Flightline, the 3-5 favorite for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (Coady Photography)
Breeders’ Cup Press Release/Edited
LEXINGTON, Ky.— Hronis Racing, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm and Woodford Racing’s undefeated Flightline was installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in a field of eight Monday for the 39th running of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) to be run Saturday, Nov. 5 at Keeneland.
The 1 ¼-mile Classic is the richest of 14 Championship races worth more than $31 million in purses and awards to be run over two days at Keeneland and will be televised live by NBC, Peacock, USA Network and FanDuel TV.
Five Championship races will be run on Future Stars Friday with all Breeders’ Cup tests that day being for 2-year-olds.
Highlighting the day will be the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), races that will determine early favoritism for the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.
A total of 177 horses were entered including six winners from last year’s Championships at Del Mar with three seeking to defend their titles.
Trained by John Sadler, Flightline has won his five starts by a combined 62 ¾ lengths with Flavien Prat aboard for all the victories. Flightline will break from post position four.
The eight runners in the Classic have combined for a record of 84-43-17-9 with almost $20.9 million in earnings. In all, the entrants have accounted for 14 Grade 1 victories and 12 Grade 2s.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter, the front-runner for the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top 3-year-old, is the second choice on the morning line at 5-1. Runaway winner of the Travers (G1) in his most recent start, Epicenter is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post position six.
Third choice on the line at 6-1 is WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Life Is Good.
A four-time Grade 1 winner trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good won last year’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) by 5 ¾ lengths and enters the Classic on a three-race win streak. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position two.
Pletcher has the two favorites for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) that drew a field of eight in Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House’s Nest (9-5), the leading 3-year-old in the country, and Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat (3-1), who was third in this race last year.
Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Nest, who won her only Keeneland start in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) and will exit post position six. John Velazquez has the mount on Malathaat, who is three-for-three at Keeneland, and will break from post position one.
Asmussen counters the Pletcher duo with a strong hand of his own with Stonestreet Stables’ Clairiere (4-1) fourth in this race last year, and Peter Blum Thoroughbreds’ Society (6-1). Joel Rosario has the mount of Clairiere, who will break from post position four, and Florent Geroux rides Society, who will break from post position eight.
The Godolphin duo of Rebel’s Romance (IRE) and Nations Pride (IRE) top the morning line for the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) that drew a field of 13.
Charlie Appleby trains both runners with Rebel’s Romance (3-1) entering the race with four consecutive victories. James Doyle has the mount on Rebel’s Romance and will break from post five.
Nations Pride (4-1) is riding a two-race win streak into Saturday with victories coming stateside in The Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G3) and the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1). William Buick, who rode Yibir (GB) to victory in this race last year for Godolphin and Appleby, has the mount and will break from post seven.
Third choice on the morning line is George Krikorian’s 5-year-old mare War Like Goddess (9-2). Two-for-two at Keeneland for trainer Bill Mott, War Like Goddess comes into the Turf off a victory over males in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1). Joel Rosario has the mount and will break from post two.
Godolphin and Appleby have the morning line favorite for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) presented by PDJF in Modern Games (IRE) in the field of 14 and two also-eligibles. Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last year, Modern Games was a 5 ¼-length winner of the Woodbine Mile (G1) in his return to North America in September, and earned a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series berth into the Mile. Buick has the mount and will break from post four.
Second choice on the morning line is Marc Chan’s Kinross (GB) (9-2). Trained by Ralph Beckett, Kinross brings a four-race win streak comprised of two Group 1s and two Group 2s into his United States debut. Frankie Dettori, who has been aboard for all of those victories, has the mount Saturday and will break from post position 13.
Also in the field of 14 is Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Mrs. Anne Marie O’Brien’s Order of Australia (IRE). Trained by Aidan O’ Brien, Order of Australia won this race at Keeneland at odds of 73-1. He is 12-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Ryan Moore from post position 10.
Five other Championship races are on the Saturday program topped by the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
Imad Alsagar’s Nashwa (GB) is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf that drew a field of 12 for the 1 3/16-mile test. Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Nashwa has two Group 1 victories this year and will be partnered by Hollie Doyle from post position three.
Trainer Chad Brown has three entrants headed by the Peter Brant-owned duo of In Italian (GB) (the 7-2 second choice) and Virginia Joy (GER) (10-1) as well as Rougir (FR) (12-1), who is co-owned by Brant and Michael Tabor.
Joel Rosario, who has ridden In Italian to victories in her past two starts, has the mount Saturday and will break from post 11. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Virginia Joy out of post 10 and Flavien Prat rides Rougir from post nine.
Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg Limited’s Above the Curve (9-2) finished a nose behind Nashwa in the Prix de l’Opera in her most recent start for trainer Joseph O’Brien and is the third choice. John Velazquez has the mount from post four.
The $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), that drew a field of 11, is headlined by J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s champion Jackie’s Warrior, who is the 4-5 morning line favorite. Sixth in last year’s race at Del Mar that he exited with an injury, Jackie’s Warrior is trained by Steve Asmussen and will break from post nine under Joel Rosario.
