|Tuesday 21st June 2022
Another Breeders’ Cup Classic for Baffert?
Fireworks are guaranteed on November 5. No need to look up in the sky for them though, just watch the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.
Every trainer wants to win this highly lucrative race and there are plenty of contenders this year. The current favourite is Flightline at 3/1. Trained by John W. Sandler, this four-year-old has had four races to date and won all of them.
The most recent victory came on June 11 at Belmont Park in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Stakes. An interesting race for sure with Flightline missing the break but recovering and going clear to win by six lengths.
The previous race for Flightline had been in Grade 1 last December and won by 11 and a half lengths. That’s not the longest distance win though as his first two races had been won by 13 and a half and 13 lengths respectively.
It’ll be interesting to see how long elapses before his next race. The four races to date have all had gaps of over 100 days between them but he still comes out and wins.
Second favourite at present is Life is Good at 8/1. Last year saw this contender win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar. That was followed up by this champion horse winning the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes in January scooping a £1.3 million prize.
That made it three wins in a row but a fourth was not to be achieved. Life is Good led in the Dubai World Cup in Meydan earlier this year but faded into fourth. The trip of a mile and two furlongs proved a bit too far for the Todd Pletcher trained runner but still won £444,000. The Breeders’ Cup Classic is also a ten-furlong race, so perhaps Life is Good should be backed each-way.
At 10/1 is Jack Christopher who is unbeaten after his first four races according to sites specialising on horse betting. The furthest he’s raced over is a mile with two wins over that distance. On both occasions he ran on well in the final furlong so a mile and two might just be manageable. His most recent win was down at seven furlongs when winning the Grade 1 Woody Stephens Stakes by ten furlongs.
Country Grammer has already proved his ability over a mile and two furlongs with two wins. Trained by the legendary Bob Baffert (who has a record four wins in this race), his last appearance saw victory in the Dubai World Cup race at Meydan winning an astonishing £5.33 million. He was pipped for second in his previous race but still won £2.5 million. He’s 12/1 to give Baffert a fifth win in this race in nine years.
Mo Donegal won the Belmont Stakes earlier this month. He’s 12/1 to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The win at Belmont was over a mile and a half but he has won in the past over shorter distances. His last ten-furlong race was the Kentucky Derby. He only finished fifth but would have got closer but for being bumped. This contender is definitely one to back each-way in this race.
Other contenders include Epicenter (16/1) who finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes this year and won’t have a problem with this distance. No Breeders’ Cup race is ever going to be dull, this one promises to be totally fascinating.