Breeders' Cup 2022 - Hits & Highlights
The long-anticipated running of the 39th renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Classic was one for the ages and it lived up to every bit of its hype. Life is Good leveraged his speed to take command and opened up on the field in short order but Flightline’s pilot, Prat, was not going to have any of that and pressed that rival throughout with that pair opening up further on the rest of the field. As they turned for home, Flightline kicked into another stratosphere and demolished this field by over 8 lengths. We witnessed one of the greatest race horses among a class of other lightly raced greats.
The Classic was a crowning cap to another thrilling two days of championship racing. Not to be outdone, however, the fillies and mares in the Distaff thrilled us with the best and closest finish of the weekend. Prominent in that mix was the horse the Super Screener highlighted to subscribers and listeners of the Ron Flatter podcast as the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick with the highest conviction to hit the board and even win the race. Just a whisker separated the late charging Malathaat and our prime Top Long Shot pick, Blue Stripe, who completed the Exacta at huge odds of 24-1… the best finish and the highest odds of any Super Screener Top Long Shot pick over the weekend. The suggested $20 Exacta wager with Malathaat over Blue Stripe returned $1,112. Great to hear so many subscribers hit a huge score in the race via Exactas and Trifectas. It only takes one good score to make the weekend. Congratulations to all.
- Other than Flightline’s victory which stole the show, the Distaff outcome was the key highlight of the weekend. As the 2nd longest shot on the board, Blue Stripe, earned no respect but she was the best of the Super Screener Top Long Shots over the weekend and she delivered.
- Historically, the Mile has been a key source of success for the Super Screener. It was repeated again this year as the two horses to single up and down in Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagers were Modern Games and Ivar. They finished 1st and 4th, respectively. The $1 Superfecta in that race paid nearly $5,300.
- Bill Mott quietly had a huge Saturday winning 2 Breeders’ Cup races and the nightcap plus a couple of other Trifecta players. The Super Screener Top Win and Top Value play in the Sprint, Elite Power, stormed home from off the pace as anticipated and went off at a generous price of 5-1.
- With the unfortunate scratch of Laurel River, our strongest Top Value/Top Win pick over the two days prior to the scratch, Cody’s Wish moved to the the top spot was last of all in the field of nine at the half, but then took advantage of the hot and pressured pace to catch a stubborn Cyberknife as the wire. It was the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Slow Down Andy that completed the Trifecta at huge odds of 17-1.
- In the Juvenile Turf the Super Screener’s top two win picks, Victoria Road and Silver Knott, finished 1-2 with Victoria Road, the Top Value play, returning over $13 for the win.
- Midnight Mile, the lightly raced European shipper was our must use Top Value play in vertical wagers. She finished 4th in the Juvenile Fillies turf at 12-1.
- In the Juvenile Fillies the longest price of our Top Long shot picks, Sabra Tuff, completed the Superfecta at monster odds of 63-1.
- To start the weekend, the Super Screener’s two Top Long Shot picks, Dramatized and Private Creed finished 2-3 rounding out a huge Trifecta.
Key Observations & Takeaways
Appleby/O’Brien Turf Dominance – Of the 7 Breeders’ Cup races run on turf, European-based horses won 5 of them with Charles Appleby accounting for 3 of those wins and Aidan O’Brien picking up the other two. Even in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and Turf Sprint, horses shipping in from Europe accounted for 3 of the 4 Superfecta slots in each race.
Closers Dominate – Much was said about how the dirt surface at Keeneland was producing fast times all meet and how the turf was ultra firm due to summer-like drought conditions that prevailed during the fall meet. Even the undercard races at the Breeders’ Cup favored forwardly placed types. However, when the Breeders’ Cup racing started it was a different story. Other than the Turf Sprint (when Golden Pal missed the break) and in the Classic when Flightline pressed Life is Good, all other races were won by off the pace and deep closer types regardless of surface. Breeders’ Cup Energy Distribution trends almost always trump local venue tendencies thanks to the overflow fields and fast/pressured pace set ups. So many forwardly placed horses that went off as one of the favorites failed to impact including Society, Jackie’s Warrior, Gunite, Chocolate Gelato and Pack’s a Whalop.
Tops are Tops – In the Juvenile Fillies, scoring a top in the final prep is a key screening criterion. Neither Chocolate Gelato nor Chop Chop met that condition as favorites and they finished 2nd to last and last…that screening criteria will continue to take more weight in our scoring model.
No California Turf Horses – Turf horses shipping in from California continue to be no shows in this race. For example, Packs a Whalop finished 8th as the 2nd choice and he didn’t make the top 4 choices in the Super Screener rankings.
Europe vs. US Juveniles – The US fillies now hold a 12 to 3 advantage over the Europeans in the Juvenile Fillies Turf as Aidan O’Brien’s Meditate took this year’s edition. His charge, Victoria Road, took the Juvenile Turf to expand the European dominance in this race to 12 to 4.
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Our many thanks to our long-term and new subscribers! You are what makes the Super Screener possible and can’t tell you how much we appreciate your patronage. For those newer to the Super Screener, not sure if you were aware that we do this every week! Your Breeders’ Cup Super Screener purchase included a subscription to the weekly analysis, which you can find in your account every Friday.
Hope you enjoyed a super Breeders’ Cup weekend and would love to hear about some of your big scores you landed over the weekend.
Until this coming weekend…go fast and win!