2022 Year in Review
Flightline is likely to be Horse of the Year for 2022.
Major Races in 2022|
- 2022 Longines Hong Kong International Races
- Regal Glory grand in the Matriarch Stakes (G1)
- Dead heat for the win in the Valedictory Stakes (G3)
- Hong Kong Harry gets up in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2)
- Havnameltdown tops in the Bob Hope Stakes
- Fun to Dream wins the Betty Grable Stakes
- Saturday at the Breeders' Cup Part 1
- Saturday at the Breeders' Cup Part 2
- Future Stars Friday at the Breeders' Cup
- Zuma Beach, Surfer Girl, and Swingtime Stakes
- American Pharoah, Rodeo Drive, and Chandelier Stakes
- Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Day
- Rougir gets up in the E.P. Taylor Stakes(G1)
- Zenyatta Stakes Day at Santa Anita
- Awesome Again Stakes Day at Santa Anita
- Taiba best in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1)
- Society romps in the Cotillion Stakes (G1)
- Pennsylvania Derby Works
- Jockey Club Derby Day
- Modern Games scores in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1)
- Summer (G1) and Natalma Stakes (G1)
- Duke of Love rules in the Prince of Wales Stakes
- Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) Day
- Sister Seagull soars in the Wonder Where Stakes
- TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1) Day
- Green Flash Handicap and Torrey Pines Stakes
- Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar
- 2022 Woodbine Sales Stakes Day
- Laurel River rolls in the Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2)
- Epicenter romps in the Runhappy Travers (G1)
- Travers Day Undercard Stakes
- Moira beats the boys in the 2022 Queen's Plate
- Queen's Plate undercard stakes
- Spendarella romps in the Del Mar Oaks (G1)
- Yellow Ribbon Handicap and Sorrento Stakes
- Bold Venture and Trillium Stakes
- Saratoga Oaks Day
- Blue Stripe wins the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1)
- Whitney Stakes and Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational
- Test, Glens Falls, and Lure Stakes
- Bowling Green and Amsterdam Stakes
- San Diego Handicap Day at Del Mar
- Epicenter wins the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2)
- Jackies Warrior cruises in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1)
- 2022 Woodbine Oaks Day
- Cyberknife takes the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1)
- 2022 Haskell Day Undercard Stakes
- Bellabel wins the San Clemente Stakes (G2)
- Diana (G1) and Sanford Stakes (G3)
- Belmont Derby Day at Belmont Park
- Highlander Stakes Day at Woodbine
- Mo Donegal romps in the 2022 Belmont Stakes
- Belmont Undercard Stakes Results
- 2022 Belmont Festival Friday Stakes Results
- Wonder Again (G2), Astoria, and Tremont Stakes
- Boardroom takes the Royal North Stakes (G2)
- Hollywood Gold Cup Day at Santa Anita
- Early Voting burns up the Preakness (G1)
- Preakness Undercard Stakes Results
- Black-Eyed Susan Day Results
- Man O'War (G1) and Beaugay (G3) Stakes Results
- Peter Pan Stakes (G3), Vagrancy Handicap (G3), and Runhappy Stakes (G3) Results
- Our Secret Agent takes the Whimsical Stakes (G3)
- Rich Strike shocks in the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1)
- Kentucky Derby Undercard Stakes Results
- Secret Oath wins the 2022 Kentucky Oaks (G1)
- Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results
- Santa Anita Derby (G1) Day Part 1
- Santa Anita Derby (G1) Day Part 2
- Mo Donegal gets up in the Wood Memorial (G2)
- Wood Memorial (G2) Day Continues
- White Abarrio wins the Florida Derby (G1)
- Country Grammer wins the Dubai World Cup (G1)
- Dubai World Cup Undercard Stakes
- Tampa Bay Derby Day
- Eda holds on in the Santa Ysabel (G3)
- Santa Anita Handicap Day
- Gotham (G3) Stakes Day at Aqueduct
- Emblem Road scores big in the Saudi Cup
- Saudi Cup undercard stakes
- stc International Jockeys Challenge Night
- Las Virgenes (G3) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3)
- 2022 Santa Monica Stakes (G2) Day
- 2022 Withers (G3) and Toboggan Stakes (G3)
- 2022 Blue Norther, Eddie Logan, and Kalookan Queen Stakes
- 2022 New Year's Day Stakes at Santa Anita
- 2022 Breeders Crown Saturday Results
- 2022 Breeders Crown Friday Results
- 2022 Mohawk Million Night
- 2022 Pepsi North America Cup Night
As everyone celebrates the holidays, it is time to bid farewell to 2022 and the exciting racing which we enjoyed, however much like at the end of 2020, many of us are glad to be done with 2022. This year had some outstanding horses and great feats by both equine and human athletes, but we also had some sad losses to mourn. Here's a look back at the best and worst of the 2022 racing season.