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Jonathan Poulin and Westerberg’s Kimari is the second choice 4-1 for trainer Wesley Ward. The 5-year-old mare has won two of her three dirt starts at Keeneland, winning by 15 lengths on debut in 2019 and in 2021 winning the Madison (G1). Jose Ortiz has the mount and will exit post two.
Back to defend his title is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Aloha West (12-1) who comes into the race off a four-month layoff for trainer Wayne Catalano with Luis Saez having the mount from post nine. Catalano also will send out Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah (30-1) who will be ridden by Corey Lanerie and break from post one.
Godolphin’s Cody’s Wish, winner of six of his past seven starts with the most recent coming in the Forego (G1), is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) that drew a field of 11.
Trained by Bill Mott, Cody’s Wish will be ridden by Junior Alvarado and break from post seven.
Second choice on the line at 7-2 in Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gunite, who has won four of his past five starts with the most recent coming in the Perryville at Keeneland on Oct. 22. Steve Asmussen trains Gunite, who will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and break from post five.
The first World Championships race on Saturday is the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) that matches last year’s winner Ce Ce and 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Echo Zulu in the 7-furlong test that drew a field of 13.
However, the morning line favorite at 3-1 is Front Row Partners and Team Hanley’s Goodnight Olive, who has won her past five starts for trainer Chad Brown. Irad Ortiz Jr., who has been aboard for the past four victories, has the mount Saturday and will break from post eight.
Bo Hirsch’s Ce Ce, the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, has won three of six starts this year for trainer Michael McCarthy and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza from post position four.
L & N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Echo Zulu (6-1, co-third choice), six for seven lifetime, including last year’s NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and perfect in two starts at 7 furlongs, is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. from post 13.
Defending champion Golden Pal is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) that drew a field of 14 and two also-eligibles going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Westerberg, Golden Pal will be closing out his career over a course on which he is four for four including a score in 2020 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). Trained by Wesley Ward, Golden Pal will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from post eight.
Second choice on the line at 7-2 is Trainers House Enterprises’ mare Highfield Princess (FR), who brings a three-race Group 1 winning streak into the race. Trained by John Quinn, Highfield Princess will be ridden by Jason Hart and break from post position six.
Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s undefeated Cave Rock is the 4-5 favorite for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance that drew a field of 10 for the 1 1/16-mile main track test. Trained by Bob Baffert, Cave Rock will be ridden by Juan Hernandez and breaks from post position three.
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Forte, a two-time Grade 1 winner that features a victory over the track is the second choice at 4-1. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Forte will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from post position four.
Repole Stable’s Chocolate Gelato is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite for the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) that drew a field of 14. Winner of the Frizette (G1) in her most recent start, Chocolate Gelato is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 10.
D. J. Stable’s Wonder Wheel (5-1) and Selective’s Chop Chop (9-2), who finished a nose apart in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 7 are the next two choices. Mark Casse trains Wonder Wheel, who has won three of four starts with Tyler Gaffalione aboard and who will break from post five. Brad Cox trains Chop Chop, whose Alcibiades start was her initial main track test. Joel Rosario has the mount from post seven.
Completing the Future Stars Friday lineup is:
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) — Trainer Wesley Ward has saddled the winner of this race the past three years and this time has the second choice on the morning-line at 4-1 in Love Reigns (IRE) for Stonestreet Stables for the 5 ½-furlong test that drew a field of 12 plus three also-eligibles. Irad Ortiz Jr. will have the mount on Love Reigns and breaks from post position two.
Another filly, Middleham Park Racing’s The Platinum Queen (IRE), is the morning line favorite at 7-2. She comes into Friday’s test off a victory against older horses in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1). Trained by Richard Fahey, The Platinum Queen will be ridden by Hollie Doyle and break from post position 12.
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) —Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Meditate (IRE) is the 4-1 morning line favorite in the field of 14 plus two also-eligibles entered for the 1-mile test.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, who is seeking his first victory in the race, Meditate brings a 6-4-2-0 record to Keeneland with three Group victories and runner-up efforts in her past two starts in Group 1 tests. Ryan Moore has the mount and will break from post position 10.
Co-second choices on the line at 6-1 are Augustin Stable’s homebred Delight and Klaravich Stables’ Free Look.
Trained by Jonathan Thomas, Delight scored a 5-length victory in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) here in Oct. 7 going 1 1/16 miles over the course. Luis Saez has the mount and will break from post position nine.
Free Look, trained by Chad Brown, enters the race off a runner-up effort in the Miss Grillo (G2). Flavien Prat has the mount and will break from post four.
$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) — Godolphin’s two-time Group 3 winner Silver Knott (GB) is the 3-1 morning line favorite to give trainer Charlie Appleby his fourth victory in the 1-mile race. Appleby and Godolphin won last year’s running at Del Mar with Modern Games (IRE) who was ridden by William Buick, who will go for a double in the race on Silver Knott. Silver Knott drew post position four.
Leading the U.S. contingent and second choice on the line at 5-1 is Team Hanley, Richard Schermerhorn and Paul Braverman’s I’m Very Busy. A winner of one of two starts, I’m very Busy will be ridden by Flavien Prat and breaks from post eight.
Full entries for Future Stars Friday can be found here.
Full entries for Breeders’ Cup Classic day can be found here.