Jeremy Plonk: Breeders' Cup Post Draw Rapid Reaction

Breeders’ Cup officials set the fields for Friday and Saturday’s 14 championship races at a ceremony today at the historic Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, KY.  A total of 177 horses entered, none more electric than the undefeated Flightline. The $6 million Classic’s 4-5 morning line favorite drew post 4 of 8 in a field that includes Pegasus World Cup victor Life Is Good and 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike.

Future Stars Friday’s 10-race card kicks off at 11:55 am ET and includes five championship races for the 2-year-olds. Saturday’s action gets underway at 10:30 am ET and the 12-race lineup features nine Breeders’ Cup events in Races 3-11. Post time for the Classic will be 5:40 pm ET.

Flightline and Life Is Good figure to be the dominant early speed in the mile and one-quarter Classic. Given the post draw and rider intent, expect Life Is Good in post 2 to set the tone with Flightline attending to his outside. That could set up for some fireworks.

Notable post-position draw points over the two days include:

- While Friday’s Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies at 1-1/16 miles have a short run to the clubhouse turn, posts 10+ have as many Keeneland stakes wins in recent years in fields of 10 or more as posts 1-4. Heavy 4-5 Juvenile morning line favorite Cave Rock is drawn extremely well in post 3, just inside of chief rival Forte. Cave Rock is much faster early of that duo.

- Posts 3-4-5 are strong in Keeneland turf sprints, and notable in Friday’s Juvenile Turf Sprint that favorites Love Reigns (post 2) and The Platinum Queen (post 12) landed in near extremes that will challenge their abilities. As for the Turf Sprint on Saturday, lightning-quick Golden Pal (post 8) leaves just outside of Europe’s best Highfield Princess (post 6) – and with speedball Artemus Citylimits in the extreme 14-hole, this one could absolutely cook early.

- Inside posts are strongly favored in one-mile races at Keeneland. The Dirt Mile lured longshots between 8-1 and 30-1 in each of the inner four posts. Perhaps this race opens up some price looks now.

- With the defection of Jack Christopher, the price plummets on Sprint favorite Jackie’s Warrior, who looks absolutely loose on lead. Post 9 is excellent to avoid trouble and capitalize on being in the clear with a solid run into the only turn.

- Turf mile stakes posts 3-7 have 17 of the 28 wins in fields of 10+ at Keeneland in recent years. Saturday’s Mile favorite Kinross in post 13 really looks tenuous. The straightaway sprinter will have that clubhouse turn come up really fast and have to hook a left.

- The Distaff’s star-studded field includes Todd Pletcher stablemates Nest (post 6, 9-5 favorite) and Malathaat (post 1), who are a combined 4-for-4 at Keeneland in winning all local major stakes the past two years. Potential lone speed Society drew post 8 of 8 and will be outside Search Results, her only early pace threat on paper. That seems a positive development if she’s good enough.          

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