Breeders' Cup Saturday Free Picks, Predictions and Preview
According to numberFire Racing's analysis, these are the best bets and plays to make on FDR on Saturday, November 5th.
Filly and Mare Sprint
Slammed - Has been brought along carefully but has a strike rate that stands out as a result. Only beaten once this season and record a first graded success in a thumping manner in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America here last month. Can make her presence felt back at 7f.
Edgeway - Chased home Ce Ce in last season’s renewal. Won three of her four races this season, including the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap for the second successive year on the latest outing. Has yet to taste success over 7f but should give her running.
Chi Town Lady - Won her first two starts as a juvenile last year but was out of luck until winning the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga in August. Bit more is needed in a deeper contest. Barn won this in 2014.
Ce C - Ran out a convincing winner of this last year when beating Gamine. Has generally held her form well this season with three successes, though none at the top level. Her only blip of 2022 was in the Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga behind Goodnight Olive. Should give it a good go to retain her crown.
Frank's Rockette - Hasn’t been a frequent winner these last two years but is usually on the premises. Not beaten far when the runner-up first three starts this season to some good rivals. Warmed up for this with a 6-length success in a non-graded stake at Charles Town.
Chain of Love - Has gradually reverted to sprinting after trying her luck in the 1½m Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) as a 3-y-o. Beaten just over 2 lengths in the Dubai Golden Shaheen earlier in the year and won a listed contest by a nose after swooping late at Chukyo in her native Japan last time. A career-best effort by some way is required to double up here but Japan’s globetrotting record is exemplary of late.
Obligatory- A tough, reliable filly from the Bill Mott barn. Won her first two starts this season, including the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff at Churchill Downs in May. Not seen since finishing third in the Ballerina at Saratoga in August. She should get her ideal fast pace setup.
Goodnight Olive - Only had the six runs but has been the subject of a patient approach as she completed a 5-timer in fine style in the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga in August. She’s had some absences in between, so fingers crossed she’s been kept in cotton wool for another big performance here.
Sterling Silver - Won twice this season and produced the best effort when second in Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga in September. Needs to bounce back from a tame effort.
Hot Peppers - A speedy sort who’s won five times this season. Landed Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park in July and backed it up with a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga the following month. Underperformed when favorite last time.
Wicked Halo - Recently completed a 4-timer, the last two in the Grade 2s at Saratoga and Keeneland the latter in good style. Is on the right track but the draw hasn’t been kind.
Lady Rocket - Season has a bit of an in-and-out look about it. Won the Grade 3 Chicago at Churchill Downs in June. Enters here with a fine second in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, having no chance with the impressive Kimari that day. Will need to back that up.
Echo Zulu - Won the Juvenile Fillies last year. The only defeat in seven starts came in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May. Easy winner of the Grade 3 Dogwood at that track in September. Widest gate to overcome but can’t rule out.
Goodnight Olive has really come on for Chad Brown and after her top-level success last time, it’s hard to oppose her again. Ce Ce shouldn’t be far away in attempting to back up last year’s win in this, whilst Slammed is respected given her progress.
Creative Force - Has developed into a very smart performer. A Grade 1 winner last year, he was headed late on by stablemate Naval Crown in the Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June. Hit the boards both times since and shouldn’t be far away with a return to his best for the strong Appleby/Buick combination.
Flotus - Won the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York in July. Has been asked plenty of questions at this level without just being quite good enough, doesn’t look like being any different here.
Emaraaty Ana - Seems to find his niche towards the end of the season nowadays. Placed in two British Group 1s, the Nunthorpe at York (for the second year running) and the Sprint Cup at Haydock (won in 2021) to set him up here. Found things just a bit too quick in last year’s running of this despite finishing fourth.
Campanelle - One of Wesley Ward’s trio. Teams up again with Dettori, the pair having tasted success together in the past. Won a listed event here in April and the Grade 3 Ladies Sprint Stakes at Kentucky Downs last time, sandwiching a third in the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June. Capable of outrunning her odds.
Go Bears Go - Runner-up in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar last year. Been to the well plenty this season, with success in a pair of Group 3 events. Looks exposed at this level.
