California Horse Racing Stalwarts Eye 2022 Breeders’ Cup

Written By Andrew Champagne on November 1, 2022 - Last Updated on February 10, 2023
Flightline Breeders Cup Classic field

The fields are set for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup. Horse racing’s year-end championship event will take place this Friday and Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky.

Some of the biggest names in California horse racing have shipped in for the event. Most notably, the two-day program’s biggest race, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, is led by the undefeated Flightline.

Flightline an odds-on Classic favorite

The undefeated John Sadler trainee most recently won the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar by nearly 20 lengths. He hasn’t run much (just five times in his career), but when he’s right, he’s among the fastest horses in recent racing history.

Flightline and jockey Flavien Prat were assigned the No. 4 post position at Monday’s draw. He’ll face seven other runners, including multiple Grade 1 winner Life Is Good, Kentucky Derby upsetter Rich Strike and Travers hero Epicenter.

Morning line odds, though, illustrate how tough it may be to ground Flightline. He’s the early 3/5 favorite, which makes him one of the shortest-priced betting interests in Breeders’ Cup history.

Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Classic is 5:40 pm Eastern on Saturday afternoon. It’s the last of 14 Breeders’ Cup races across the two-day slate, which features five events Friday and nine more the following afternoon.

Star-studded fields highlight 2022 Breeders’ Cup program

The Breeders’ Cup attracts some of the top horses, trainers and jockeys from around the world to compete. This year marks the third time the event returns to Keeneland, following renewals in 2015 and 2020.

Friday’s Breeders’ Cup races are restricted to 2-year-olds, including the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Another short-priced California invader headlines that race.

Cave Rock has won back-to-back Grade 1 races for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. He’ll break from post position No. 3 Friday and may be nearly as heavy a favorite as Flightline. Morning line man Nick Tammaro has installed him as a 4/5 choice.

Other prominent horses could clinch Eclipse Awards for their respective divisions with wins this week:

  • Nest, a 3-year-old filly with several Grade 1 wins this season, tackles older fillies and mares in the Distaff.
  • Jackie’s Warrior makes his final career start in the Sprint, where he’ll likely be a heavy favorite.
  • Golden Pal aims to take down a second straight Turf Sprint for trainer Wesley Ward.

In addition, several prominent European trainers, including Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Appleby, will saddle top contenders in turf races across both cards. O’Brien, however, will have to make due without Blackbeard, who would have likely been a heavy favorite in Friday’s Juvenile Turf Sprint. An injury forced him into retirement.

Watch and wager on the 2022 Breeders’ Cup

Advance deposit wagering platforms such as TVG offer ways to follow the races on computers, tablets, phones and over-the-top devices. This allows fans to take in and bet on the action from all over the world, including Keeneland.

TVG’s television network, FanDuel TV, will have coverage from Kentucky leading up to the event. The FanDuel Racing app will host live streams of all the races.

The NBC family of networks will also provide coverage of the weekend’s action. USA Network will air Friday’s races, while USA, NBC and Peacock will split Saturday’s.

Photo by Breeders' Cup
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Andrew Champagne

Andrew Champagne is a former content manager at Catena Media, as well as an award-winning writer and producer. A passionate storyteller, Andrew boasts a career that has included stints at The Daily Racing Form, TVG Network, and HRTV. Born and raised in upstate New York, Andrew now resides in Northern California's Bay Area. You can often find him handicapping horse races, planning his next trip to Las Vegas, bowling reasonably well, and golfing incredibly poorly.

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