2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

Every sport ends the year with a crowing event for its champions. In Thoroughbred racing, that event is the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, with the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic being the defining race of this event. The Breeders’ Cup is staged every year on the first weekend of November and draws the top international Thoroughbreds, including winners of the Triple Crown races. It is open to male and female horses three years old and older and is limited to 14 starters.

Saturday features a massive afternoon of racing at the picturesque Keeneland racetrack, bringing together top juveniles, sophomores, and older horses. You’ll see the best horses in the world vying for the Horse of the Year title and the best trainers and jockeys, such as Bob Baffert, Flavien Prat, Irad Ortiz, and Steve Asmussen.

Carrying a purse of $6 million, the Breeders’ Cup Classic will see a highly accomplished field set leaving the starting gate. It’s also the deciding event to see who will emerge victorious as the 2022’s Horse of the Year.

Keep reading for a full field analysis, check out the recent trends and contenders, and learn where to watch and how to bet on the race online!

Breeders’ Cup Classic 2022 Information

Race Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Track: Keeneland Racetrack
Post Time: 5:40 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 1/4 miles on dirt
Age/Sex: 3-year-old+
Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds

The field for the Breeders’ Cup drew Monday, October, 31, with morning lines assigned the next day. Though the morning line does not decide the final price, it is a helpful guide to which horses will be favored and who will be a longer shot in the field.

This is the field for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic and includes post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds

1TaibaBob BaffertMike Smith8-1
2Life Is GoodTodd PletcherIrad Ortiz, Jr.6-1
3Happy SaverTodd PletcherJohn Velazquez30-1
4FlightlineJohn SadlerFlavien Prat3-5
5Hot Rod CharlieDoug O'NeillTyler Gaffalione15-1
6EpicenterSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario5-1
7OlympiadBill MottJunior Alvarado10-1
8Rich StrikeEric ReedSonny Leon20-1

Being at Keeneland to make our bets in person is not feasible for most of us. So betting online with TVG is the way to go. Before placing a bet, study the horses' past performances, watch videos of their training sessions, and read as much as you can about the trainers and jockeys.

Stay tuned to FanDuel TV, and the FanDuel+ app for live coverage, daily preview shows, and more leading up to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup. Then, tune in to the FanDuel+ app for exclusive Breeders’ Cup coverage on Saturday, November 5, featuring on-demand content, including expert analysis, exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage, interviews, and more.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Prep Results

The 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic features a loaded field, with all eight starters having won Grade 1 races and eclipsed $1 million in career earnings. This year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike, is a part of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic field, as are a pair of Triple Crown race runners-up, Epicenter and Hot Rod Charlie.

The star attraction may be a horse who’s never partaken in a Triple Crown race, undefeated four-year-old Flightline. The John Sadler-trained horse is a perfect 5-for-5 and boasts some of the best speed figures in recent history ahead of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic 2022 from Keeneland Race Course.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Contenders

Taiba: Three-year-old Taiba has only raced against Grade 1 competition since his initial maiden win in March, and has won both the Santa Anita and Pennsylvania Derbys. Once again in Baffert's care, Taiba is primed to run his finest race yet and should be closing down the stretch. In the Classic, he will meet older horses for the first time.

Life Is Good: The 4-year-old colt is running hot and won his last three starts, including recent wins in the Woodward (G1) and the Whitney (G1). The Woodward was run on a slow and exhausting surface at Aqueduct. Still, the Whitney easily bested Happy Saver and Hot Rod Charlie. Although Life Is Good has spent most of the year ranked as the second-best American thoroughbred behind Flightline, many bettors will point out Life Is Good's lackluster showing in the Whitney and his career-worst performance in the ten-furlong Dubai World Cup.

Happy Saver: With a fourth place in the Lukas Classic (G2), Happy Saver did not finish in the top three for the first time in his career. That ended a streak of five second-place finishes, all of which happened in Grade 1 and 2 stakes. Now he faces this Classic field, so it is hard to expect him to bounce back and compete for the spot in the exacta.

Flightline: Flightline is the best American thoroughbred heading into the Classic, and very few people would disagree. He has the fastest speed figures earned in his visually impressive victories by margins that overwhelmed his competition. The son of Tapit won his last three Grade 1 stakes by a total of 36 lengths. He will face the toughest field of his career, but that should be expected because the Classic is the most important race in America.

