Star-Studded Cast of 205 Pre-Entered for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

October 26, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Led by the undefeated Flightline, Whitney Stakes (G1) winner Life Is Good and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Rich Strike in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1); Malathaat, Clairiere, and Nest in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1); War Like Goddess in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), and two-time Breeders’ Cup Champion Golden Pal in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, 205 horses, which includes 73 Grade/Group 1 winners, seven former or returning Breeders’ Cup Champions, and 45 runners from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The 39th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious two-day global event, consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $31 million, will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5. On “Future Stars Friday,” there will be five World Championships races exclusively for 2-year-olds. There will be nine Breeders’ Cup Championship races on the Saturday program.

The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live domestically on NBC, Peacock, USA Network, and FanDuel TV. Coverage begins on Nov. 4 on USA and FanDuel TV from 2-6 p.m. ET. Live coverage resumes on Nov. 5 on FanDuel TV, which will televise the first eight Breeders’ Cup races beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET. The USA Network coverage will be from 1-3:30 p.m. ET. The World Championships conclude from 3:30-6 p.m. ET live on NBC.   

There are seven returning or former Breeders’ Cup Champions pre-entered: Aloha WestCe Ce, Echo Zulu, Golden Pal, Life Is Good, Modern Games (IRE)and Order of Australia (IRE).

In addition, 46 pre-entered horses earned automatic starting positions into the World Championships races through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.

“Once again we could not be more proud with the outstanding quality of horses from around the world that have been pre-entered for this year’s World Championships for a spectacular two days of racing with our host track partner Keeneland,” said Drew Fleming, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We applaud the men and women across the globe who are preparing these magnificent Thoroughbreds for their ultimate tests of competition on Nov. 4-5. It is also important to recognize our breeders and nominators and their support and commitment in funding the purses and awards for the World Championships.”

Flightline after his win in The Pacific Classic, A Breeders' Cup Win And You're In race, Ernie Belmonte, Past The Wire
Flightline in the winner’s circle following a decimating victory in the Pacific Classic (Ernie Belmonte)

The $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be run on the main track at 1 ¼ miles. A total of 15 horses that have won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic also has been named Horse of the Year. The racing story of 2022 has been the 4-year-old Flightline, owned by Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing. Trained by John Sadler, Flightline has won both his starts this year, both in Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races. He first captured the Hill ’N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park by 6 lengths in June, and then won the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) in August by a jaw-dropping 19 ¼ lengths in one of the most breathtaking performances in years. Flightline tops the IFHA World’s Best Race Horse Rankings and finished first in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings.

Among the challengers to Flightline is CHC Inc and WinStar Farm’s 4-year-old Life Is Good, who won the 2021 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and has won three Grade 1 races this year. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good captured the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park, earned an automatic berth into the Classic when he took the Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga and the Woodward (G1) at Aqueduct in his most recent start.

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable, and LNJ Foxwoods Olympiad has won six of seven starts this year, including an automatic berth into the Classic when he prevailed in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs for trainer Bill Mott. After suffering his first defeat of the year when finishing fourth in the Whitney, Olympiad rebounded to win The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) on Sept. 3. Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable and Strauss Bros Racing’s 4-year-old Hot Rod Charlie finished second in the Dubai World Cup (G1) and won the Lukas Classic Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1.

Hot Rod Charlie (inside) defeats Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike in the Lukas Classic (Coady Photography)

Among the 3-year-olds pre-entered for the Classic, RED TR-Racing’s Rich Strike shocked the racing world when he came off the also-eligible list to win the Kentucky Derby at 80-1. Trained by Eric Reed, Rich Strike was off the board in the Belmont Stakes (G1), but battled Hot Rod Charlie to the wire in the 1 1/8-mile Lukas Classic Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1, finishing a head back in second.

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter was overtaken by Rich Strike in deep stretch in the Kentucky Derby, and finished second. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Epicenter also finished second in the Preakness, but came on strong this summer at Saratoga, winning both the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and the Runhappy Travers (G1). Zedan Racing’s Taiba has two Grade 1 wins this year. A son of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Gun Runner, Taiba won the Santa Anita Derby in April and the Pennsylvania Derby in September. Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife, another son of Gun Runner, won the Haskell Stakes (G1) and finished second in the Travers.

Top Fillies & Mares Face Off in Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Top female stars from the barns of Hall of Fame trainers Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen head the list of pre-entrants for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Pletcher, who won the Distaff in 2004 with Ashado and in 2015 with Stopchargingmaria, is represented by Shadwell Stable’s champion Malathaat, a five-time Grade 1 winner and third in the Distaff last year, and Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House’s Nest, the leading contender for Champion 3-year-old filly honors, off her three Grade 1 wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Alabama Stakes, and the Beldame.

Clairiere and Malathaat duke it out in the Ogden Phipps,(NYRA/Coglianese)

Asmussen, winner of the 2014 Distaff with Untapable, is represented by Stonestreet Stables’ Clairiere, who was fourth in the Distaff last year, and this year has won the Ogden Phipps (G1) and Shuvee Stakes (G2), and Peter Blum’s Society, winner of the Cotillion (G1) in her most recent start.

