Weekend Lineup Presented By TVG: Future And Present Stars Take Center Stage At Keeneland - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Weekend Lineup Presented By TVG: Future And Present Stars Take Center Stage At Keeneland

Undefeated Flightline, with his groom Adolfo Correa, upon his arrival at Keeneland

So many intriguing questions as the horses prepare to take to the racetrack at Keeneland for the 39th annual Breeders' Cup world championships. All Breeders' Cup races will be televised on FanDuel TV (formerly TVG), with the USA Network picking up some of the action on Friday and Saturday afternoon and Saturday's $6-million Classic broadcast on NBC.

Can the lightly raced but brilliant Flightline extend his perfect record to six wins from as many starts for John Sadler, a trainer who brings a 1-for-54 Breeders' Cup record to this year's event in Lexington, Ky.? Flightline, the 3-5 morning line favorite for the  Classic, faces his toughest test yet against a top-class field that features early speed (Life Is Good) and strong closers (Epicenter, Rich Strike).

Can Nest, the leading 3-year-old filly in the nation, defeat last year's champion 3-year-old filly, Malathaat, in a Grade 1 Distaff that is deep in quality.

Can trainer Bob Baffert become the all-time leading trainer by Breeders' Cup wins? He's saddled 18 winners, two fewer than D. Wayne Lukas, and has solid contenders in several races, including the Grade 1 Juvenile on the Future Stars Friday program for 2-year-olds. Baffert also has Taiba entered in the Classic, a race he has won four times, including the two previous runnings at Keeneland, with American Pharoah in 2015 and Authentic in 2020.

Can Lukas add to his own record of 20 wins when he saddles Secret Oath in the Grade 1 Distaff? All but one of those 20 victories came in the original seven Breeders' Cup races and before the event was expanded to two days and 14 races.

Can Charles Appleby continue his remarkable string of success in the Breeders' Cup, where he's won with six of 11 starters? He arrives with another solid group of runners for the high-flying Godolphin.

Can ageless Mike Smith add to his record 27 Breeders' Cup riding victories? He's only got two mounts, including Taiba for Baffert, but you can never count him out of big money races.

Those questions and many more will be answered on the racetrack over the next two days as the world's best horses and most successful horse people gather at this annual extravaganza that, by virtue of the big, competitive fields, offers horseplayers the best two days of racing each year.

Here's a quick look at some of this weekend's stakes:

Future Stars Friday

3:00 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland

Trainer Wesley Ward has saddled the winner of this race the past three years and this time has the second choice on the morning-line at 4-1 in Love Reigns (IRE) for the 5 ½-furlong test that drew a field of 12 plus three also-eligibles. Irad Ortiz Jr. will have the mount on Love Reigns and breaks from post position two.

Another filly, The Platinum Queen (IRE), is the morning line favorite at 7-2. She comes into Friday's test off a victory against older horses in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (G1). Trained by Richard Fahey, The Platinum Queen will be ridden by Hollie Doyle and break from post position 12.

Juvenile Turf Sprint Entries

3:40 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland

Chocolate Gelato is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite for the $2 million NetJets BreedersCup Juvenile Fillies (G1) that drew a field of 14. Winner of the Frizette (G1) in her most recent start, Chocolate Gelato is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 10.

Wonder Wheel (5-1) and Chop Chop (9-2), who finished a nose apart in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 7, are the next two choices. Mark Casse trains Wonder Wheel, who has won three of four starts with Tyler Gaffalione aboard and who will break from post five. Brad Cox trains Chop Chop, whose Alcibiades start was her initial main track test. Joel Rosario has the mount from post seven.

Juvenile Fillies Entries

4:20 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland

Meditate (IRE) is the 4-1 morning line favorite in the field of 14 plus two also-eligibles entered for the 1-mile test. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, who is seeking his first victory in the race, Meditate brings a 6-4-2-0 record to Keeneland with three Group victories and runner-up efforts in her past two starts in Group 1 tests. Ryan Moore has the mount and will break from post position 10.

Co-second choices on the line at 6-1 are Delight and Free Look.

Trained by Jonathan Thomas, Delight scored a 5-length victory in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) here in Oct. 7 going 1 1/16 miles over the course. Luis Saez has the mount and will break from post position nine.