Highfield Princess - Has really hit the heights this season since reverting to distances below 7f, recording a hat-trick of Grade 1s in the space of little more than a month, if anything looking better with each one. A credit to her connections, she’s as tough as they come and this has been her aim for a while.
Arrest Me Red - As good as ever when landing the Grade 2 Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs in May and narrowly run down in the closing stages to be denied a Grade 1 success in the Jaipur at Belmont Park the following month. A shade disappointing last time. Completes the Ward trio.
Golden Pal - Unbeaten on home turf for Wesley Ward, including in three contests this season. Won the Grade 2 Woodford for the second successive season, stopping the clock in a stakes record, that his fourth track success. It will take a good one to lower his colors as he attempts to double up in this and gain an overall third Breeders’ Cup success.
Naval Crown - Been kept busy this season. Started off the year by winning the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan in January and added the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot in the summer, narrowly denying his stablemate Creative Force. Seems to have gone off the boil if his last two runs are anything to go by.
Caravel - Won four times this season, the Grade 3 Franklin here just a couple of weeks ago. Can throw in the odd poor run, so will have to be at the top of her game.
Casa Creed - Takes this route rather than the Mile as in the last two years. That said he still comes into this on the back of two Grade 1 runs at that distance, winning the Fourstardave at Saratoga and a close-up fifth in the Turf Mile here. Also landed the Grade 1 Jaipur at Belmont Park for the second year running.
Bran - Has stepped up on his previous French efforts since joining John Sadler at the beginning of this season. Won twice at Santa Anita in the spring and added the Grade 2 FanDuel Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs on the latest outing. Another step forward is required.
Cazadero - Done most of his racing at a lower level but a change of scenery to Brendan Walsh seems to have perked him up, taking the Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine on just second start for that barn. Hard to see him making much impact.
Artemus Citylimits - Has generally gone about his business in optional claimers. Stepped into graded company the last twice and managed a second and third placed finish. No forlorn hope at a big price on those recent efforts but had little luck with draw.
Oceanic - Has been on an upward curve of late. Landed a stakes contest at Colonial Downs on the penultimate start before chasing home Golden Pal last time. Reserve.
A clash between the King of the US turf sprint scene and the Queen of European sprinting, with Golden Pal getting the nod in his back yard. Highfield Princess will need to show early zip to keep tabs on the selection but may be playing for second. Casa Creed will be doing his best work late and can make the 1-2-3.
Slow Down Andy - Has two graded successes against his record this year, the latest the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in September. Ran a fine third in the Grade 1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita last month. May find a couple too good.
Simplification - Landed the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park prior to running third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby there and then fourth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Hasn’t quite hit those heights since and needs more.
Pipeline - Only had three starts in 2022, making a winning return in an allowance contest by 9 lengths at Aqueduct. Last seen in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga when finishing 3½ lengths third to Cody’s Wish, one place behind Jackie’s Warrior. Like the winner, has been freshened up since.
Law Professor - Has made a bright start since joining Rob Atras, winning a listed race and running Life Is Good to just over a length in the Grade 1 Woodward at Aqueduct last time. Needs to confirm that form to be a serious contender.
Gunite - Won the Grade 1 Hopeful last season. Only reappeared in June this year and has gone on to win four of his six outings, most notably the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga in July. Confirmed his wellbeing with a clear-cut listed success here recently. Tries the distance for only the second time, previously underperforming on final juvenile start. A danger to all.
Laurel River - Not seen out until July this year, but has won both his starts, an optional claimer and the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar. He was most impressive in the latter and it wouldn’t be any surprise if he gives Bob Baffert a first success in this Grade 1.
Cody's Wish - Has stepped up considerably this season and completed the hat-trick when last seen in August in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga, his first try at the top level and beating Jackie’s Warrior no less. His profile suggests he is still progressing and there may yet be more to come.
Informative - Has plenty of miles on the clock, though he won the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin at Monmouth Park in August, he doesn’t visit the winner’s circle often. Would be a surprise if good enough.
