A handicapping breakdown of the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday
The 2022 Longines Breeders’ Classic is the crown jewel of two days of million dollar stakes race at Keenland this weekend. The undefeated Flightline is the odds on favorite at 3/5 for six million dollar race with a post time of 5:40 PM ET on Saturday.
Breeders' Cup Classic Prediction
All eyes for this race will be focused on Flightline. Many experts feel that this horse may be the best North American horse since Secretariat, if not the best horse ever. The horse is 5 for 5. He won his maiden in California last year by 13 lengths in a time that would have competed with the best sprinters in the country, recording a 105 Beyer figure. He followed that up with a 13 length win in Allowance company at Del Mar in a faster time, recording a 114 speed figure and finished the year with an 11 length win in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita despite a poor start and recorded at 118 Beyer figure. He started this year with a six-length win in the Metropolitan Handicap in New York despite a slow start, recording a 112 Beyer figure and most recently he won the Pacific Handicap at Del Mar by over 19 lengths recording a time of 1:59 1/5, just over a second off the world record time for a mile and a quarter set in 1979 by Spectacular Bid. He was bumped at the start and was eased up at the end by Flavien Prat. Had he raced all out there is every reason to believe he would have set the new record. In that race he got a Beyer figure of 126. In Longine’s World’s Best racehorse rankings just released, Flightline was given a ranking of 139 which is the second highest figure ever given only behind the undefeated European superstar Frankel, who recorded a 140. He is four points better than European superstar Baeed. Since each ranking represents a length, Longines rates him 14 lengths ahead of Epicenter and Life Is Good, who are the second and third choices in this race. Life is Good won the Dirt Mile impressively last year and has 8 wins in 10 races with losses only to Jackie’s Warrior last year and a fourth place finish in the Dubai World Cup earlier this year. In that race, Hot Rod Charlie finished second. Life is Good has won three straight races in New York and will be on the lead here, but the loss in Dubai suggests a mile and quarter may not be a distance he can handle. Epicenter finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and ran away with the Travers, suggesting he is the best 3 year old in the country. Olympiad won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but was beaten soundly by Life is Good before that. Rich Strike produced a shocking win in the Kentucky Derby but has done little besides that, although he was closing well in his last race. Taiba has run some good races for Bob Baffert but appears to be a step behind these and has the rail.
Classic Prediction: Winner: Flightline (3/5). Second Choice: Epicenter (5/1). Long Shot Possibility: None
To check out Hartley's selections for every race on the Saturday Breeders' Cup card, click here.