One of the most exciting race meetings of the season takes place at the end of the year, as the 2022 Breeders Cup odds already includes stars from around the world competing for some of the biggest prizes that racing has to offer.
In total, there are three of the most prestigious Grade 1s in the world set to be competed at the Breeders’ Cup this year, which includes the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which is ranked as the fourth most prestigious race on the calendar. But, what should all fans be aware of before the event in November?
Keeneland Hosts The Breeders’ Cup
As is tradition with the Breeders’ Cup, the event moves around to new tracks annually. After a sensational year of action at Del Mar last November, the action moves back to Keeneland for the 2022 staging of the event. It is the third time that the event has been staged at the track in Lexington, and it is also the second time in three years that the brightest stars will be racing across Keeneland.
The previous time that the event was staged at Keeneland came in 2020, as Authentic won the prestigious Classic in a pulsating fashion by two and a quarter lengths. Other big winners at that meet were Knicks Go, who landed the Dirt Mile, and Tarnawa, who came out on top in the Turf.
Thrilling Classic Renewal
One of the big races of the Breeders’ Cup every year is the Classic, and that will once again be the case in 2022. It will give us a first glimpse of this year’s three-year-olds in open-age company, as bettors will need to weigh up whether they will be able to compete with the older horses. Horse racing fans will be very excited for the race this year, as the star attraction looks set to be Flightline for trainer John Sadler.
The four-year-old has been in sensational form throughout the season, and a run in the Classic now appears incredibly unlikely as he recorded the highest Beyer Speed Figure for over ten years with success over 1 ¼ miles in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter also got back to winning ways in the G1 Travers, while Life Is Good, Happy Saver and Olympiad complete a very engrossing likely field.
Turf Action Attracts European Runners
It isn’t all about the runners on the dirt this year, as the turf action is likely to attract a number of interesting runners from around the world. On the turf, European-trained runners have dominated in recent years, including in 2021, as Charlie Appleby-trained Yibir won the Turf. Last year’s champion will be back to defend his crown after a dominant return to winning ways with success in the G2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes. Other likely Godolphin runners include Epsom Derby winner from 2021 Adayar, and St Leger hero from 12 months ago Hurricane Lane.
Mishriff is one of the most talented international runners, and a return overseas could see him bounce back from his second in the G1 Juddmonte International. The Classic contenders from Europe could be headed by Epsom Derby winner Desert Crown. However, Vadeni for Jean Claude-Rouget could be the most interesting European contender. The three-year-old has raced almost entirely in France throughout this season, with the only exception coming in the G1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, as he held off Mishriff and Native Trail. The next few months will be key when it comes to the contenders that we could see at Keeneland, as many connections may need to decide between a run in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or a tilt in the Turf.