Cyberknife - Sidesteps the Classic for this. Hasn’t raced at any less a distance than 8.5f since his juvenile days. Won a pair of Grade 1s at 9f this season though fair to say he’s been put in his place the last twice. This could be a good spot by Brad Cox who won this with Knicks Go two years ago.
Senor Buscador - Returned from a lengthy absence with an allowance success. Failed to hack it in Grade 2 events the next two starts but won the Grade 3 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs last time. Others preferred.
Three Technique - Has just a non-graded stakes win at Churchill Downs to his name this season. Looks out of his depth.
Promising last year, Cody’s Wish has really taken off in 2022 and can back up his Forego success. Cyberknife can’t be discounted coming here instead of the Classic, whilst Gunite is another to consider in what looks a fascinating and quite open race.
Filly and Mare Turf
Lady Speightspeare - Has won her last three starts in graded contests at Woodbine. The worry is her record there is imperious, she’s yet to win when shipped from Canada but generally runs her race.
Going to Vegas - A standing dish in the top California events of her sex. Won the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita last time, just as she did last year before flopping in this. The shorter distance may help this time.
Nashwa - Has proved herself one of the best of her sex at around 1¼m in Europe. Has won four times this season, including the Prix de Diane at Chantilly and Nassau at Goodwood, both Group 1s. Ran second in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp last time on rain-softened ground when caught late on by a longshot. The one to beat.
Above the Curve - Had a setback after winning the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp in May. Won the Group 2 Blandford at the Curragh in September before finishing third in the Prix de l’Opera at the former track last time. Not discounted with the prospect of rain forecast.
Tuesday - Came in for significant support for the British Classics after earning her diploma in March. Won the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom from the unlucky Emily Upjohn in June. Hasn’t won in four starts since, her best effort when second to subsequent Arc winner Alpinista in Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks at York. Her powerful barn hasn’t won this before but no surprise was she to bounce back.
Mise En Scene - Has been set some tough assignments and isn’t up to task.
Toy - Best effort when second in Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July. Capitalised on drop to listed level last time. This is tougher.
Family Way - Has been holding her form very well at graded level, though her sole win this season came in Grade 3 Orchid at Gulfstream Park in April. Can give her running without threatening for win purposes.
Rougir - Won Group 1 Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp last season and did well after meeting interference to add to that top level success with a late burst in the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor at Woodbine last time. Can’t be ruled out for top trainer but may find a couple too good.
Virginia Joy - Successful on three occasions from five outings this season, latest in Grade 2 Flower Bowl at Saratoga when last seen in September by neck when making running. Doesn’t need to do that, so her versatility will be key from wide draw.
In Italian - Prominent racer who has proved mightily progressive for Chad Brown. Top level winner the last twice, in Diana at Saratoga and First Lady here. Extra distance a new question but is arguably the biggest threat of the home team.
Moira - Only raced at Woodbine, winning four of six starts. Really took off in the summer with a pair of thumping stakes successes. Beaten a neck by Rougir in the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor last time before disqualified and placed eighth after giving rival a bump. She’s likeable, works well and has Dettori in the saddle.
This can go the way of the Europeans with Nashwa, who has hardly put a foot wrong all year and can gain some vengeance for her narrow defeat in France last time. In Italian may prove best of the Chad Brown trio, but none of them have been helped by the draw. Tuesday may well be running down horses late for third.
Manny Wah - Longshot won Grade 2 Phoenix here last time. Has done most of his racing at a lower level and hard to make a strong case for.
Kimari - Found a pair of Grade 1s too tough in the Spring, but better than ever with success in Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga and Gallant Bloom at Aqueduct, both Grade 2s, since. Barely came of the bridle latest. Is a player if in same form.
O Besos - Fifth in Kentucky Derby last year. Won twice this season, both in optional claimers, dropped to this distance when successful latest. This looks a step too far.
American Theorem - Proved a revelation this season. Won Grade 2 Triple Bend at Santa Anita in May and Bing Crosby at Del Mar in July. Finished second to impressive Laurel River in Grade 2 Pat O’Brien at latter track last time. Can be in the mix if fully tuned up for return.
