2022 Breeders' Cup post draw analysis and implications

November 1st, 2022

Post positions for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup were drawn on Monday, establishing final fields for the 14 season-defining races.

The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) serves as the finale and highlight of the Nov. 4-5 extravaganza at Keeneland. With only eight horses in the entries, the post position draw was less critical than for some of the larger fields. The undefeated morning line favorite #4 Flightline drew well in post 4, and second choice #6 Epicenter landed favorably in post 6.

“Good draw. We would’ve been happy with any draw,” John Sadler, the trainer of Flightline, told Keeneland. “We think at a mile and a quarter you have a good run into the turn to get your position so for him it’s just fine.”

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Perhaps the most significant development from the Classic draw is #2 Life Is Good landing post 2. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner has lots of early speed, but he’ll have to break alertly to avoid getting boxed in early on.

The Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) saw Godolphin colorbearers #5 Rebel's Romance and #7 Nations Pride land suitably in posts 5 and 7. The American mare #2 War Like Goddess may seek a ground-saving trip while breaking from post 2. Globetrotting three-time Group 1 winner #11 Mishriff drew a bit wide in post 11 and will need the guidance of five-time Breeders’ Cup Turf-winning jockey Frankie Dettori to avoid ground loss around the turns.

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The Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) will see the red-hot three-year-old filly #6 Nest break from post 6 in an eight-horse field, a seemingly perfect assignment. Her champion stablemate #1 Malathaat landed the rail, but that shouldn’t be an issue since Malathaat is a late runner who figures to fall off the pace early on.

“I think it [the post position for Malathaat] is fine as long as we can work our way into a clear trail on the backside,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “Saving ground around the first turn would be great then hopefully we’re in the clear where she can put together that long sustained run.”

MUCCIOLO: Tipsheet: 2022 Breeders' Cup Distaff

A full field of 14 has entered the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and while last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) hero #4 Modern Games drew favorably in post 4, British Champions Sprint (G1) winner #13 Kinross (9-2) has drawn very wide in post 13 and will need some racing luck under Frankie Dettori to avoid excessive ground loss.

Reigning champion male sprinter #9 Jackie’s Warrior will break from post 9 out of 11 in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), a suitable draw affording the accomplished four-year-old options for working out a clean trip. Less lucky was the filly #2 Kimari, who may have to sprint hard to avoid getting buried in traffic from post 2.

A dozen names have entered the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). The draw was largely undramatic, though a fast pace could ensue since frontrunning Diana S. (G1) and First Lady S. (G1) winner #11 In Italian has drawn post 11 and may have to come out running to clear the field.

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) post draw was largely unremarkable as well, with favorites #5 Gunite, #6 Laurel River, #7 Cody’s Wish, and #9 Cyberknife landing posts 5, 6, 7, and 9 in an 11-horse field.

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In search of a second consecutive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), favored #8 Golden Pal enjoyed good luck at the draw, landing post 8 in a 14-horse field. Key rival #6 Highfield Princess likewise drew well enough in post 6, but Godolphin raider #1 Creative Force could be set for a tricky trip from post 1.

The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) attracted 13 entries, with defending winner #4 Ce Ce landing post 4. Morning line favorite #8 Goodnight Olive drew roughly midfield in post 8, while recent Thoroughbred Club of America S. (G2) winner #1 Slammed will have to sprint hard early to avoid getting boxed in from the rail draw. Much the same can be said of reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner #13 Echo Zulu, except she’ll need to use her speed to avoid a wide trip from post 13.

Morning line favorite #4 Silver Knott shouldn’t have to worry about an unnecessarily wide trip while breaking from post 4 in a 14-horse field for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). In fact, the five morning line favorites all drew in posts 1-8, setting the stage for ground-saving trips.

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The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) saw odds-on morning line choice #3 Cave Rock land post 3 out of 10, so the speedy two-time Grade 1 winner figures to have little trouble securing the early lead and the rail. Breaking immediately to Cave Rock’s outside is fellow two-time Grade 1 winner #4 Forte, while Cave Rock's stablemate #10 National Treasure landed the far outside post.

“(Cave Rock’s) draw is fine,” said Bob Baffert, trainer of Cave Rock and National Treasure. “But they have to break. They have to break well and they have to show up. I don’t like the 10 for National Treasure. I would have liked to have been a little closer. The draw is so important in those mile and a sixteenth races.”

Post positions shouldn’t affect the chances of the favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). #10 Meditate might be just a hair wide in post 10, but #9 Delight should have every chance to make the lead from post 9, and #4 Free Look should be able to tuck in and save ground from post 4.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) attracted a full field of 14, with favorites #10 Chocolate Gelato, #7 Chop Chop, and #5 Wonder Wheel drawing well enough in posts 10, 7, and 5. The most difficult draw arguably befell morning line fourth choice #14 Raging Sea, who must avoid a wide trip while breaking from post 14 with a relatively short run to the first turn.

JOHNSON: How to bet the 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

The first of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1), and it happens to be the event in which post positions may exert the strongest influence on the outcome. Well-regarded speedsters #10 Tyler’s Tribe, #11 Speed Boat Beach, and #12 The Platinum Queen have drawn the three outside posts in a 12-horse field, while the slightly more tractable #2 Love Reigns has landed post 2. Tyler’s Tribe, Speed Boat Beach, and The Platinum Queen figure to sprint hard from the start, and Love Reigns may have to follow suit to avoid getting swallowed up in the field, setting the stage for a blistering early pace.