Also pre-entered was Briland Farm’s Secret Oath, winner of this year’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). She is trained by four-time Distaff-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who leads all Breeders’ Cup World Championship trainers with 20 victories overall.

War Like Goddess Takes on Male Rivals in Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf

In the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at 1 ½ miles, George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess stormed home to win theJoe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) over male rivals on Oct. 8 for her third win this year. Trainer Charlie Appleby, who saddled Yibir (GB) to victory in last year’s Turf, has pre-entered Godolphin runners Rebel’s Romance (IRE), a two-time Group 1 winner in Germany, and Nations Pride, who won the Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) and the Caesars Jockey Club Derby (G3) at Aqueduct. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Broome (IRE) who was second in last year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, has been pre-entered by Masaaki Matsushima, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

Modern Games too good in the Woodbine Mile (Michael Burns)

Godolphin’s Modern Games (IRE), winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), is one of the leading candidates for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) on turf. Trained by Charlie Appleby, who won last year’s Mile with Space Blues (IRE), Modern Games captured this year’s Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) (G1) and the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) at Woodbine, the latter triumph earning him a free berth into the Mile through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Marcstown Thoroughbreds’ Kinross (IRE) has won Group 1 races in his last two starts for trainer Ralph Beckett, taking the Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp and the QIPCO Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot on Oct. 15. Bass Racing LLC’s homebred Annapolis, trained by Todd Pletcher, had a solid win over the Keeneland course on Oct. 8, taking the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1).

In the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), trainer Chad Brown has a trio of runners pre-entered for the 1 3/16-mile test. Topping the list are Grade 1 winners In Italian (GB) owned by Peter Brant, and Rougir (FR), owned by Brant and Michael Tabor. Also pre-entered was Brant’s multiple graded stakes winner Virginia Joy (GER).

Headlining the European contingent is Imad Alsagar’s Nashwa (GB). Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Nashwa has won two Group 1s this year, the Qatar Nassau at Goodwood and the Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly. In her most recent start, she was second in the Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1) at ParisLongchamp.

Jackie’s Warrior and Aloha West lead Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint

In the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at 6 furlongs,Kirk and Judy Robison’s 4-year-old Jackie’s Warrior returns to improve upon his sixth-place finish in last year’s race as the odds-on favorite. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Jackie’s Warrior, the 2021 Eclipse Award-winning Male Sprinter, has won five of six starts in 2022, which includes Grade 1 victories in the Churchill Downs Sprint and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Aloha West is back to defend his Sprint title after winning last year’s race by a nose at 11-1. Aloha West is trained by Wayne Catalano, who has also pre-entered Susan Naylor Moulton’s 6-year-old Manny Wah, who gained a free berth into the Sprint when he won Keeneland’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) on Oct. 8.

Jackie’s Warrior dominant in the Vanderbilt (NYRA/Coglianese)

Kretz Racing LLC’s American Theorem gained an automatic berth in the Sprint in July when he triumphed in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar for trainer George Papaprodromou. American Theorem also won Santa Anita’s Grade 2 Triple Bend in June. The Wesley Ward-trained 5-year-old mare Kimari won the Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) at Saratoga and the Gallant Bloom (G2) at Aqueduct in her last two starts.

Highlighting the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) is perhaps the most heartwarming story of this year’s Breeders’ Cup, which features Godolphin’s 4-year-old Cody’s Wish, trained by Bill Mott, who defeated Jackie’s Warrior in the 7-furlong Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Cody’s Wish is named after Cody Dorman, a teenager who was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare disease that affects parts of the body. As a boy, Cody visited Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, as a part of Keeneland’s association with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. During this chance meeting, Cody developed a sudden bond with a young foal, who was later named Cody’s Wish.

The two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series winners in the Dirt Mile are Joe Peacock Jr.’s Senor Buscador, who came from off the pace to win the Ack Ack Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1 for trainer Todd Fincher, and Juddmonte’s Laurel River who won the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) by 3 ¾ lengths at Del Mar in August. Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud, and Peter Brant’s 3-year-old Jack Christopher has won two Grade 1 stakes races this year, taking the Woody Stephens at Belmont in June and the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes at Saratoga in August.

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at 7 furlongs opens the Saturday program of World Championships races. Bo Hirsch’s defending champion Ce Ce returns to the Filly & Mare Sprint following her win at Del Mar and an Eclipse Award for Champion Female Sprinter. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Ce Ce gained a free berth into this year’s race by winning the Princess Rooney Invitational Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in July. First Row Partners and Team Hanley’s Goodnight Olive won the Ballerina (G1) and will represent the East in the Filly & Mare Sprint. New Mexico-bred Slammed also earned a Win and You’re In for this race when she won the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G1) at Keeneland for owners Todd Fincher, Brad King, and Suzanne Kirby. She is trained by Todd Fincher.