Free Look, trained by Chad Brown, enters the race off a runner-up effort in the Miss Grillo (G2). Flavien Prat has the mount and will break from post four.

Juvenile Fillies Turf Entries

5:00 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland

Undefeated Cave Rock is the 4-5 favorite for the $2 million FanDuel BreedersCup Juvenile (G1) presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance that drew a field of 10 for the 1 1/16-mile main track test. Trained by Bob Baffert, Cave Rock will be ridden by Juan Hernandez and breaks from post position three.

Forte, a two-time Grade 1 winner who features a victory over the track, is the second choice at 4-1. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Forte will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from post position four.

Juvenile Entries

5:40 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland

Two-time Group 3 winner Silver Knott (GB) is the 3-1 morning line favorite to give trainer Charlie Appleby his fourth victory in the one-mile race. Appleby and Godolphin won last year's running at Del Mar with Modern Games (IRE) who was ridden by William Buick, who will go for a double in the race on Silver Knott. Silver Knott drew post position four.

Leading the U.S. contingent and second choice on the line at 5-1 is I'm Very Busy. A winner of one of two starts for trainer Chad Brown, I'm Very Busy will be ridden by Flavien Prat and breaks from post eight.

Juvenile Turf Entries

Championship Saturday

11:50 a.m. – Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland

The $1 million BreedersCup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) matches last year's winner Ce Ce and 2021 BreedersCup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Echo Zulu in the seven-furlong test that drew a field of 13.

However, the morning line favorite at 3-1 is Goodnight Olive, who has won her past five starts for trainer Chad Brown. Irad Ortiz Jr., who has been aboard for the past four victories, has the mount Saturday and will break from post eight.

Ce Ce, the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, has won three of six starts this year for trainer Michael McCarthy and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza from post position four.

Echo Zulu (6-1, co-third choice), six for seven lifetime, including last year's NetJets BreedersCup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and perfect in two starts at seven furlongs, is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. from post 13.

Filly & Mare Sprint Entries

12:29 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland

Defending champion Golden Pal is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the $1 million BreedersCup Turf Sprint (G1) that drew a field of 14 and two also-eligibles going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.

Golden Pal will be closing out his career over a course on which he is four for four including a score in 2020 in the BreedersCup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). Trained by Wesley Ward, Golden Pal will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from post eight.

Second choice on the line at 7-2 is the mare Highfield Princess (FR), who brings a three-race Group 1 winning streak into the race. Trained by John Quinn, Highfield Princess will be ridden by Jason Hart and break from post position six.

Turf Sprint Entries

1:10 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland

Cody's Wish, winner of six of his past seven starts with the most recent coming in the Forego (G1), is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1 million Big Ass Fans BreedersCup Dirt Mile (G1) that drew a field of 11. Trained by Bill Mott, Cody's Wish will be ridden by Junior Alvarado and break from post seven.

Second choice on the line at 7-2 in Gunite, who has won four of his past five starts with the most recent coming in the Perryville at Keeneland on Oct. 22. Steve Asmussen trains Gunite, who will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and break from post five.

Dirt Mile Entries

1:50 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland

Nashwa (GB) is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Maker's Mark Filly & Mare Turf that drew a field of 12 for the 1 3/16-mile test. Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Nashwa has two Group 1 victories this year and will be partnered by Hollie Doyle from post position three.

Trainer Chad Brown has three entrants headed by the Peter Brant-owned duo of In Italian (GB) (the 7-2 second choice) and Virginia Joy (GER) (10-1) as well as Rougir (FR) (12-1), who is co-owned by Brant and Michael Tabor. Joel Rosario, who has ridden In Italian to victories in her past two starts, has the mount Saturday and will break from post 11. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Virginia Joy out of post 10 and Flavien Prat rides Rougir from post nine.

Above the Curve (9-2) finished a nose behind Nashwa in the Prix de l'Opera, her most recent start for trainer Joseph O'Brien, and is the third choice. John Velazquez has the mount from post four.