Hot Rod Charlie: Heading into the Lukas Classic, the hard-knocking son of Preakness winner Oxbow has a reputation as a horse struggling to find the winner’s circle. There were a few unusual trips down the stretch in some of those losses, like the Lukas Classic with Rich Strike, but that time Hot Rod Charlie came out on top. He will likely be a generous price on Saturday as the fourth or fifth choice.

Epicenter: Epicenter established himself as the best 3-year-old after he won the Travers (G1) and the Jim Dandy (G2) convincingly. Those victories were added to his second-place finishes in the first two legs of the Triple Crown and his victories on the Derby trail. Epicenter is expected to have plenty of success on Saturday, as is typically the case for three-year-olds as they fully mature at the year’s end.

Olympiad: Olympiad is the winner of 6 out of his last 7 starts in 2022, with a recent victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup giving him his first Grade 1 win. The recent loss came when he was fourth in the Whitney behind three horses that are in this field. That was also the only time he did not finish in the top three in his 12-race career. Olympiad is a horse that likes to press the pace, which will not be an easy thing to do in this field, as was the case in the Whitney.

Rich Strike: Rich Strike’s fourth-place finish in the Travers and his second in the Lukas Classic were described as performances that show he belongs with the best horses in the country. However, others will point out that he is still winless since his stunning upset of the Kentucky Derby (G1). Unlike the other 3-year-olds in this field, Rich Strike faced older horses already. In this field, Rich Strike will once again come with odds that his supporters should appreciate as he tries to finish in the exotics against the toughest field of his career.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Past Winners Past Performances

Over the years, the Classic has been dominated by US trainers, with British trainer John Gosden victorious with Raven’s Pass, ridden by Frankie Dettori, in 2008. French trainer Andre Fabre also won the Breeder’s Cup Classic in 1993 with Arcangues.

In the past 10 years, the Classic was won by four Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-olds – Authentic, Arrogate, American Pharoah, and Bayern. Authentic (in 2020) and American Pharoah (in 2015) won the previous two runnings of the Classic at Keeneland.

The 2021 and 2019 winners were, respectively, Knicks Go and Vino Rosso.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Undercard

The 1 1/4 mile Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic for 3-year-olds and older is the 10th race on the 14-race card. You can tune in all day long on FanDuel TV and place your bets at TVG or FanDuel!

Keeneland Race Course

The Keeneland Race Course is one of the world’s premiere racing facilities, with annual meets taking place each spring and fall in the heart of the Bluegrass region of central Kentucky. It has a mile and one-sixteenth main track and a 7 1/2-furlong turf course.

The race course hosted its first meet in 1936. It has since become renowned for its beautiful setting among the rolling hills of Lexington and its high-quality racehorse training and breeding operations.

Over the years, Keeneland has played host to some of the most prestigious horse races in the world, including the Breeder’s Cup, as well as several major stakes races for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. The track is also known for its iconic grandstands and distinctive paddock area, which create an exciting atmosphere for spectators and participants alike.

Breeders’ Cup Classic FAQs

Q: When is the Breeders’ Cup Classic?
A: Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 5:40 p.m. Eastern time.

Q: Where is the Breeders’ Cup Classic?
A: The Breeders’ Cup is held annually at Keeneland Race Course and attracts the best Thoroughbred horses worldwide to compete in Grade 1 races for both males and females at a variety of distances on both turf and dirt.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic?
A: Hall of Famer Bob Baffert leads all trainers with three winners – Bayern, 2014; American Pharoah, 2015; and Arrogate, 2016.

Q: Who is the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic?
A: Flightline is the 3-5 favorite in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds. The five-for-five star has won his starts by a combined margin of 62 ¾ lengths.

Q: Who is the best Breeders’ Cup Classic jockey?
A: Mike Smith is the all-time leading rider in the Breeders’ Cup’s history. He has 27 career wins and is through and through a proven big-race rider.

Q: Who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2021?
A: The 2021 edition of the Breeders’ Cup was won by Knicks Go, who took the biggest prize of the weekend.