Epicenter Rises To Second In Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings

Winchell Thoroughbred’s Travers Stakes (G1) winner Epicenter moved into second place, and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Rich Strike entered the top 10 for the first time, while the undefeated Flightline retained his overall lead in this week’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings is a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 5.

Flightline, owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Summer Wind Equine LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing, LLC, received 290 votes. Trained by John Sadler, Flightline has won both the Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) this year. Flightline worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.04 at Santa Anita Park on Saturday in preparation for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The 3-year-old Epicenter, trained by Steve Asmussen, hopped over Life Is Good and into second place this week with 281 votes. The 4-year-old Life Is Good, making his first start since winning the Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 6, won Saturday’s 1 1/8th-mile Woodward (G1) at Aqueduct by 1 ¼ lengths. Owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC, and trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good earned 217 votes.

Zedan Racing Stable’s Taiba, winner of the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) for trainer Bob Baffert, rises one spot to fourth place with 188 votes. Olympiad, owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable LLC, and LNJ Foxwoods, dropped one position to fifth place with 181 votes. Olympiad, trained by Bill Mott, has won six of seven races this year, including Saratoga’s Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).

Boat Racing, LLC, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss’ Hot Rod Charlie, who defeated Rich Strike by a head in Saturday’s Lukas Classic Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, is in sixth place with 164 votes. Country Grammer, who finished second in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, is in seventh place with 97 votes.

Rich Strike, owned by RED TR-Racing, LLC, and trained by Eric Reed, enters the top 10 at No. 8 with 61 votes after his hard-fought runner-up spot in the Lukas Classic. Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife, winner of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1), is in ninth place with 46 votes.

Another horse joining the top 10 for the first time, following his frontrunning victory in the Awesome Again Stakes, is Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman’s 4-year-old Defunded. Also trained by Baffert, Defunded is 10th place with 30 votes.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 11. consisting of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers, and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. A list of voting members can be found here.

In the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – Oct. 4, 2022*

Rank Horse Votes First Place Votes Previous Week
1 Flightline 290 29 1
2 Epicenter 217 0 3
3 Life Is Good 217 0 2
4 Taiba 188 0 5
5 Olympiad 181 0 4
6 Hot Rod Charlie 164 0 7
7 Country Grammer 97 0 6
8 Rich Strike 61 0 16
9 Cyberknife 46 0 9
10 Defunded 30 0 Not Rated

*Note – The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Keeneland, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

The post Epicenter Rises To Second In Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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