Victoria Road (blue sleeves) was a narrow winner of the Juvenile Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Victoria Road (blue sleeves) was a narrow winner of the Juvenile Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

Breeders' Cup latest: Follow the action live including tips, videos, reports, reaction and replays

The Breeders' Cup kicked off with Future Stars Friday and we've rounded up all the reports and reaction from Keeneland here.

Friday's highlights






Reports and reaction

Victoria gets the verdict in thrilling Juvenile Turf

Victoria Road (5/1) gave Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore a second win on the opening day of the 2022 Breeders' Cup as he held off the persistent challenge of Silver Knott in a one-two for the European raiders in the Juvenile Turf.

Victoria Road tracked the pace in the early stages and William Buick was content to track him on favourite Silver Knott, who was attempting to give his rider and trainer Charlie Appleby a remarkable fifth straight victory at the Breeders' Cup.

It was a case of which horse would get the gaps in the straight and Victoria Road made his effort towards the outside between runners as Silver Knott dived for a run against the far-side rail.

Both horses finished strongly once seeing daylight and there was very little to split them as they flashed past the post together, with Victoria Road just getting the verdict to bring up his fourth victory in a row.

Victoria Road (blue sleeves) was a narrow winner of the Juvenile Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Victoria Road (blue sleeves) wins the Juvenile Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

The winning rider admitted he thought he had prevailed on the line.

Moore said: “My horse was in a nice spot and then the pace steadied down the back and there was a lot of traffic. There wasn’t much racing room but there was a gap and he got through.

“I thought the other horse was coming to get me, but on the line I thought he had won. The outrider said it was close, but I thought we were the winners.

“He’s a hardy horse who has travelled well.

“He’s out of a very fast mare but will be more of three-year-old than a two-year-old. He has a good mind and a good action and was very comfortable on that tight track.

“I rode him twice over six furlongs at the Curragh but as he’s gone up in trip, he’s got better. He’s adaptable and very straightforward.”

O’Brien: “We thought he was precocious but we were disappointed he kept getting beat.

“He’s by Saxon Warrior and at Chantilly he took his time and came from a long way back to win.

“I think he could be a French Derby horse for next season.”

As far as the Epsom Derby is concerned, the horse was introduced to the market by Betfair at a price of 20-1.

Victoria Road’s victory denied Appleby and jockey William Buick a double of their own having won the Juvenile Turf Sprint with Mischief Magic.

Appleby felt Silver Knott emerged with plenty of credit in defeat.

He said: “It was a head bobber and we lost nothing in defeat. We were slow from the gate but it didn’t make any difference.

“Remember Aidan’s had won his last three and there are no excuses because we got the split down the rail.”

Forte upsets hot favourite Cave Rock in Juvenile

The Todd Pletcher-trained Forte (5/1) caused what is likely to be one of the biggest upsets at this year's Breeders' Cup as he overhauled the hitherto unbeaten Cave Rock late on to win the Juvenile.

Bob Baffert's Cave Rock, who returned an SP of 9/4-on with British bookmakers, was on the pace throughout and everything appeared to be going to plan entering the straight as he moved into a clear lead after seeing off stablemate National Treasure.

However, the more patiently ridden Forte soon emerged from the pack to throw down a serious challenge and under a strong drive from Irad Ortiz Jr he was not to be denied, ultimately winning by a length and a half to follow up his course-and-distance victory in last month's Breeders' Futurity.

Forte (left) was too strong for Cave Rock in the Juvenile (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Forte (left) was too strong for Cave Rock in the Juvenile (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

The winning handler said: “Obviously delighted with everything. He got a beautiful trip. Just kept coming. I think we both got a fair run at it today (referring to being second choice to Cave Rock).

“He got that two-turn experience (in the Breeders’ Futurity) and it paid off today. He’s much more professional today. We learned a little something (from the Breeders’ Futurity) and we tweaked off the last race and it paid off coming here.

