Horse Racing

2022 Breeders’ Cup Emerging Contenders You Should Bet On

Staying on top of the key horse racing information is pivotal at this stage of the season, as connections begin to detail whether they will be targeting Breeders’ Cup races in November. 

However, who are some of the key 2022 Breeders’ Cup contenders that should be on the radar of all racing fans?

Contenders that Should Be On Your Radar

  • Horse: Flightline
  • Jockey: John Sadler

It goes without saying that Flightline is the most exciting horse currently in training in the U.S. However, while connections have targeted the Classic throughout the season, the four-year-old still had to prove that he could step up in trip successfully to ensure that the Keeneland date in Grade 1 was still achievable. 

However, nothing we have seen on track to this point suggests that Flightline isn’t among the 2022 Breeders’ Cup contenders.

John Sadler-trained Horse

The John Sadler-trained horse has stepped up in trip once again at Del Mar in September, and he responded by posting the highest Beyer Speed Figure that we have seen for some time.

The victory was achieved in a high-quality renewal of the G1 Pacific Classic, as he held off G1 Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer and Royal Ship.

At Keeneland, he could write his name into racing folklore. However, it will be an actual test, with Life Is Good and Epicenter among his main dangers.

Horse: Pyledriver
Jockey: William Muir

The Breeders’ Cup Turf this year looks like a puzzle at this stage, as there are so many likely runners. Charlie Appleby’s hand remains strong, with G1 Epsom Derby 2021 winner Adayar and reigning Turf champion Yibir among his leading contenders.

Most Interesting Contender

However, the most interesting 2022 Breeders’ Cup contender could be Pyledriver.  The five-year-old is likely to bypass a run in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this year, which means that the attention will be on either the Breeders’ Cup Turf or G1 Cox Plate.

This contender has been no stranger to high-class company throughout the season, as he finished fourth in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic and landed the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, beating last year’s Arc winner Torquator Tasso.

It may be worth keeping an eye on Pyledriver over the next few months.

Horse: Highfield Princess
Jockey: John Quinn

Highfield Princess is one of the big 2022 Breeders’ Cup contenders that has caught my eye over the summer in Europe.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint already looks to be one of the hardest races at the meet to call this year, with the reigning champion Golden Pal getting back to winning ways in the G3 Troy after a disastrous run at Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, Emaraaty Ana and Naval Crown still hold a lot of talent.

G1 Flying Five Stakes

However, Highfield Princess is the one contender that continues to impress with every start she makes. The five-year-old recently landed a third Grade 1 on the bounce as she captured the G1 Flying Five Stakes at Curragh.

Before that success, she landed a notable win over five furlongs at York in the G1 Nunthorpe, beating Emaraaty Ana in the process. She is still improving and could be the one to topple Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal this year.

Horse: Jack Christopher
Jockey: Chad Brown

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile saw one of the performances of the meet in 2021, as Life Is Good stormed to victory.

We could see history repeat itself this year, as the banker of the week for many looks set to come in the form of Jack Christopher for Chad Brown.

A 3 Year Old Sensational at the Startings

This three-year-old has looked sensational on nearly every start he has made this season. However, a run in the Classic appears to have been ruled out as he looked tired towards the end of the G1 Haskell Stakes in July.

Therefore, a return to a mile at Keeneland looks extremely likely. Following that disappointing run in the Haskell, Jack Christopher returned to seven furlongs and looked as dominant as ever when landing the G1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial at Saratoga.

We can’t see anyone living with the three-year-old at Keeneland later this year, and he looks as close to a sure thing as possible. 

Horse: Forte

Jockey: Todd Pletcher

The horse racing odds for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will not be released until we know the declared runners in the race this year.

However, there have already been some standout performances in the two-year-old division. Bob Baffert’s record in the Juvenile means that both Cave Rock and Havnameitdown hold very strong claims with Keeneland in mind.

Gulfport and Damon’s Mound have also excelled throughout the summer and are likely to be very competitive runners in the Juvenile.

Very Early Stage

However, the preference at this very early stage is for Forte. The Todd Pletcher-trained runner looked extremely impressive in the G1 Hopeful Stakes on his latest start, holding off Gulfport and Blazing Sevens.

It was a fine return to form after he finished fourth in the G3 Sanford, but the extra furlong certainly looked to play into his hands. With even more distance to cover in Juvenile, he could be the one that may show the most improvement.

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