Aloha West - Won by the smallest margin to land this late last year. Only seen three times this season, taking advantage of the marked drop in class when landing a listed contest at Churchill Downs in July. Absent since but has produced some bullet workouts of late. Can go well at a big price.
Elite Power - Progressive 4-y-o son of Curlin. Recently completed 4-timer trying graded company for the first time in Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont at the Big A. Versatile in relation to his track position and has to be taken seriously.
Super Ocho - Grade 2 winner when trained in Chile. Opened his US account at first time of asking in allowance at Mountaineer in June. Close third in Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship last time. Only raced 3 times in US but more will be required.
C Z Rocket - Second in this race here in 2020. Has found winning hard to come by since, running creditably on numerous occasions. Beaten a nose in Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship last time.
Jackie's Warrior - A super mover who is head and shoulders above these on his day. Rattled off 4-timer this season before only managing second in Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga last time. Negative is he’s finished out of first three on both previous Breeders’ Cup starts, though with possible stamina excuse first time and too much work on the front end last year. Sets the standard.
Willy Boi - Has taken form up another level since joining Jorge Delgardo, winning three from four starts. Won the Grade 3 Smile Sprint at Gulfstream Park in July before finishing 5 lengths third to Jackie’s Warrior in Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga last time. Has struck up a good relationship with Chantal Sutherland in the saddle.
Flash of Mischief - Rarely steps into graded company. Successful twice this year for competent barn, including in non-graded stakes at Remington Park by 6 lengths last time. Stiff task.
Hard to oppose Jackie’s Warrior who is a standout and can gain compensation for defeat last time and claim a first Breeders’ Cup success. Kimari was mightily impressive last time and is a danger if turning up in the same kind of form. Last year’s winner Aloha West could run another big race at a price.
Pogo - Revitalised by a return to 7f this season, landing three group races. Is a credit to his connections but may find this a bit too much.
Shirl's Speight - Landed a hat-trick earlier in the season, culminating in the Grade 1 Makers Mile here in April. Has largely gone off the boil since.
Dreamloper - Really come into her own this season with three victories. Won twice in Group 1s at Longchamp, the Prix d’Isaphan and Prix du Moulin, the latter when drawing clear by 5½ lengths from Order of Australia. A repeat of that effort is enough to put her firmly in the mix.
Modern Games - Won Juvenile Turf at Del Mar last season. Reappeared in May with success in Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp in May, supplementing that with a thumping success in Woodbine Mile in September. Notably chased home Baaeed in Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in between and could only manage second in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last time. Major player if over that last effort.
Smooth Like Strait - Pace horse who consistently runs his race without quite being able to get his head in front. Neck third behind Shirls Speight in Makers Mile on his sole visit here back in April. Brave and is entitled to give his running yet again, but likely to find another one or two too good.
Ivar - Won Turf Mile here back in 2020. Hit the boards in the last two runnings of this. Just three runs this year, successful in a listed race at Horseshoe Indianapolis on return before second in Woodbine Mile and Turf Mile here. Should be in the mix but has work to do to reverse form with those that beat him recently.
Beyond Brilliant - Front runner who won Grade 1 Hollywood Derby last season. Added a pair of Grade 2 successes at Santa Anita this season, taking in the City of Hope Mile latest. Will have to be at the top of his game to last out in this.
Regal Glory - Took her time to come to hand but her trainer’s patient approach has paid off handsomely. Hasn’t looked back since landing the Grade 1 Matriarch last November, subsequently taking in the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Jenny Wiley and Just A Game. Found one too good the last twice but should be thereabouts again.
Malavath - Beaten just half a length by Pizza Bianca in last year’s Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar. Has three wins on her record and finished an excellent second to Kinross in Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last time. Career best required.
Order of Australia - Winner of this here in 2020. Won Group 2 Minstrel at the Curragh in July for the second year running. His campaign has mirrored last year, running a creditable third in Turf Mile last time. Probably playing for minor money at best.
Annapolis - Lightly-raced runner for Todd Pletcher. Has progressed nicely, beaten just twice from seven starts. Took the step up to this level in his stride when winning the Turf Mile here last month, sitting just off the pace and settling matters with an impressive stretch burst. Likely to play a similar hand here and could be the dark horse providing forecast rain stays away.