After professional sports, horse racing included, was severely disrupted in 2020 and to a lesser extent in 2021, we were glad to see a return to normal operations, with grandstands open to spectators, stakes races run on their traditional dates, and international travel for both horses and horsemen.
The first big day of racing in 2022 is the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, run at Gulfstream Park for a $3 million purse, unchanged since the reduction in 2020. Favorite Life is Good romped by 3 1/4 lengths gate to wire over defending champion Knicks Go with Stilleto Boy third. The co-feature saw defending champion and favorite Colonel Liam defeat stablemate Never Surprise in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, with Space Traveller third.
Country Grammer after winning the Dubai World Cup
The $20 million Saudi Cup on February 26 is world's richest horse race, contested at 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Local hero and 113-1 longshot Emblem Road rallied past Country Grammer with Midnight Bourbon third. On the undercard, Stay Foolish won the $2.5 million Red Sea Turf Handicap, Dancing Prince won the $1.5 million Saudia Riyadh Dirt Sprint, Songline won the $1.5 million STC 1351 Cup, Authority won the $1.5 million Neom Turf Cup, and Pinehurst took the $1.5 million Al Rajhi Bank Saudi Derby.
A month later the eyes of the racing world moved further east on the Arabian Peninsula to Meydan for the Dubai World Cup. Country Grammer won the headliner with new rider Frankie Dettori aboard for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan. On the undercard, defending champion Lord North and Japanese representative Panthalassa dead-heated to win the Dubai Turf, Shahryar won the Sheema Classic, and Crown Pride won the UAE Derby. Locally trained Switzerland upset at 30-1 in the Golden Shaheen.
Rich Strike wins the Kentucky Derby
At the Kentucky Derby, 80-1 longest shot and also-eligible Rich Strike unleashed a courageous rally under Sonny Leon to defeat favorite Epicenter with Zandon third. Two weeks later at the Preakness, Rich Strike's connections opted not to run, denying us a Triple Crown. 11-2 third choice Early Voting under Jose Ortiz held off favorite Epicenter with Creative Minister third. Favorite Mo Donegal took the Belmont Stakes with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher, with Nest second and Skippylongstocking third, while the rested Rich Strike checked in sixth.
The Canadian Triple Crown originally began soon after the American version ends, but after delaying its start to August due to COVID measures over the last 2 seasons, decided to continue with the new dates even with restrictions lifted. 9-5 second choice and filly Moira romped in the Queen's Plate under Rafael Hernandez for trainer Kevin Attard, with Hall of Dreams second, Sir for Sure third, and favorite Rondure sixth. Moira's connections opted to skip the rest of the Triple Crown in favour of a turf campaign. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of King Charles III, the race will be run as the King's Plate from 2023 onward. In the Prince of Wales Stakes 5-2 second choice Duke of Love and jockey Justin Stein defeated favorite Ironstone for trainer Josie Carroll, with Ice Road third. With no Triple Crown on the line, 6-1 Sir for Sure won the Breeders' Stakes for jockey Declan Carroll and trainer Mark Casse, with Hall of Dreams second and Lac Macaza third.
