2022 Breeders’ Cup – Top Picks for Day 1
The Breeders’ Cup gets underway on November 4 with Future Stars Friday! With five championship races for two-year-olds, Friday’s card at Keeneland features big fields of up-and-coming horses, and a full day of great betting opportunities on both turf and dirt.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
Wesley Ward speed has won the last three editions of this race. Love Reigns is the Ward entrant, ridden by Irad Ortiz, who has ridden all three of Ward’s winners of this race. However, she won the Bolton Landing in stalk-and-pounce fashion and may not be as fast as some horses outside her. The Platinum Queen is the best of the international options; though overseas shippers typically underperform, she is the best this race has seen so far, and has won a Group 1 versus older. Private Creed is a stakes winner over the track and has good tactical speed, though may have been better off with a draw that wasn’t so far inside.
The appealing and interesting bet is Sharp Aza Tack, 15-1 on the morning line. He did not run badly when narrowly defeated at Kentucky Downs, but stands to improve on the return to a more conventional turf sprint. He looks like the true turf sprint speed of the field; since all four editions of the Juvenile Turf Sprint have been won by American frontrunners who have won at either five or five and a half furlongs on grass, it makes sense to play the one who fits that profile at a price.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
Chop Chop was nosed out in the Alcibiades (G1) over the local course, but probably would have gotten there with a better start. If she returns to her more tactical style, she looms large. And Tell Me Nolies can benefit from the presence of a lot of speed in this race; she has finished well (and just in time) in three races in a row, including last out after a troubled start. Atomically takes a serious step up in class, but came from off the pace to win impressively last out at two turns, and makes a switch to Todd Pletcher, a trainer who shines with new arrivals.
It pays to be skeptical about morning-line favorite Chocolate Gelato, the Pletcher “A,” who has yet to try a two-turn trip and faces many foes who have had that seasoning. Wonder Wheel is also questionable at a short price; she won the Alcibiades but may have an even tougher lead this time.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
Unlike the males’ analog, the Juvenile Fillies Turf usually goes to a North American; an overseas shipper hasn’t won since 2013. Pleasant Passage has won from both on and off the pace, and keeps the services of noted big-race rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. G Laurie goes out for Graham Motion, who won this race in 2019 with a prize horse; she is already a winner at 1 1/16 miles and can improve with a cleaner trip. Be Your Best may improve with the return to firmer ground, as opposed to the yielding turf she got in the Miss Grillo (G2) last time out.
The classiest of the overseas shippers is Meditate for Aidan O’Brien, with Group 1 placings in her last two starts. But, she has never stretched out this far and her barn has yet to succeed in this race. Free Look looks to take a lot of money just because she is trained by Chad Brown. She won a maiden race at the distance two back and may improve if she settles this time instead of attending the pace like last out, but she does not loom over the field enough to pay the Chad Tax.
FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
This race goes through Cave Rock. All three of his races have come back extremely fast. He proved himself at two turns in the American Pharoah (G1) last out, and his trainer Bob Baffert shines in the Juvenile.
The one question comes with how Cave Rock can stay on if anyone is fast enough to go with him early, though anyone else needs a sharp step up to do so. National Treasure was no match for Cave Rock last out, but can track in range and could stay on for a piece. Forte is a Grade 1 winner over the Keeneland course already but make sure to watch how fairly Keeneland is playing for closers in earlier races.
As an outsider for the lower rungs of exotics, consider Wound Up. He has to move forward, but he had some trouble last out and also makes a surface switch for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup. He has a dirt pedigree, and this is the barn that sent out Hot Rod Charlie two years ago to hit the board in the Juvenile at massive odds.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf often belongs to the international shippers, and there are two serious contenders this year. Silver Knott ships out for Charlie Appleby, who puts horses on planes with laser precision. He has only won at the Group 3 level so far, but that came at a mile and that level of class often suffices. Victoria Road, for Aidan O’Brien, has won his last three. He is likewise a Group 3 winner, and he even turns back from a nine-furlong try.
Among Americans, Andthewinneris won the local prep and should be a contender if he shows that turn of foot again. For longshot players, Nagirroc intrigues for Graham Motion. His ambitiously-placed horses are usually better fits than most give credit for, and his pedigree suggests he moves forward with more ground.
Bet the Breeders’ Cup online with FanDuel
As these Breeders’ Cup races get closer, make sure to stay tuned to FanDuel TV for all the latest on-site updates and analysis. After all, horse racing is a game of information, and up-to-the-minute news will help you make the smartest bets possible. And, once you are ready to place your bets, play the Breeders’ Cup online with TVG and FanDuel!