Five Furlongs In 1.00.40 And Gallops Out Strong Under Leyva
ARCADIA, Calif.—Undefeated Flightline was all business Saturday morning at Santa Anita in a robust five-furlong work in preparation for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 5 at Keeneland, a race in which the 4-year-old undefeated son of Tapit is expected to be heavily favored.
“He’s right on point,” said John Sadler following Flightline’s five furlong drill at 6:35 a.m. “I had him in a minute and two (fifths). He went the first eighth in 12 and one, the half in 48, five eighths in a minute and two and he went out six furlongs in 1:12 and three and seven eighths in 1:25 and four.
“This was perfect, it was a good work, nothing serious. The next two (on Oct. 15 and 22) we’ll get a little more serious but he was impressive today…He’s right on schedule.”
This morning’s drill, Flightline’s third since winning the $1 million Pacific Classic Sept. 3, again attracted considerable early morning attention at Santa Anita and included among a gaggle of onlookers was part owner Kosta Hronis, who stood by Sadler’s side just above the Grandstand apron.
There was one fleeting concern in the run-up to this morning’s breeze, as Flightline galloped under Sadler assistant Juan Leyva along with a stable pony to the Club House turn, a horse got loose on Santa Anita’s inner training track and sped the wrong way past the finish line, causing the track’s emergency alert warning system to audibly activate. Fortunately, this proved to be a brief distraction and Flightline was able to continue on without interruption.
Unbeaten in five starts, the last three of them in Grade I stakes, Flightline has daylighted his competition by a combined 62 ¾ lengths and has thus generated comparisons to some of racing’s all-time greats. In his first try around two turns in the Pacific Classic, he won by 19 ¼ lengths and earned a stratospheric 126 Beyer Speed Figure, tops in American racing this year.
Although his connections have announced that Flightline will stand at Lane’s End Farm at the conclusion of his racing career, there remains a possibility he could run in 2023 at age five, as a decision to race or breed has not yet been made.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo by Ernie Belmonte