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The Breeder’s Cup preview and picks

The Breeder’s Cup is a series of horse races over two days that showcase the best in all of the sport. From Friday afternoon to Saturday evening, Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky will be the home for two days of the best of the best horses for 2022.


Many of these horses will be Kentucky born, and with all the races, there are so many things to watch and bet on. Today marks the return of fans, so this coupled with good weather, could bring out amazing finishes. Friday was the series of races for Juveniles. Here are your winners with the entire run attached!


Friday’s Breeder’s Cup results (Race – Winner)


Juvenile Turf Sprint – Mischief Magic



Last to first! Whoa!


Juvenile Fillies – Wonder Wheel




Juvenile Fillies Turf – Mediate




Breeder’s Cup Juvenile – Forte




Juvenile Turf – Victoria Road




Saturday’s Main – Classic


But the main race is The Classic, scheduled for 5:30 PM on Saturday. Here are the horses set to ride: Post, Odds, Horse, Jockey, Trainer.


1 8-1 Taiba Mike Smith Bob Baffert
2 6-1 Life Is Good Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd A. Pletcher
3 30-1 Happy Saver John Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher
4 3-5 Flightline Flavien Prat John W. Sadler
5 15-1 Hot Rod Charlie Tyler Gaffalione Doug F. O’Neill
6 5-1 Epicenter Joel Rosario Steven M. Asmussen
7 10-1 Olympiad Junior Alvarado William I. Mott
8 20-1 Rich Strike Sonny Leon Eric Reed

So, let’s do a quick overview for each horse.




Doug O’Neill, trainer for Hot Rod Charlie said it best when interviewed this week. (Courtesy of Daily Racing Form and writer David Grening)


“If Flightine shows up like the Flightline we’ve seen so far, everyone’s running for second!” (DRF, David Grening)



The favorite in this race, Flightline last won the 2022 Pacific Classic. A good dirt horse, with Flavien Prat as jockey, this horse will be watched by every other jockey, trainer, owner and fan in the race. Daily Racing Form says Flightline is proven at the 1 ¼ mile and THE standout horse. 

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

Flavien Prat commented on his ride:

“Now he is the best horse I ever rode but also the best horse I will ever ride. He’s shown he is the best horse on dirt in the world for sure.



Hodges photography


Epicenter had a dominating performance in a win at the Travers Stakes. This horse is proven at this distance, too.  As the favorite at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Epicenter finished second in both races. Asmussen and Rosario would like nothing better than to end the year with a win.

But Epicenter hasn’t raced since August. Interesting to see what happens here. Most of the horses have raced in September or early October.


Life Is Good

Coady Photograph


A two horse race with Flightline vs Life Is Good battling the entire mile and a quarter would be phenomenal television. Life Is Good is a tremendously fast horse, but will the distance be a problem? The horse is coming off a win at the Woodward.


Others in the race


First in the Pennsylvania Derby. Could be a sleeper. Finished a disappointing 12th in the Kentucky Derby after a great start to the year, winning the Santa Anita Derby.


1st in Jockey Club Gold Cup. A four year old, he has won six of seven starts this year. His only non-win was in the Whitney Stakes, won by Life Is Good. If he wins this, you could say he should be the Horse of the Year!



Hot Rod Charlie

First in the Lukas Classic Stakes. 3 of the 8 horses in today’s Classic ran in the Lukas. 


Rich Strike

Kentucky Derby surprise winner and a great story for the $30k price the owners paid! 2nd in Lukas to Hot Rod Charlie.

Rich Strike had a cough after a late October workout but seems to be fine now.


Happy Saver


Five second place finishes. Last race was a disappointing 4th in the Lukas Classic Stakes. 

Injured prior to Wednesday’s workout. Saturday is up in the air.


My Choice?

Win: Flightline

Place: Epicenter

Show: Life Is Good


Longshot? Olympiad.


Flightline is in top form and it’s hard to see anyone defeating this horse. Epicenter in second is fitting since that’s the 2022 trend for the horse in big races. Life Is Good will be first or second in the beginning, but the distance is just a bit much for the horse.


I’m betting on Olympiad as my longshot. Why not? With the Powerball at astronomical odds, it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone win that and Olympiad shocking the horse racing world on the same day.

Enjoy the day, everyone!

I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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