“The last time, he made the lead pretty comfortably, but he got to waiting and laying on the horse next to him so today, if we were lucky enough to get in a position to get (the lead), we wanted to give ourselves plenty of space and not get close to the horse next to him.”

Part-owner Mike Repole won the extended nine-furlong contest with Uncle Mo in 2010 and feels connections have plenty to look forward to with this son of Violence.

He said: “I’m so blessed to have such a unbelievable trainer in Todd Pletcher, who is also an incredible person.

“These trainers have a tough job and outside of that, Todd is not only a great husband but also a son to his parents who are both still alive.

“Irad is an Eclipse Award-winning jockey and in all honesty he is five lengths ahead of the field and he gave our horse an amazing ride.

“In his last race he had to knuckle down and fight for the win and I think that helped him when we got alongside Cave Rock.

“It looks like Forte, whose name means strength, will get better and better and we have so much to look forward to with him.”

Meditate is much the best in Juvenile Fillies Turf

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore got off the mark at this year's Breeders' Cup as Meditate (15/8f) ran out an emphatic winner of the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Runner-up at the top level on her last two starts on European soil, Meditate had stamina to prove on her first try at a mile and she was patiently ridden by Moore in the early stages before starting to make good headway out wide on the home turn.

Produced to lead halfway down the straight, she simply powered clear from there to put her rivals to the sword, winning by two and a half lengths from Pleasant Passage and Cairo Consort who fared best of the home team.

Midnight Mile, trained by Richard Fahey, was a never-nearer fourth having been held up last of all in the early stages.

Meditate runs away with the Juvenile Fillies Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Meditate runs away with the Juvenile Fillies Turf (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

O'Brien said: "We had a reason [why she was beaten] for the Curragh and we felt we had a reason for the last day. We weren't sure about the mile, but Ryan gave her a brilliant ride.

"Michael [Tabor, co-owner] was very confident that this was the race for her when I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. I'm delighted for the lads, it's incredible.

"We came to see if she'd be a filly for the Guineas or not. I heard Michael tell Ryan before the race if she wasn't going to get the trip here, we might not train her for the Guineas. Obviously, the result was great.

"Ryan was very patient and very cool. He didn't have an easy draw and he said he was going to take his time in the first half and work it out after that. It's brilliant and I'm delighted for everybody."

Moore, who hadn't won a race at the Breeders' Cup since 2017, said: "It's always very hard coming here, you need a lot of things to go right.

"Everyone is working hard all year and everyone is aiming at this day. Nobody is coming here to get beat, so it's always very tough.

"Fortunately today this filly did it very easily. She's got a lot of talent, she hasn't run a bad race all year and with every race she's got better. She did that really well.

"She stepped well but we went hard for a little bit and I was going to be wide, so I thought I'd come back. The pace got steady down the back, but I was able to follow a horse that brought us closer at the top of the straight.

"She picked up really well and she had them covered a furlong out. She was in front pricking her ears and looking around. She was much the best and just a level above them."

Sky Bet reaction from Michael Shinners:

"Meditate was incredibly impressive in winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The way she quickened clear of her rivals suggest she is very much one to keep on the right side of for next year's 1000 Guineas. After today's performance, we go 6/1 from 12/1 for next year's first fillies' classic."

Fahey said of Midnight Mile: "She ran well and came home well, but I was never happy with her in the preliminaries. She didn’t look happy.

“She looked in bad form with herself and I am worried that she may be in season.

“If I could have scratched her before the start, I would have, because she just didn’t look happy at all – but, look, she’s run her race, so not too bad."

Wheel a breakthrough winner for Gaffalione in Juvenile Fillies

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione finally opened his account at the Breeders' Cup courtesy of Wonder Wheel (5/1), who made it four wins from five career starts with a tough performance in the Juvenile Fillies.

0/35 on his previous visits to the meeting, Gaffalione stuck to the rail virtually throughout on a filly who had provided him with Grade One success in the Alcibiades Stakes over the same course and distance the time before.

