Tipsheet: 2022 Breeders' Cup Classic
Breeders’ Cup Classic selections
- #6 Epicenter
- #4 Flightline
- #1 Taiba
- #5 Hot Rod Charlie
Breeders’ Cup Classic wagers
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Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders
#1 TAIBA earned a whopping 113 Brisnet Speed rating for his fantastic Pennsylvania Derby (G1) tally last time out for trainer Bob Baffert. The lightly raced star has a world of talent and potential, and he could improve even more on Saturday with just a handful of races to his credit in advance of his biggest test. Gun Runner colt might be involved early on from the rail post with Mike Smith at the controls.
#2 LIFE IS GOOD would be favored in this race in nearly any other season for trainer Todd Pletcher. The brilliant son of Into Mischief has led from start to finish in six of his last seven assignments and will be the one to catch from this post under Irad Ortiz. Kentucky-bred bay is no sure thing at 1 1/4 miles, but he’s all class and could surely come out on top in this contest with a lifetime-best showing while making his local debut.
#3 HAPPY SAVER is a Grade 1 winner who will improve coming off of a dull fourth-place effort in the Lukas Classic (G2) last time out. The Todd Pletcher pupil is consistently very good for the most part, and he could have targets turning for home which will aid his strong late kick. John Velazquez retains the mount.
#4 FLIGHTLINE has run five consecutive fields off of their feet to begin his career for trainer John Sadler. The otherworldly son of Tapit has won his races by a combined 62 3/4 lengths to this stage of his development, led by a whopping 19 1/4-length tally in the Pacific Classic (G1) in his latest endeavor. If the freakish four-year-old runs to his latest performance, then the rest of this stellar field will be running for second. Flavien Prat has the call once again.
#5 HOT ROD CHARLIE has been knocking heads with the best of his generation for three seasons and rates as a top-four contender for trainer Doug O’Neill. By Oxbow, the colt was a huge second in his lone prior appearance at Keeneland and is flying under the radar with Tyler Gaffalione set to guide the contender.
#6 EPICENTER reached new heights at Saratoga in the summer with a pair of superb scores, led by a facile Travers (G1) coup for trainer Steve Asmussen. The three-year-old son of Not This Time has elevated his game since being extended to longer trips, and I believe he is sitting on a huge race while facing his elders for the initial time. Regular rider Joel Rosario will be in the silks and pouncing on the leaders in early stretch on Saturday.
#7 OLYMPIAD has won six of his seven starts this season, led by a convincing victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) most recently for trainer Bill Mott. Speightstown four-year-old won his lone start on this oval when defeating allowance foes in 2021, and he is obviously a much better animal right now. The Kentucky-bred bay has tactical speed and will never be far back from the first flight with Junior Alvarado at the controls once again.
#8 RICH STRIKE proved that his upset win in the Kentucky Derby (G1) was no fluke with two solid efforts since that score, which includes a head second in the recent Lukas Classic (G2). Eric Reed trainee is essentially a one-run closer, but he does land in a field with a plethora of pace, and the Keen Ice colt could receive a nice setup to make some noise in the stretch at a big price with go-to pilot Sonny Leon riding.