Moira wins the Queen's Plate
The Breeders' Cup World Championships were held at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky for the third time. "Future Stars Friday" featured all the 2-year-old races, starting with the Juvenile Turf Sprint won by Mischief Magic with William Buick in the irons. Forte won the feature, the Juvenile, making him an early choice for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Saturday was highlighted by the Classic, where heavy favorite Flightline and jockey Flavien Prat romped to an 8 1/4 length win over Olympiad with Taiba third. Rebel's Romance won the Turf with jockey James Doyle, defeating Stone Age and War Like Goddess, with favorite Nations Pride fifth. Malathaat and jockey John Velazquez won the Distaff over Blue Stripe and Clariere in a three-horse photo, with favorite Nest fourth. Earlier on the card, Tuesday won the Filly and Mare Turf with Ryan Moore aboard, over In Italian and Lady Speightspeare. Elite Power won the Sprint as favorite Jackie's Warrior was third. The Championships will return to Santa Anita in Arcadia, California for the 40th anniversary edition on November 3 and 4, 2023. At time of writing no hosts have been announced for 2024 onward.
Flightline winning the Breeders' Cup Classic
The 2022 racing season welcomed a return to normal operations after two years of COVID-related restrictions on attendance and mobility, highlighted by crowded grandstands at the major racing events. One change in the sport which was noticeable at the Breeders' Cup was the new Kentucky parimutuel regulation where payoff prices are no longer rounded down to the nearest nickel or dime, a method known as "breakage" which negatively affects payoffs but worst in the win, place, and show pools which already have low payouts. Under the usual rules if the correct $2 payout for a win bet is $5.99, the posted payout would be $5.90 or $5.80. 2022 marked the first year without Arlington Park in Chicago; owner Churchill Downs Inc. moved its International Festival races including the Arlington Million to its flagship track in Louisville temporarily. Those races will be run at Colonial Downs in Virginia starting in 2023. The new turf surface at Churchill proved problematic, resulting in turf racing being cancelled or reduced most of the year. Trainer Jason Servis, whose case has been prominent in this space for two years, pleaded guilty for his role acquiring, distributing and directing others to administer performance enhancing drugs to racehorses, and will be sentenced in May, facing up to four years in prison. Trainer Jorge Navarro is currently serving a five year sentence while trainer Michael Tannuzzo was sentenced to 27 months. As if racing refuses to want to move forward with uniform standards with respect to medication and safety and get more in line with international standards, some groups continue to oppose the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
Emblem Road winning the Saudi Cup.
Foreign racing continues to attract more and more attention in North America with increased availability of betting outlets and TV coverage. In the Melbourne Cup, the "race that stops a nation", 18-1 Gold Trip won by 2 lengths over Emissary and High Emocean with Mark Zahra aboard for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, with favorite Deauville Legend fourth. The year closed out with the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin. 4-5 favorite and Hong Kong Derby winner Romantic Warrior rallied to win by 4 1/2 lengths over Danon the Kid and Money Catcher, with James McDonald aboard for trainer Danny Shum. Win Marilyn took the Vase for jockey Damien Lane and trainer Takahisa Tezuka. Wellington won the Sprint for local trainer Richard Gibson and jockey Ryan Moore, over Sight Success and Sky Field. 1-2 favorite Golden Sixty was denied a three-peat in the Mile as Calfornia Spangle held him off by a neck, with Law of Indices third. Like most race meetings worldwide, both the Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Internationals were run with their usually packed grandstands at reduced capacity, and winner's circle ceremonies were more subdued for the Sprint and for the balance of the card.
Romantic Warrior wins the Longines Hong Kong Cup
Of course, with all the excitement and joy the sport brings, there are always losses each year. Many horses lost their lives due to injury while others succumbed to illness or old age. Here are some of the notable losses in 2022, both human and equine, with links to articles about each. If I missed someone, please let me know.
As other places put their year end recaps online, I will add links to them here.
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Stakes Racing in 2022 - from Pensylvania Horse Racing Association
Review 2022 - for Ireland and the UK from Irish Field
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