Wonder Wheel made all on that occasion, but this time she came from the rear of the field and the result was never in much doubt once she'd been switched out in the straight.

She kept going well from there to land the spoils by three lengths from Leave No Trace and Raging Sea who completed the frame.

Wonder Wheel is well on top in the Juvenile Fillies (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Wonder Wheel is well on top in the Juvenile Fillies (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

Gaffalione said: “She didn’t get away too well, there was a lot of traffic and she kind of got pushed back. But then she settled into a good rhythm and things opened up for us coming into the stretch.

“Approaching the quarter pole, I was really close to the fence but she didn’t flinch in taking the gap.

“I’ve been high on her since I first got on her and it was a joy to be in the saddle today.”

Trainer Mark Casse said: “I thought she was impressive and I knew that she would be better than she was for her last race.

“I told Tyler that this was the best I’d ever seen her and that she had gone forward since a month ago.

“I think we will go back to the training centre in Ocala (Florida) and get ready to go for our Eclipse Award.

“If 10 is absolute class, she is a 10.”

Magic win for Buick and Appleby in Juvenile Turf Sprint

William Buick and Charlie Appleby picked up where they left off at the 2021 Breeders' Cup as Mischief Magic (5/1) ran out a ready winner of the Juvenile Turf Sprint which kicked off this year's meeting.

The duo enjoyed three winners from as many runners together at last year's Breeders' Cup and Mischief Magic, last seen finishing fourth in the Middle Park at Newmarket, was the first of their team to take to the track on Friday.

Held up last of all in the early stages, the son of Exceed And Excel still had the whole field to pass on the home turn before beginning to make up ground on the inside.

Switched out around fellow British raider Persian Force inside the final furlong, Mischief Magic picked up well from there to ultimately win by a length in decisive fashion, running down Karl Burke's Dramatised to lead home a one-two for the Brits.

Private Creed edged out Persian Force for third, but Richard Fahey's The Platinum Queen trailed in well beaten having been unable to get to the front from her wide draw under Hollie Doyle.

Mischief Magic wins the Juvenile Turf Sprint (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)
Mischief Magic wins the Juvenile Turf Sprint (image courtesy of the Breeders' Cup)

Appleby told Sky Sports Racing: “I knew they were going to go hard.

“William has been in such great form and riding with such confidence, I could see what he was doing. He was trying to get him on his lead and he got him on his lead on the back turn there, I could see where he was trying to angle out and just got pushed back in again.

“I don’t think it did the horse any harm because as I said to Will, just give him gaps, he just needs daylight and he might just have a chance. A great ride by William, I’m delighted. It’s great to be back.”

Buick added: "I expected him to be outpaced early, he's a comfortable closer at six furlongs at home, so I knew the five and a half here with the speed that was in the race would catch him out early.

"I knew if I got him on to the back of a horse that would take me into the straight he would finish off real good. He felt super and he really enjoyed coming off the turn.

"He ran very well in the Middle Park which was a good race last time at Newmarket. I think this is only his fifth race, so he's still learning. He enjoyed the ground and coming off the turn. Everything just came together for him today."

Burke was delighted with Dramatised’s effort in second.

He said: “She ran a fantastic race. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, really.

“She’s just a little bit slow for gate speed, which we were always a little bit concerned with, but Ryan (Moore) gave her a beautiful ride and was committed to go down the rail once we were slow away.

“Maybe we were a bit lucky to get the gaps in the straight. We thought we had it won a half-furlong out.

“Fair play – Charlie’s horse is a very good horse. She’s probably a stiff five-furlong horse.”

Fahey said of The Platinum Queen: “I was disappointed with her run. Nothing seemed to go right and Hollie said she felt a bit flat.

“She will have a well-deserved holiday now.

“Hollie said she got more worked up today than she had done before and I think it was all a bit of a shock to her system.

“She jumped well but one came around her outside and from then it was not going right for us.”

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