2022 Sword Dancer Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
A bid in the Breeders’ Cup Turf is up for grabs in the 2022 Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) on August 27 at Saratoga. Ten horses from a wide-open older turf division will gather for their chance at that prize, as well as a share of a $750,000 purse.
The contenders include five Grade 1 or Group 1 winners, including defending Sword Dancer champion Gufo, Irish raider Broome, and the ageless Channel Maker. They will be joined by five others trying to make their mark at the top level, including New York-breds Cross Border and Cold Hard Cash, who try to win at the top level in their backyard.
Keep on reading to get to know the field, and find out how to watch and wager on the Sword Dance as well as races all year long from the comfort of home!
Sword Dancer Stakes 2022 Information
Race Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Track: Saratoga Race Course
Post Time: 5:05 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 1/2 miles on the turf
Age/Sex: 4-year-olds and up
Where to Watch: TVG.com
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Sword Dancer Stakes Odds
The official field for the 2022 Sword Dancer has been drawn, and the morning lines assigned. Keep in mind that the price on each horse will fluctuate until post time, though NYRA’s morning line maker in particular does an excellent job of reflecting likely betting action on each of the horses in the race.
This is the field for the Sword Dancer in post-position order including each horse’s trainer, jockey, and projected odds.
|1||Adhamo||Chad Brown||Flavien Prat||7-2|
|2||Cross Border||Mike Maker||Tyler Gaffalione||15-1|
|3||Broome||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore||3-1|
|4||Cold Hard Cash||Linda Rice||John Velazquez||30-1|
|5||Rockemperor||Chad Brown||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||8-1|
|6||Gufo||Christophe Clement||Joel Rosario||9-2|
|7||Tribhuvan||Chad Brown||Manuel Franco||5-1|
|8||Soldier Rising||Christophe Clement||Jose Ortiz||15-1|
|9||Channel Maker||Bill Mott||Luis Saez||8-1|
|10||Mira Mission||Ian Wilkes||Julien Leparoux||12-1|
As the race gets closer, keep your eyes on TVG and TVG.com. We will keep you updated with all the information you need to make a smart betting decision. This includes updates on the horses as the race approaches, as well as the betting odds on race day.
Watching the odds move on race day can help you make a smart decision. After all, if a horse you expect to be a long shot ends up heavily bet, you can decide whether the horse is just more logical than you (and the morning line maker) thought in the first place, or if the horse is just an underlay. On the other hand, if a horse who interests you is a longer shot than you expected, you can make an educated decision of whether you are getting great value, or if there is a reason they are cold on the board. This is called “playing the board,” and it is a great tool for a bettor’s arsenal.
Sword Dancer Stakes Prep Results
The local prep race for the Sword Dancer is the Bowling Green (G2), which took place at Saratoga on July 31. However, just two horses from the Bowling Green this year are turning up in the Sword Dancer: winner Rockemperor and fifth-place Cross Border. Three others most recently raced in other events at Saratoga: Mira Mission was fourth in the one-mile Forbidden Apple (G3), Soldier Rising won a third-level allowance on the grass, and Cold Hard Cash won an off-turf second-level allowance.
Three others last raced in the United Nations (G1) last month at Monmouth: Adhamo won it, Tribhuvan was fourth beaten 1 3/4 lengths, and Gufo was fifth beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Channel Maker was most recently a game second in the Grand Couturier at Belmont: a head in front of Soldier Rising. Finally, Irish-trained Broome most recently ran fourth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (G1) at Ascot, 12 lengths adrift of Pyledriver, though two starts ago he won the Hardwicke (G2) at Royal Ascot.
Sword Dancer Stakes Contenders
Adhamo: He is the only last-out Grade 1 winner in the field, having rallied from midfield to win the United Nations last out. It was his first top-level victory and his first in four American starts, though he was a French Group 3 winner before coming here. This four-year-old keeps Flavien Prat in the irons and seems to be better as the distances increase, giving him good upside in this spot.
Cross Border: This eight-year-old New York-bred is cross-entered in a NY-bred stakes on Friday and this on Saturday, and would probably fit better in the state-bred event at this point in his career. He has won the Bowling Green twice and hit the board in the Sword Dancer twice, but was run off the board in all four starts this year and looks a cut below this year’s top turf horses.
Broome: This Aidan O’Brien trainee is keeping good company. He hasn’t been the most consistent, but on a good day, he fits nicely with these. He is versatile enough to shine from near the lead or well off the pace, and it is encouraging that his only other American visit resulted in a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) last year.
Cold Hard Cash: This five-year-old New York-bred has been consistent as he climbed up the allowance ranks, from state-bred to open. He has tactical speed, good Saratoga turf form from last year, and a win at a mile and a half on grass. However, this is a tough spot for him to try stakes company at all for the first time. The fact that he is not cross-entered in the state-bred event on Friday is a sign of confidence, but he will need to take a sharp step forward.
Rockemperor: This six-year-old has not been the most consistent horse, but on his best he can run a race that fits this class. He is a Grade 1 winner at this distance, having won the Turf Classic last year at Belmont. And, his victory last out in the Bolwin Green suggests that his form may have turned upward again after an early-summer freshening. However, beware of the price; his trainer and jockey tend to be overbet and this horse does not always show up against the best.
