he tried it in the G.1 TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar and won by 19¼ lengths! If there is a negative about the red-hot jolly it is that trainer John Sadler has a shocking record at the Breeders Cup with just one winner from fifty-four Breeders' Cup runners; Accelerate in the 2018 Classic. Flightline is being talked about as an all time great over the pond, and if he wins this as easily as some suspect he will, he will have to be considered at least one of the best in recent history. I would love to see him have a run on turf just to see, but we may not get to see that. With eight runners at least we can have an each-way punt and that is what I have been looking at. Epicenter was runner-up in the G.1 Kentucky Derby and second in the G.1 Preakness and is the best of the three-year-olds that line-up. Steve Asmussen trains him and said this week “He’s physically stronger than he’s ever been and his fastest race was his latest. He’s in the perfect peak of condition and ready to go faster.” He has every chance of framing-up but I like one of the older horses as my each-way punt. Life Is Good was odds-on for the 1m2f G.1 Dubai World Cup back in March and looked the winner turning for home but the tank emptied with a furlong to go; he was treading water for the 220 yards and finished fourth. That surprised me as the manner of his victories in the 1m1f Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and the G.1 Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile before that suggested he’d get the trip – I tipped him on all three occasions. I was interested to read in a preview interview trainer Todd Pletcher say “We are eager to run on a real track, not like in Dubai, which was really deep that night. I think that played against him.” Paddy Power were an outstanding 9-1 on Friday evening and I have that each-way.  

The Build-Up to the Breeders Cup Keeneland 2022

2nd November 2022

I have had a couple of bets early for Future Stars Friday. 

Charlie Appleby has been talking to reporters out Stateside and said on Wednesday “We’ve brought a couple of juveniles out here and I think Silver Knott is a worthy favourite for his race. The soft ground was to blame for his disappointing run in the Champagne Stakes, but on a sounder surface he put in a good effort in the Autumn Stakes and has come out of that well.He could be a French Derby horse and follow the same route as Modern Games by running in the French Guineas and French Derby next year. He wore a hood this morning which he will retain on the way to post on Friday, but it will be removed at the start.” I am of course a fan, I have in fact backed the colt on every one of his starts and I am on for the Mile Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at 6-4.  

I have also backed Mediate for the Grade One Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf over a mile on Future Stars Friday at the 11-4 as I think that looks big and expect that price to shrink. I think her second to Tahiyra in the 7f Moyglare Stud Stakes will prove to be a decent bit of form as the winning filly looks very classy and is of course at the head of the market for next seasons 1000 Guineas. Her form is the best in the book and if she gets the mile, she should round here, I think she wins simple as that. 

1st November 2022

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run at Keeneland Racecourse in the 'Horse Capital of the World' Lexington, Kentucky down in the Bluegrass State. Over the two evenings we have fourteen races, all Grade One's, worth $31 million in total with the main event of course being the $6 million Longines Breeders Cup Classic. 

Keeneland racecourse opened in 1936 and hosted the Breeders Cup for the first time in 2015 and was also host in 2020. The track has a 1&1⁄16 mile Dirt oval and a seven-and-a-half Furlong turf oval - both very American measurements! Many experts will tell you it is tight round here, not perhaps as bad as Del Mar, but it's tight and many of the 'experts' think stalls 3-8 are the best places to be. It looks pretty fine out there as far as the weather is concerned and we are likely to get pretty firm going. Luckily for us Brits with the meeting being held at Keeneland the races are at far more sociable times for us here in Blighty than when hosted by a track on the West Coast. The meeting will still take over my Friday and Saturday as usual, but no staying up into the early hours of Sunday this year.  

The statement "Horse Capital of the World" may seem a bold one but I am told there are more than 238,000 horses in Kentucky which equates to roughly one horse for every eighteen people there being an approximate human population of 4.5 million - over 60,000 of whom are employed in some way because of the horse. If you're a farmer there is no shortage of manure! 

Having left Modern Games alone for the G.1 Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at QIPCO British Champions Day I am on the colt at 2-1 ante-post for the Breeders Cup Mile (bet placed before that race) with Power and again at the 3-1 Coral went after his second in the QEII on ground he wouldn’t want. He drifted after everyone got over excited, I think, about Kinross, a 7f specialist that’s wants it soft; Kenneland aint going to be soft on Breeders up weekend! My main thinking was, and remains, the colt wants the faster ground and Charlie Appleby had been quite vocal about the fact that Keeneland was always the target hence the run in the G.1 Woodbine Mile Stakes in September (tipped on here). Last year's G.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner is a tough cookie and has no problem turning left-handed on fast ground, which is an obvious plus when racing across the pond – something Kinross has very much yet to prove.