King Cause - Gained the verdict on three occasions this season, latest in Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont at the Big A last time when controlling the pace. This demands more.
Kinross - One of the stories of the British Flat season. Recently completed the 4-timer over 6f/7f. Won a pair of Group 1s last month, the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp and the Champions Sprint at Ascot. Versatile and may get away with the 1m round here but will need to from this draw.
Domestic Spending - Progressed into the leading turf horse in the US last season for top trainer Chad Brown. Has three Grade 1s on his record. Was building up to the Turf last season but was scratched late on and not seen since. Absence isn’t usually an issue with this barn, but surely this is a tall task?
Front Run the Fed - Does the most of his racing sprinting and hard to make a case for if getting a run. Reserve.
Gear Jockey - Like the other reserve, mainly races at sprint trips and this is an uphill task. Reserve.
Providing he’s fully over his Ascot run, Modern Games can land another North American Grade 1. Dreamloper can run another big race providing she takes to the track, whilst Regal Glory can emerge as best of the rest in what isn’t the deepest of renewals.
Malathaat - Half length third in this last year at Del Mar. Returned with success in Doubledogdare here before finding Clairiere too good the next twice. Landed spoils in Personal Ensign at Saratoga before bolting up in Spinster over course and distance. Genuine and likeable filly who will benefit from a strong pace.
Blue Stripe - Grade 1 winner when trained in Argentina. Successful twice this season, including Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar when last seen in August. Can give another good account, for all this is tougher.
Secret Oath - Went into the Kentucky Oaks with some wide-margin victories to her name. Beat Nest with a bit in hand there and after a try once more against the boys in the Preakness, just hasn’t seemed the same filly since.
Clairiere - Won three times this season, including Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park and Grade 2 Shuvee at Saratoga in the summer from Malathaat both times. Fractious at gate and suffered head injury when last of five to that rival in Personal Ensign at Saratoga in August. Likes to be delivered late and a return to her earlier form this season makes her a serious player.
Awake At Midnyte - Has won twice but has so far found graded company beyond her. This is much deeper.
Nest - Looked out of the top draw in the lead up to the Kentucky Oaks. Only second to Secret Oath there and then filled the same position in the Belmont. Confirmed her previous promise with dominating wins in Grade 1 CCA Oaks and Alabama at Saratoga over the same rival, and then Grade 2 Beldame at Belmont at the Big A. Strikes as the one they have to beat.
Search Results - Recorded two successes this season in Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont Park and Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park. Not beaten far by Malathaat in Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga last time. Has proven she can mix it with the best.
Society - Has only one blip on her record but there were excuses that day. Wide margin wins the last twice in Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx last time. Can be firmly in the mix if building on those.
A fascinating running of the Distaff with most having some kind of chance. Nest has some obstacles to overcome but she’s been peerless since taking on her own sex after her Belmont run and is the selection. Malathaat ran to a new figure with her wide margin win last time but may have to play second fiddle. Clairiere should be in the mix if all OK after last time.
Bye Bye Melvin - Won optional claimer at Saratoga in September. Stretched out in distance and set fractions when second to War Like Goddess in Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont at the Big A. That was a career-best effort and will need another big effort here.
War Like Goddess - Has an excellent strike rate. Wasn’t far off in third in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf. Gave the boys a beating in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont at the Big A last time. Is a perfect five at this distance and won both starts around here. On the shortlist.
Stone Age - Won Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May in good style before not really getting home in the Derby at Epsom. Ridden from the front the last twice in deeper contests. Unlikely to be allowed that privilege this time.
Broome - Has just the sole Group 1 success but was run down late on by Yibir in this last year amidst a number of other creditable efforts. Made the winner’s circle just once this season with a commanding win in the Group 2 Hardwicke at Royal Ascot in June. Needs to bounce back but can’t be discounted.
Rebel's Romance - Made his name on synthetics/dirt initially but after some tame performances out in Dubai earlier in the year, a switch to the turf has seen him rack up a 4-timer. Comes into this after winning a pair of German Grade 1s, which Alpinista landed last year. Hard to knock but this is his toughest test.
