Flightline listed as 5-2 choice in BC Classic Future Wager Pool 2
After closing as the 2-1 favorite in Pool 1 of the Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Wager (BCCFW), Flightline enters Pool 2 as the 5-2 choice on the morning line. Wagering on the second and final pool opens Friday at noon and runs through the long Labor Day Weekend, closing on Monday at 6:30 p.m. (all times ET).
While Flightline will be in action during Pool 2, the second and third choices are not. Epicenter (7-2), who dominated the Aug. 27 Travers (G1), may opt to train up to the Classic, and Whitney (G1) hero Life Is Good (4-1) is currently eyeing the Oct. 1 Woodward (G1).
Flightline puts his unbeaten record on the line, and takes his first route test, in Saturday’s Pacific Classic. Devastating so far around one turn, the John Sadler trainee was last seen romping in the Met Mile (G1) on June 11. If he remains perfect on the stretch-out to 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, the Tapit colt will earn a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Only five rivals have stepped up to face Flightline at Del Mar, three of which are also available as individual betting interests in the BCCFW – Country Grammer (12-1), Express Train (50-1), and Royal Ship (50-1).
Country Grammer, the reigning Dubai World Cup (G1) hero, is expected to move forward from his prepping second to Royal Ship in the July 30 San Diego H. (G2). Express Train, who scored his signature win in the Mar. 5 Santa Anita H. (G1), has not raced since being upset by Stilleto Boy in the Apr. 30 Californian (G2). Note that Stilleto Boy, the longest shot on the board in Pool 1 ($220.46 will-pay), is now relegated to the mutuel field of “All Others” (50-1) in Pool 2.
A beautiful ride from @mikeesmith10 gets Royal Ship home with a leg in the air in the G2 San Diego @DelMarRacing 🏖 🏇— Andrew Brown (@TheBrownAndrew) July 31, 2022
Just too short for Country Grammer but a good tune up for the Pacific Classic nonetheless. Mandaloun 🤷 #delmar
The Jockey Club Gold Cup features five individual BCCFW interests – Olympiad (30-1), most recently fourth in the Whitney; Americanrevolution (30-1), last seen as the runner-up to Olympiad in the Stephen Foster (G2); Dynamic One (50-1) and First Captain (50-1), separated by a nose in the Suburban H. (G2); and Keepmeinmind (50-1), a veteran of the 2021 Triple Crown trail who returned to capture a Saratoga allowance.
Happy Saver (30-1), second in the Whitney, and Keepmeinmind are among the four new additions to Pool 2. Art Collector (30-1) has been included following his repeat victory in the Aug. 26 Charles Town Classic (G2), while European money-spinner Mishriff (30-1) is a fascinating possibility before his retirement to stud.
Mishriff beat Charlatan in the 2021 Saudi Cup on dirt, but flopped in his Feb. 26 title defense when last behind the shocking Emblem Road (50-1). Reportedly he didn’t care for a surface somewhat different from last year in Riyadh. Back in form on the British turf this summer, Mishriff was an honorable second as the defending Juddmonte International (G1) champion, succumbing only to the all-conquering Baaeed. It remains to be seen if Prince Faisal wants to take a shot at the Classic as a last hurrah, or if co-trainers John and Thady Gosden prefer to make the Turf (G1) his swan song. Plans will firm up after Mishriff contests the Sept. 10 Irish Champion (G1) at Leopardstown, definitely now his next port of call.
To make way for the new quartet, four from Pool 1 were dropped. Aside from the aforementioned Stilleto Boy, the other three were sophomores – top filly Nest, whose target is the Distaff (G1); the now-retired juvenile champion Corniche; and Tawny Port.
While Epicenter is the clear leader of the three-year-old male division, six of his contemporaries are named in Pool 2. Taiba (30-1) is expected in the Sept. 24 Pennsylvania Derby (G1), but Charge It (20-1) has been ruled out of Parx by the same foot issue that kept him out of the Travers. The other four interests were all behind Epicenter in the Travers – Cyberknife (30-1), Zandon (30-1), and Kentucky Derby (G1) stunner Rich Strike (30-1) rounded out the superfecta, and Preakness (G1) winner Early Voting (50-1) trailed home last.
Last year’s promoted Kentucky Derby winner and runner-up, Mandaloun (50-1) and Hot Rod Charlie (20-1), are still in the hunt. Hot Rod Charlie is in better form, coming off a third in the Whitney. Mandaloun, yet to shine since his Saudi Cup disappointment, aims to bounce back from fourths in the Stephen Foster and the San Diego.
2022 Breeders' Cup Classic Future Wager - Pool 2 (Sept. 2-5)
#2 Art Collector
#3 Charge It
#4 Country Grammer
#6 Dynamic One
#7 Early Voting
#8 Emblem Road
#10 Express Train
#11 First Captain
#13 Happy Saver
#14 Hot Rod Charlie
#16 Life Is Good
#20 Rich Strike
#21 Royal Ship
#24 All Others