Tipsheet: 2022 Breeders' Cup Mile
A phenomenal cast has been assembled for Saturday’s $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland. The one-mile turf test attracted numerous standout performers in what appears to be one of the most appealing races over the two-day festival of racing.
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Breeders’ Cup Mile picks
- #4 Modern Games
- #9 Malavath
- #8 Regal Glory
- #13 Kinross
- #11 Annapolis
Breeders’ Cup Mile wagers
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Breeders’ Cup Mile contenders
#1 POGO rolled home to a clear score at Newmarket last time out and will make his U.S. debut in this run for Charlie Hills. The six-year-old lacks the back class of many in the field, and he will also have to overcome a tricky rail post, so others are more intriguing in the deep field.
#2 SHIRL’S SPEIGHT grabbed the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) on this course in the spring but has failed to win in four straight since for Roger Attfield. The Speightstown five-year-old packs a smart late kick and will be rallying from off the pace after saving ground in the early going. Luis Saez has the call.
#3 DREAMLOPER demolished her foes in the Prix du Moulin (G1) over soft ground at Longchamp last time out for conditioner Ed Walker. The Lope de Vega mare has done her best work with give in the ground, so if there is moisture at Keeneland over the weekend, then the mare will be especially dangerous under regular rider Kieran Shoemark.
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#4 MODERN GAMES couldn’t have looked much better when annihilating his competition in the Woodbine Mile (G1) two back for Charlie Appleby. The Godolphin homebred had a fine prep when runner-up at Royal Ascot in his latest venture, and I think the standout chestnut will be tough to upend with anything resembling his run in Canada two back. William Buick will be in the stirrups.
#5 SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT is hard to back for the top prize, but the consistently very good Grade 1 winner never runs a bad one and will challenge for a top-four result for Michael McCarthy. The Midnight Lute five-year-old has finished first or second in 10 tries at this distance and was a sharp runner-up in the 2021 Mile. The speedy sort will have John Velazquez up.
#6 IVAR finished fourth and third in the last two editions of this race for Paulo Lobo. The strong late runner is a Grade 1 victor on the surface and will benefit if the pace is swift and contested on Saturday with Javier Castellano in the stirrups.
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#7 BEYOND BRILLIANT is the likely pace of the race and has to be given a peek for John Shirreffs. The Twirling Candy colt most recently led at every call in a fine City of Hope Mile (G2) coup and has posted a trio of solid morning moves in the interim. The longshot could get brave if he clears early with Victor Espinoza at the controls.
#8 REGAL GLORY has evolved into a brilliant turf performer for trainer Chad Brown. By Animal Kingdom, the classy six-year-old ran a clear second against the boys at Saratoga two prior, and she has run well over this oval on multiple occasions. Regular rider Jose Ortiz will be in the irons.
#9 MALAVATH is rounding back into top form and rates as a live upset contender beneath Tyler Gaffalione. Second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) last season, the sophomore was moving well late in the Prix de la Foret (G1) in her prep for Saturday, and I expect her to be a major late player on firmer ground in this spot at a fine price.
#10 ORDER OF AUSTRALIA is a former winner of this event and put in a solid local prep for the heat when third in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) for Aidan O’Brien. The five-year-old bay doesn’t always fire, but he is going well right now, and the son of Australia also performs well on any kind of going. He will have Ryan Moore in the silks.
#11 ANNAPOLIS comes off of a dominant victory in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) here most recently for Todd Pletcher. The especially talented War Front colt has speed but is capable of running from off the pace as well, and his versatility could go a long way in this demanding assignment. The Kentucky-bred will be tough with any kind of forward move under Irad Ortiz.
#12 KING CAUSE exits a facile Knickerbocker (G3) win but will still need a huge move forward to impact this race for conditioner Mike Maker. The seven-year-old would be a massive surprise.
#13 KINROSS has rolled home to four successive wins for conditioner Ralph Beckett, with the last two coming in the Group 1 ranks. The Kingman gelding has been performing at six and seven panels overseas, but he seems poised to fire a big shot at Keeneland at a distance well within his scope. The gelded five-year-old will stalk the pace while always in range under Frankie Dettori.
#14 DOMESTIC SPENDING has been off for more than a year and will attempt to stun a fantastic field in his first outing since August of 2021 for Chad Brown. By Kingman, the five-year-old gelding is sensational when he is healthy, and the bay will be firing a big late kick if he runs to his slew of excellent morning drills in advance of Saturday. Flavien Prat retains the mount atop the classy Klaravich colorbearer.
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#15 FRONT RUN THE FED is a cut below the best in the field and can’t be backed from this post if he draws into the main body of the race.
#16 GEAR JOCKEY looks overmatched at this distance while not in his best form. The Rusty Arnold pupil seems better spotted in sprint events.
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