The start of the Breeders’ Cup is just under a month away, which means that the countdown to the first race at the prestigious meet at Keeneland is well underway.
Some of the biggest stars from around the world look set to compete at the illustrious meeting in November, which will be headlined by the 2022 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But, who are some of the equine stars that could be going under the radar in their respective races?
The Breeders’ Cup Classic betting is dominated by the formidable Flightline for John Sadler. But, that means that bettors will be able to get multiple graded winners at massive prices at Keeneland.
Bob Baffert’s record in the race should be appreciated, as he previously won the Classic in 2020 with Authentic. However, his leading chance this year could be Taiba.
The three-year-old stormed onto the scene with a two and a quarter length domination of Messier in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, before coming up well short in the G1 Kentucky Derby. However, he has looked more like his own self on his recent starts, finishing second by a head in the G1 Haskell, before landing the G1 Pennsylvania by a dominant three lengths from Zandon.
Mishriff also holds an entry for the Classic later this year, but a run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf looks the most likely final stop for this five-year-old.
He will be retired after the event this year, and we are pretty shocked that he hasn’t been listed as the favorite to land the Turf, according to the Breeders’ Cup 2022 odds by TwinSpires.
The multiple-time Grade 1 winner put up a strong fight in the Arc at Longchamp at the start of October, as he ran better than his 13th-place finish suggests.
He is a regular runner over this distance, and has been no stranger to big international victories throughout his career, which includes wins in both G1 Dubai Sheema Classic and Saudi Cup. Keeneland looks set to be his swansong on track, and in a wide-open renewal of the Turf, he could have all the class to land a final Grade 1 victory for John & Thady Gosden.
The Breeders’ Cup Mile is often one of the most competitive races to be staged at the meet, and that promises to be no different at Keeneland later this year. Modern Games currently heads the betting for the Mile, but it may be worth taking a second look at his stablemate Native Trail.
The Charlie Appleby-trained horse has been very strong over this distance throughout the season, which includes a second in the G1 2,000 Guineas behind Coroebus.
His only big defeats have come when stepped up in trip, with the latest of those coming against the irrepressible Baaeed in the G1 Juddmonte International. There’s no shame in conceding defeat against the world’s top-rated horse, and a return to a mile could be very much the best idea.
His record over the distance is very strong with two wins from three, and an international challenge could be very likely for the Godolphin runner.
Understandably the attention will be on the European-trained runners when it comes to the turf races at Keeneland in November. However, a mention must be made for McKulick in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The Chad Brown runner has been in excellent form throughout this season, winning on two from her previous three starts since being stepped up in trip.
She excelled once again over a mile and three furlongs at Belmont at the Big A in the middle of September, as she held off the talented Toskana Belle to win the G3 Jockey Club Oaks. Another step up is needed at the Breeders’ Cup, but she looks the progressive sort for a trainer that needs all the respect when it comes to their runners on the turf.