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Homeracing

Mucciolo's 2022 Breeders' Cup Reflections

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 12th, 2022

Now that the dust has settled following another sensational edition of the Breeders’ Cup, here are a few of the things that left the biggest impressions on me.

Flightline Will Be Missed

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Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

The phenom known as Flightline decimated a standout field in the Classic (G1) to cement his legacy as one of the most exciting horses in my generation, possibly any generation. While I can always selfishly debate that a horse this good should remain in training to do what he excels at, I can also see the flip side and the factors that led to his retirement.

Ultimately, I feel fortunate that I was able to watch the colt from afar. His sheer dominance was breathtaking, and he gave me chills at Keeneland in the headline event last weekend. I have no interest in making comparisons with the son of Tapit to other horses in the past, but I will say that he'll be missed. Thoroughbreds like him are incredibly rare.

Modern Games Will Remain in Training

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Modern Games wins the Breeders' Cup Mile (Photo by Coady Photography)

I didn’t think that I could be much more impressed with the Dubawi colt following his tour-de-force in the Woodbine Mile (G1), but he exceeded my expectations with a virtuoso performance in a deep edition of the Mile (G1) for expert horseman Charlie Appleby. The chestnut colt will remain in training for 2023, and his conditioner has said Modern Games can be even better next campaign. He is a pleasure to watch, especially when he makes his way to North America.

Malathaat Leaves it Late Once Again

One of my favorite horses to watch over the past few seasons has been Shadwell color bearer Malathaat. The exceptional four-year-old was unbeaten in three starts at two, earned a victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) as a sophomore, and picked up her sixth Grade 1 trophy when dramatically edging out two foes late in the Distaff (G1) at Keeneland for Todd Pletcher. The Kentucky-bred rarely won by open lengths, picking up four of her major tallies by a head, nose, neck, and a half-length, telling me that she knew exactly how much to do in order to hit the wire first. I’ll miss her class, consistency, and her penchant to provide dramatic endings as she starts a new chapter in her life as a broodmare.

Keeneland is Golden

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Breeders' Cup Statue signals the arrival of Breeders' Cup at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, KY. 10.29.2022. (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

I have thoroughly loved every Breeders’ Cup since I became fully entrenched in the sport, and Keeneland seems to bring out the best-of-the-best in the World Thoroughbred Championships. The Lexington, Kentucky, area is basically the epicenter of the Thoroughbred in North America, and when the Breeders’ Cup takes place there the superstars deliver more often than not. To have both American Pharoah and Flightline, both incomparable colts, display their legendary greatness in the bluegrass region says it all. Thank you Keeneland!

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