Filly & Mare Turf Entries

2:30 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland

The $2 million Qatar Racing BreedersCup Sprint (G1), that drew a field of 11, is headlined by champion Jackie's Warrior, who is the 4-5 morning line favorite. Sixth in last year's race at Del Mar that he exited with an injury, Jackie's Warrior is trained by Steve Asmussen and will break from post nine under Joel Rosario.

Kimari is the second choice 4-1 for trainer Wesley Ward. The 5-year-old mare has won two of her three dirt starts at Keeneland, winning by 15 lengths on debut in 2019 and in 2021 winning the Madison (G1). Jose Ortiz has the mount and will exit post two.

Back to defend his title is Aloha West (12-1) who comes into the race off a four-month layoff for trainer Wayne Catalano. Luis Saez will take the mount from post nine. Catalano also will send out Manny Wah (30-1) who will be ridden by Corey Lanerie and break from post one.

Sprint Entries

3:10 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland

Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby have the morning line favorite for the $2 million FanDuel BreedersCup Mile (G1) presented by PDJF in Modern Games (IRE) in the field of 14 and two also-eligibles. Winner of the BreedersCup Juvenile Turf (G1) last year, Modern Games was a 5 ¼-length winner of the Woodbine Mile (G1) in his return to North America in September, and earned a BreedersCup Challenge Series berth into the Mile. Buick has the mount and will break from post four.

Second choice on the morning line is Kinross (GB) (9-2). Trained by Ralph Beckett, Kinross brings a four-race win streak comprised of two Group 1s and two Group 2s into his United States debut. Frankie Dettori, who has been aboard for all of those victories, has the mount Saturday and will break from post position 13.

Also in the field of 14 is Order of Australia (IRE). Trained by Aidan O' Brien, Order of Australia won this race at Keeneland at odds of 73-1. He is 12-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Ryan Moore from post position 10.

Mile Entries

3:55 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Distaff at Keeneland

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has the two favorites for the $2 million Longines BreedersCup Distaff (G1) which drew a field of eight in Nest (9-5), the leading 3-year-old in the country, and Malathaat (3-1), who was third in this race last year.

Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Nest, who won her only Keeneland start in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) and will exit post position six. John Velazquez has the mount on Malathaat, who is three-for-three at Keeneland, and will break from post position one.

Fellow Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen counters the Pletcher duo with a strong hand of his own with Clairiere (4-1), fourth in this race last year, and Society (6-1). Joel Rosario has the mount of Clairiere, who will break from post position four, and Florent Geroux rides Society, who will break from post position eight.

Distaff Entries

4:40 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland

The Godolphin duo of Rebel's Romance (IRE) and Nations Pride (IRE) top the morning line for the $4 million Longines BreedersCup Turf (G1) that drew a field of 13. Charlie Appleby trains both runners with Rebel's Romance (3-1) entering the race with four consecutive victories. James Doyle has the mount on Rebel's Romance and will break from post five.

Nations Pride (4-1) is riding a two-race win streak into Saturday with victories coming stateside in The Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G3) and the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1). William Buick, who rode Yibir (GB) to victory in this race last year for Godolphin and Appleby, has the mount and will break from post seven.

Third choice on the morning line is the 5-year-old mare War Like Goddess (9-2). Two-for-two at Keeneland for trainer Bill Mott, War Like Goddess comes into the Turf off a victory over males in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1). Joel Rosario has the mount and will break from post two.

Turf Entries

5:40 p.m. – Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland

Trained by John Sadler, the undefeated Flightline (3-5) has won his five starts by a combined 62 ¾ lengths with Flavien Prat aboard for all the victories. Flightline will break from post position four.

The eight runners in the Classic have combined for a record of 84-43-17-9 with almost $20.9 million in earnings. In all, the entrants have accounted for 14 Grade 1 victories and 12 Grade 2s.

Epicenter, the front-runner for the Eclipse Award as the nation's top 3-year-old, is the second choice on the morning line at 5-1. Runaway winner of the Travers (G1) in his most recent start, Epicenter is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post position six.

Third choice on the line at 6-1 is Life Is Good. A four-time Grade 1 winner trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good won last year's Big Ass Fans BreedersCup Dirt Mile (G1) by 5 ¾ lengths and enters the Classic on a three-race win streak. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position two.

Classic Entries

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