Gufo: Gufo looked like he was headed for a big season when he romped in the Pan American (G2) back in April, though he has yet to win in three starts since. He has not run badly in any of those races, and he has closed up ground late as usual. But, he has not gotten all the way there. Perhaps the return to a mile and a half (his best distance) for the first time since the Pan American may help, or the return to Saratoga, where he ran this race last year. However, make sure you get a square price.
Tribhuvan: The likely pacesetter, he wired the Manhattan (G1) two starts ago. However, he had it all his own way again in the United Nations last out and flattened out late for fourth. Off of that effort going 1 3/8 miles the signs do not look good for 1 1/2, especially since he has finished off the board in both previous tries at this distance.
Soldier Rising: It has been over a year since he tried the top level, though it may be time for him to try again. He ran a good second in the Saratoga Derby (G1) last year, his only previous top-level try, but trainer Christophe Clement has been bringing him along more cautiously against older horses. He was a neck behind the well-proven Channel Maker two starts back, and followed up with a victory in a good allowance race. This is a class test for him, but with his pace versatility and strong recent form, he has longshot appeal.
Channel Maker: This eight-year-old, who won this race two years ago, is a stalwart at the top of the turf division. He lost all chance when off slow in the Manhattan two back, though he dug in as gamely as ever to win the Grand Couturier over Soldier Rising last out. He needs his best, but if he can break better and work a stalking trip like he did in the Elkhorn he could be right in the running.
Mira Mission: He mustered a no-threat sixth in the Forbidden Apple last out, but that race was perhaps too short for him. His second in the Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill last out suggests that a longer trip than that would suit. Of course, that was nine furlongs and this is twelve—but his pedigree gives him upside for the stretch out and he could rally for a share if he runs to that.
Sword Dancer Stakes Past Winners Past Performances
Over the last ten years, the key prep races have been the Bowling Green and the United Nations. The Bowling Green is the “now” race: four of the last six winners of the Sword Dancer raced last-out in the Bowling Green, with Flintshire (2016) and Glorious Empire (2018) winning and both Sadler’s Joy (2017) and Channel Maker (2020) finishing third. Two United Nations winners in the last ten years have also won the Sword Dancer: Big Blue Kitten (2013) and Main Sequence (2014).
Other recent winners have come from a plethora of other places. Point of Entry (2012) won the Man O’ War (G1) at Belmont, Flintshire (2015) won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) before taking this race the first time, Gufo (2021) won the Grand Couturier, and Annals of Time won a third-level allowance in his previous start. However, Annals of Time did have some class testing; he had won a Grade 1 the previous year.
Sword Dancer Stakes Undercard
The Sword Dancer is scheduled as the 10th race on Saratoga’s 13-race card, the centerpiece of the entire summer meet. The 11th race of the day is the Travers (G1), the Spa’s flagship race. It features a total of six stakes races, including five at the Grade 1 level. This makes for a full day of excellent betting opportunities, and you can watch and wager all day long through TVG and FanDuel!
Saratoga Race Course
Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers built the horse racing track in 1864.
Saratoga has two popular nicknames—The Spa, named for the nearby mineral springs, and the Graveyard of Favorites, named for the historic upsets recorded there in years past. Perhaps most notable is Man o' War’s only defeat in 21 starts, Secretariat’s loss to Onion after winning the Triple Crown, and Rachel Alexandra losing there in her four-year-old season.
There are three separate horse racing tracks at Saratoga: a main dirt track, an outer turf track known as the Mellon Turf Course, and an inner turf horse racing track. The main dirt track has a 1 1/8 mile circumference, the Mellon Turf Course is a 1-mile turf track, and the inner turf track is 7 furlongs. Additionally, there is the Oklahoma Track, used for morning training.
Sword Dancer Stakes FAQ
Q: When is the Sword Dancer Stakes?
A: Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 5:05 p.m. Eastern time.
Q: Where is the Sword Dancer Stakes?
A: The Sword Dancer Stakes takes place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Sword Dancer Stakes?
A: Two trainers tie with three wins apiece, and both of them will contest the 2022 edition. Chad Brown, who won most recently in 2019 with Annals of Time, sends out Adhamo, Rockemperor, and Tribhuvan. Bill Mott, whose most recent victory came in 1996 with Broadway Flyer, brings Channel Maker.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Sword Dancer Stakes?
A: With a win at Royal Ascot recently, Broome was named the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Sword Dancer. It would be no surprise if he went off the morning-line favorite, though trainer Chad Brown is so heavily bet that Adhamo (7-2 on the morning line) could also go off favored.
Q: Who is the best Sword Dancer Stakes jockey?
A: Pat Day won the Sword Dancer four times between 1987 and 2002. Among jockeys with a call in the 2022 edition, John Velazquez (Cold Hard Cash) and Julien Leparoux (Mira Mission) have won twice each.
Q: Who won the Sword Dancer Stakes in 2021?
A: Gufo won last year for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joel Rosario. They bring Gufo back this year to try and become the seventh horse to win the Sword Dancer twice.