Channel Maker - Has plenty of miles on the clock. Third and fifth in the last two runnings of this. Retains his ability with two wins this season. Hard to imagine he’ll improve on previous efforts in this.
Nations Pride - Unlucky not to have landed a hat-trick in the US after being unsuited by the track in the Derby at Epsom in June. Won Grade 1 Saratoga Derby in August and Jockey Club Derby at Belmont at the Big A in September, showing an impressive turn of foot and proving this distance well within reach. Big danger to all attempting to emulate stablemate Yibir from last year.
Master Piece - Hit the boards all three starts this season. Convincing success in Grade 2 Eddie Read at Del Mar in July, though wasn’t a strong race. Can’t be entirely ruled out on the figures on the last two efforts, but more will be required.
Gold Phoenix - Lightly-raced 4-y-o, taken well to routing this season. Landed the biggest pot when narrowly beating Master Piece in Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on penultimate start. Dips toe into Grade 1 company for first time.
Red Knight - Has no issue with the track and the distance. Left Bill Mott after final start last season and won first two this season for Michael Maker. Takes a hike in class.
Mishriff - Has struggled to get his head in front since the Grade 1 International at York in 2021, but still managed to hit the board four times this season. His overall level of form means he is still the one to beat.
Nautilus - Makes first start for Paulo Lobo. Signed off his South American career with a Grade 1 win in Brazil. Tough ask on US debut.
Highland Chief - A smart performer when trained in Britain, but seemingly with limitations after a couple of goes in Group contests. Has taken well to US racing, making the breakthrough at the top level in the Man O’War at Belmont Park in May. Comes into this on the back of the course and distance success in Grade 3 Sycamore last month. Will need a career best back against the Europeans.
Not the strongest running of the Turf but Mishriff’s class can see him home. His overall form seems a notch above most of these and he can land a first success of the year. War Like Goddess was impressive last time and has to be taken seriously with everything cherry ripe for a big run. Nations Pride has made a big impression in the US and can’t be ignored for Appleby/Buick.
Taiba - Began his career in March with a win sprinting for Bob Baffert. Stretched out in distance to land Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby next time under Tim Yakteen. Easy to chuck out Kentucky Derby run, kept to the highest level and got back on track with a narrow reverse against Cyberknife in Haskell at Monmouth Park before stamping authority in Pennsylvania Derby at Parx last time.
Life Is Good - Top-class performer. Eased to Dirt Mile success at Del Mar last season. Has continued where he left off, winning four of five starts this season. Bit more workmanlike than usual last twice. Would be a main contender if not for Flightline but didn’t last out in Dubai World Cup at Meydan only try at this distance.
Happy Saver - Hasn’t won this season but has finished second on three occasions, chasing home Olympiad, Flightline and Life Is Good. A solid performer in his own right though will need a few of these to falter.
Flightline - An outstanding performer. Wide-margin odds-on winner of all 5 of his starts, maiden at Santa Anita, optional claimer at Del Mar and Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in 2021, and (having suffered a muscle strain in February) Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont in June and Pacific Classic at Del Mar last time putting up a stunning display by 19¼ lengths from Dubai World Cup winner Country grammar. Will continue to take all the beating.
Hot Rod Charlie - Hit the boards last two years in the Breeders’ Cup. Won twice this season, easily winning Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 at Meydan and Grade 2 Lukas Classic. Tough and reliable.
Epicenter - High-class performer who’s tasted success this year in three Grade 2s. Comes into this having won first Grade 1 in Travers at Saratoga easily by 5¼ lengths from Cyberknife. Also runner-up in Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Impresses with way he travels.
Olympiad - Won six of his seven starts this year, five at graded level. Won first race at the top level last time in Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga in September. May just find a few too good.
Rich Strike - Only has two successes to his name, but one includes the Kentucky Derby when causing an 81/1 shock from Epicenter. Generally holding his own since and probably should have won Grade 2 Lukas Classic back at Churchill Downs last time. Would be causing another surprise if good enough here.
All eyes on Flightline as he prepares for one last monster performance. His nearest challengers are Life Is Good and Epicenter, but they’ll simply be trying to keep the distance deficit down.