Horse racing news and analysis from Saratoga, Santa Anita and the 2023 Breeders' Cup.

2022 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Free past performances for the feature race of the day Photo:

UPDATED: 11/24/2022

The field is set for Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes 2022 after post positions were drawn on Wednesday. See the full field analysis below.

Racing on the Road to Kentucky Derby 2023 resumes on Saturday with the 2022 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, a G2 event for 2-year-old colts and geldings worth 10 points to the winner towards a potential spot in the starting gate on Derby Day.

The current filed of probable starters includes Cyclone Mischief who was a last out winner in a maiden special weight at Keeneland on October 19 for trainer Dale Romans. The son of Into Mischief out of the Bernardini mare Areyoucominghere was bred in Kentucky and races in the name and colors of Castleton Lyons and the Albaugh Family Stables.

Completing the maiden victory in a time of 1:46.95 for the 1 1/16 miles distance, it was his second career start after finishing third in a 1 mile MSW at Churchill in September.

Other probable starters for this year’s running of the KYJC, often a “key” race indicator of a horses potential in the Kentucky Derby, are the Brad Cox trainee Instant Coffee who broke his maiden at first asking going 7 furlongs in a MSW at Saratoga. The son of Bolt d’Oro out of the Uncle Mo mare Follow No One is another homebred who races in the name and interest of Gold Square, LLC. He exits the 2022 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) as the fourth place finisher behind 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Forte who is the current Kentucky Derby favorite in early wagering.

Hayes Strike and Freedom Trail are the only other horses listed as probable for the Kentucky Jockey Club, but the field is expected to grow as post positions are drawn for this Kentucky Derby Prep Race on Saturday.

Twenty points will be distributed in a 10-4-3-2-1 distribution to the top five finishers.

See Brad Cox’s entry of Instant Coffee and the free pps for the 2022 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Post Positions, Odds, and Analysis

From the rail out, here is the full field analysis for the nine horses to go the 1 1/16 mile distance in the KYJC 2022 Kentucky Derby prep race.

  1. Curly Jack – (3 to 1) Two for two at Churchill, he won the G3 Iroquois two back before finishing 5th LTO in the BC Juvenile won by our number one pick and current Derby favorite, Forte. That was a good effort. His sire, Good Magic, was an unlucky winner of the ’17 BC Juvenile, only to catch Justify on the Derby Trail and finished 2nd and 4th to Justify in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He has more race experience than the slight morning line favorite Instant Coffee. But don’t expect him to take this one.
  2. Western Ghent – (20 to 1) Son of American Pharoah was able to snag his only win by a head in a 6 furlong dash at Saratoga for a $75K maiden claiming race. Tried Forte in the G1 Hopeful and was trounced finishing last in a six horse field. To be fair, that race over a sloppy track looked similar to his last start here in the G3 Street Sense over like conditions. Jockey is 0 for 15. Pass.
  3. Denington – (12 to 1) Maiden winner LTO here in his fourth afternoon trip to the track. Hard to win right back after first career victory — especially against more experienced and successful horses. Note: He does have the highest last out BRIS Speed Figure.
  4. Gigante – (12 to 1) As a two-time winner on turf and dirt, this Virginia bred is an interesting option for handicappers. Individually, jockey Lanerie and trainer Asmussen are holding their own at the meet. But they aren’t known to team up often. Consider possibilities.
  5. Red Route One – (7 to 2) Third choice in the morning line, Asmussen will give the leg up to Tyler Gaffalione who is fresh off a stellar performance in the Breeders’ Cup Championships. Two back he was a distant 3rd in the key race Breeders’ Futurity over Instant Coffee. Split the field at 3 to 1 LTO in the G3 Street Sense run over a sloppy track. Toss that one and expect a different outcome with the change of rider. CHOICE.
  6. Freedom Trail – (6 to 1) Joins Curly Jack as the only other two-time winner. His two came on turf over Aqueduct’s surface, in as many lifetime starts. And both were going this two-turn distance. His sire, Collected, was a Baffert trainee who excelled on dirt, so it’s easy to see this guy transfer his form to dirt in here. Change of rider to local talent should prove favorable. But trainer isn’t known for graded stakes wins. Interesting.
  7. Hayes Strike – (10 to 1) Maiden winner at Ellis in second start. Tried graded company next out in the G3 Iroquois when 4th behind Curly Jack. Troubled trip two-back at Keeneland. And was helped by the off track LTO when 2nd behind Two Phils in the G3 Street Sense. Seems a cut or two below these.
  8. Instant Coffee – (5 to 2) Luke warm ML favorite in for his third career start. Was pushed along hard from the break to finish 4th when edged out by Red Route One LTO in the Breeders’ Futurity. Sire was 12th in the ’18 Kentucky Derby in his only start at CD. Solid connections, but suspect he’ll come up short in this.
  9. Cyclone Mischief – (8 to 1) Two strong performances in two lifetime starts makes him playable. It’s hard to win next time out after maiden victory, but Romans has a 20% success rate in this situation. Set all the pace in the one-turn mile maiden voyage two back, but tired to finish 3rd when caught by closers. Was much more relaxed, while running slower fractions, on the lead LTO going on to win at this distance. UPSET SPECIAL.