Flightline a heavy favorite in 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds

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John Sadler’s Flightline opens as the unsurprising 3-5 favorite to lead the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds at Keeneland Race Course on Saturday, Nov. 5. He will start from the No. 4 spot. Post time for the Breeders’ Cup Classic is set for approximately 5:40 p.m. ET.

Flightline has been untouchable, winning all five of his races by a combined margin of 62 ¾ lengths. Two stalls away is Steve Asmussen-trainee Epicenter (5-1), whose consistent pace may be the best horse to challenge the undefeated colt. The Westwind Farms-bred colt has finished no worse than second in its last seven graded stakes, including two straight wins in Saratoga.

Another contender to hand Flightline his first loss is Life is Good (6-1) who is coming back to the Breeders’ Cup where he won the Dirt Mile in 2021. In his last five races, he has claimed victory in four, including the last three graded stakes.

Bob Baffert is also back at the Breeders’ Cup with Taiba (8-1) starting in the first position. After finishing 12th at the Kentucky Derby, Taiba has jumped back into the national spotlight with a strong finish in the Haskell Stakes and a win in the Pennsylvania Derby.

Joining them in the field is fan favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (20-1), who will start in the No. 8 stall. The three-year-old just barely missed out on winning the Lukas Classic Stakes and is in a familiar position as the underdog.

Starting next to Flightline in the fifth stall is Doug O’Neill’s popular colt, Hot Rod Charlie (15-1), who won the 2022 Lukas Classic Stakes and will be looking to improve on his fourth-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Olympiad (10-1) had his graded stakes win streak broken at four races with a fourth-place finish at the Whitney Stakes in Saratoga, but he recovered to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup a month later. And if you want a long shot to root for, look no further than Todd Pletcher’s second horse in the Classic, Happy Saver (30-1), who finished fourth in the Lukas Classic Stakes but finished second in five straight graded stakes before that.

Related: 2022 Breeders’ Cup TV schedule

NBC Sports is home to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after. Coverage kicks off with Future Stars Friday on November 4, from 2-6 p.m. on USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. NBC Sports will resume coverage the following day on USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app beginning at 1:00 p.m., with the broadcast jumping to NBC and Peacock from 3:30-6 p.m.

Related: What to know about the 2022 Breeders’ Cup

2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds and post positions

As of Wednesday, November 2nd

1. Taiba (8-1)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith

2. Life is Good (6-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

3. Happy Saver (30-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John R. Velazquez

4. Flightline (3-5)
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Flavien Prat

5. Hot Rod Charlie (15-1)
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

6. Epicenter (5-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario

8. Olympiad (10-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Junior Alvarado

9. Rich Strike (20-1)
Trainer: Eric Reed
Jockey: Sonny Leon

Arabian Knight off Kentucky Derby trail; will return later

Matt Stone/Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.

Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.

“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”

Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.

Tapit Trice wins Tampa Bay Derby, earns Kentucky Derby points

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.

Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.

“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”