Breeders’ Cup 2022 Classic Odds, Preview, Predictions

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Race: 11
Distance: 1 ¼ miles
Purse: $6 million
Age: 3 years old and up
Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 5:40 p.m. ET 

Breeders' Cup Classic Odds

2Express Train20-1
3Hot Rod Charlie4-1
4Essential Quality3-1
5Knicks Go5-2
6Art Collector8-1
7Stilleto Boy30-1
8Medina Spirit4-1
9Max Player8-1

Field Subject to Change

BC Classic Fast Facts

Favorites: 11 for 38 (29%)
Shortest: $3.40 (Cigar, 1995 & American Pharoah, 2015)
Highest: $269.20 (Arcangues, 1993) *Highest price in the history of the Breeders’ Cup*

How to Handicap the BC Classic

1 – TAIBA is a very talented three year old who was a G1 stakes winning router in just his second career start and he has the most upside of anyone in here. He hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the Bob Baffert barn over the summer and he’s tactical enough to stay close to the pacesetters early but he’s drawn down inside and he’s shown himself to be a runner who appreciates being outside of foes so his Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith will have to find a way to steer him to his preferred path to get he best out of him. Faces a generational type of runner in Flightline, but this is a very good racehorse.

It wasn’t too long ago that 2- LIFE IS GOOD was considered the best older horse in training and then he found the ten furlongs of the Dubai World Cup too far for his liking. The fact that trainer Todd Pletcher showed his concern by turning him back to sprint in his return to racing at Belmont Park this summer is telling and though he’s won both of his subsequent two turn starts and certainly has the speed to clear these early, with Flightline breathing down his neck from the outset, that final furlong of this heat may again prove his undoing. 

3 – HAPPY SAVER is a 5 year old who anyone would love to own as he’s picked up minor awards, including 5 straight runner up finishes prior to the G2 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, in 11 of his 12 career starts. Unfortunately, 5 of the horses who have finished in front of him this year will return to face him today. He will get pace in front of him and owns a solid late kick, but will again limit his use to underneath in exotics wagers.

4 – FLIGHTLINE exits what may be the fastest route race run in nearly two decades and has had plenty of time to recover from the huge win by over 19 lengths in Del Mar’s G1 Pacific Classic. He’s just been freaky good in his spaced five race career and no one has been able to challenge him. There’s a new venue to deal with today and there won’t be any value to be had, but he has just been too impressive to pick against and the real question is probably not if he wins, but rather by how many lengths will he do it. Tough to make a serious investment against him.

5 – HOT ROD CHARLIE has been training at Keeneland for a while now and his drills here certainly suggest he will relish has racing return to the track over which he was a sharp runner up in the Breeders Cup Juvenile a couple of years ago. He’s quick and has shown a solid tracking gear from close range, but he may just not be good enough to step with some of these at a distance that looks to be a little further than his best.

6 – EPICENTER made a huge impression in Saratoga this summer while taking a big step forward against a solid field of sophomores in his runaway G1 Travers score last time out. He’ll face older rivals for the first time and in a normal year he may well have been up to the task but Flightline is going to be one tough foe. Giving him the nod to prove the main danger to his aforementioned foe.

7 – OLYMPIAD got back on track when stretched out to ten furlongs in Saratoga’s G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, marking his 6th score from his 7 last starts. He’s got a great tactical turn of foot and the outside draw could put him in a nice stalking spot tracking what figures to be a very solid pace up front. He’s one to use in exotics at what should be a great price for a runner with his record.

8 – RICH STRIKE was the Kentucky Derby upsetter at 80-1 in the spring and he’s shown a couple of times since that the effort was not a complete fluke. The late runner will benefit from a fast pace and the stretch back out to 10 furlongs is a big plus for him but he faces a super tough field of older horses here and does appear to be a little slow on the figure scale. Deep exotics use probably fits him best right now and that morning line price could help spruce up those payoffs.

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BC Classic Predictions

If I'm Right...

4 – FLIGHTLINE continues to prove he is just in another stratosphere ability-wise and presses the front running 2 – LIFE IS GOOD until he’s ready to take over and kicks away to another open lengths score. 6 – EPICENTER again shows up with his big late kick and runs past the rest for second money, proving little match for the winner. 1 – TAIBA rides his upside – and an outside running path through the lane - to a solid third place finish over 7 – OLYMPIAD. 

BC Classic Betting Strategy

TRIFECTA: 4/6/1-7
TRIFECTA:  4/1-6-7/1-6-7