California Horse Racing Stars Ship East For 2022 Breeders’ Cup

Written By Andrew Champagne on October 27, 2022 - Last Updated on October 31, 2022

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup is in Kentucky, but horse racing’s year-end championship event definitely has a California feel.

The world’s fastest horses will descend upon Keeneland for the two-day affair on Nov. 4-5. Among the horses getting plenty of attention is one of the most highly-regarded thoroughbreds in training and a very promising 2-year-old, and both runners hail from the Golden State.

Flightline looks to soar once again

The undefeated Flightline hasn’t run much this season. He’s just 2-for-2 in 2022, but both victories came in major races, and both were sensational.

The John Sadler trainee first shipped to Belmont Park for the Grade 1 Met Mile in June. After cruising to an easy victory, Flightline returned to California to prepare for the Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Flightline didn’t just win that race. He destroyed the field, finishing more than 19 lengths clear of that day’s second-place finisher.

The California horse racing sensation is expected to be an odds-on favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. A win in that race would likely be enough to earn him the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year.

Cave Rock leads a strong Bob Baffert string

It’s been an eventful year for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. He’s still in the midst of a ban from the Kentucky Derby, but he’ll have several top contenders at Keeneland next weekend.

Baffert has won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile five times, tied for the most in history. He’ll have a big chance at number six with Cave Rock, who comes to Keeneland at a perfect 3-for-3.

A son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, Cave Rock won both the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and the Grade 1 American Pharoah in California. He’ll receive plenty of betting money in the Juvenile, and a win in that race would make him a very early Kentucky Derby favorite.

Baffert’s runners, however, are not eligible for Kentucky Derby points this coming season. The top 20 point-getters earn spots in the Derby starting gate. Should Cave Rock’s owners want to make the Derby field, they’ll have to move him to a different barn for prep races ahead of the first Saturday in May.

More on the 2022 Breeders’ Cup

The Juvenile is the main event on Friday, Nov. 4, which features five Breeders’ Cup races restricted to 2-year-olds. That day’s 10-race program begins at 11:55 am local time.

The 12-race card on Saturday, Nov. 5, includes nine Breeders’ Cup races, culminating with the Classic. First post is 10:30 am, and the Classic is set for 5:40 pm.

Californians can watch and wager on all the action with advance deposit wagering platforms. TVG, for instance, offers a space to play the races on computers, tablets and phones.

Its television outlet, FanDuel TV, will have wall-to-wall Breeders’ Cup coverage, including its “Breakfast at the Breeders’ Cup” program. That runs each morning from 4-7 am Pacific time and features workouts, interviews and behind-the-scenes coverage.

Photo by AP / Eduardo Munoz
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Andrew Champagne

Andrew Champagne is a 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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