Golden Pal captures the Shakertown (Coady Photography)

The $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) features a showdown between defending champion Golden Pal and the classy mare Highfield Princess (FR), who brings a streak of three consecutive Group 1 victories into the 5 ½-furlong test. Owned by Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Golden Pal will be seeking a third Breeders’ Cup victory. Trained by Wesley Ward, Golden Pal has won all four of his Keeneland starts with the initial victory coming in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). Also pre-entered in the race for Ward are Stonestreet Stables’ Campanelle (IRE), a two-time Group 1 winner in Europe, and Lael Stables’ homebred Arrest Me Red, a two-time graded stakes winner.

Trainers House Enterprises homebred millionaire Highfield Princess swept three Group 1 races in a span of five weeks with the most recent coming Sept. 11 in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Flying Five Stakes at The Curragh by 3 ¼ lengths going 5 furlongs, a win that earned her an automatic starting position into the Turf Sprint. John Quinn trains Highfield Princess.

Also pre-entered in the Turf Sprint is LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable’s Casa Creed. Trained by Bill Mott, Casa Creed secured a fees-paid berth into the Turf Sprint by winning the Jaipur (G1) at Belmont Park.

2-Year-Olds in the Friday Spotlight

Speed Boat Beach shows great versatility and speed in the Speakeasy (Ernie Belmonte)

Future Stars Friday begins with the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) at 5 1/2 furlongs. Trainer Wesley Ward, seeking his fourth consecutive win in this race, has pre-entered Stonestreet Stables’ Love Reigns (IRE), fourth in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot, and winner of the listed Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga. Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman’s Speed Boat Beach gained a free berth into the Juvenile Turf Sprint by winning the listed Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita. From Europe, Middleham Park Racing XV’s The Platinum Queen (IRE) could be a budding superstar after defeating older horses in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1) at ParisLongchamp on Oct. 2.

In the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at1 1/16 miles, Repole Stable’s Chocolate Gelato secured an automatic berth into the race when she won the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct on Oct. 2 for trainer Todd Pletcher. WellSpring Stables’ Leave No Trace finished third in Frizette for trainer Phil Serpe, after winning the Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in her previous start. D.J. Stable’s Wonder Wheel finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Leave No Trace in the Spinaway but gained an automatic berth into the Juvenile Fillies when she took the Darley Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland for trainer Mark Casse. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series representative from the West will be Peter Redekop B.C.’s And Tell Me Nolies, who gained a free berth by winning the Chandelier Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita, and also captured the TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1) prior to that.

A showdown looms between Augustin Stable’s homebred Delight and Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Westerberg’s Meditate (IRE) in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) going a mile on the grass. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, Delight has a victory over the course with a 5-length score in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G2) on Oct. 7. Aidan O’Brien trains Meditate, a three-time Group winner in Europe and a two-time runner-up in Group 1 events in her past two starts.

Cave Rock much the best in the American Pharoah (Ernie Belmonte)

The $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) at 1 1/16 miles is led by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman’s Cave Rock, a son of 2016 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Arrogate. Cave Rock has won all three of his starts, including front-running Grade 1 scores in the Del Mar Futurity and the American Pharoah Stakes, which was a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series triumph at Santa Anita Park. On closing day at Saratoga this summer, Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Forte splashed home to a 3-length victory in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) and followed that win by taking the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland for trainer Todd Pletcher. 

The past eight runnings of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) have been split evenly between U.S. and European runners and strong hands are in play for both sides this year. Heading the U.S. pre-entrants for the 1-mile test are a trio of graded stakes winners in Spendthrift Farm’s Major Dude, trained by Todd Pletcher; Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s Packs a Wahlop, trained by Jeff Mullins and Susan Moulton’s homebred Andthewinneris, trained by Wayne Catalano. Clipper Logistics’ Dramatised (IRE), trained by Karl Burke, won the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot.

A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in each of the 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which are limited to 12 starters. Breeders’ Cup Limited has adopted a field selection system to select runners in the event fields are oversubscribed. This system ranks horses in order of preference based on (i) Breeders’ Cup Challenge race winners, (ii) a point system, and (iii) the judgment of an international panel of racing experts. The field selection system was implemented following the taking of pre-entries on Monday, Oct. 24, to officially rank the oversubscribed fields. The Racing Secretaries and Directors Panel (the “Panel”) ranked all the horses pre-entered in the oversubscribed races as described above. After pre-entry, any vacancies in the fields will be filled by horses in order of Panel preference.

There will be up to four (4) also-eligible horses for each Championship race, except for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which will have up to six (6). The also-eligible horses will be designated in accordance with the Panel’s order of preference for each Championship race that was oversubscribed at the time of pre-entry. Scratch time for Friday Championship races will be 8 a.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 4, and scratch time for Saturday’s Championship races will be at 8 a.m. ET, Saturday, Nov. 5.

Breeders Cup Press Release

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@jonathanstettin @bbopjz Fantastic writing, thoroughly enjoyable read.

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