Flightline Tunes up for Breeders’ Cup Classic

October 29, 2022

Flightline struts his stuff in his final work before the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Keeneland Photo)

Life Is Good, Hot Rod Charlie Turn In Final Major Works

Brown, Ward Send Out Breeders’ Cup Workers

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Hronis Racing, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm and Woodford Racing’s undefeated Flightline completed his major preparations for next Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) by working 5 furlongs on his own in 1:00.60 after a first quarter-mile in :25.20. The work over the fast track was the fourth fastest of 62 at the distance.

With trainer John Sadler looking on from the Grandstand overlooking the finish line, Flightline emerged from the 7-furlong chute shortly after 7:30 a.m. ET following the first track renovation break and went right into his work under assistant trainer Juan Leyva.

“I told Juan to go in a minute and change and out (seven-eighths) in 1:26, and that’s what he did,” Sadler said. “Juan’s a great work rider. It was not about going fast today, just getting around there happy today.”

Saturday morning’s work for Flightline was his sixth since his 19¼-length tour de force in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Sept. 3, which solidified his status as the overwhelming favorite for the Classic. Flightline arrived at Keeneland last Sunday from Sadler’s home base at Santa Anita, where he had his past five works.

“He’s had a good week and gotten settled in, and the track is a little similar to Del Mar,” Sadler said, noting that Flightline’s schedule for next week will include returning to the track to jog Monday, gallop Tuesday through Friday and not go to the track the morning of the Classic.

Undefeated in five starts, Flightline could give Sadler a second Breeders’ Cup Classic victory to go with the one that Accelerate provided at Churchill Downs in 2018.

“It would be great to win another one. I’ve got a top team behind me, and they have been with me a long time,” Sadler said. “He (Flightline) never has hidden his talent. He has always shown great ability from Day One.”

Life is Good lookin’ good ahead of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Keeneland Photo)

Two horses who figure to be among the top choices behind Flightline in next Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Life Is Good, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable and Strauss Bros Racing’s Hot Rod Charlie, trained by Doug O’Neill – turned in their final major works today a little after 9 a.m.

Life Is Good worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 on his own with fractions of :12, :24.60, :49, 1:00.60 then out 6 furlongs in 1:13.20, seven-eighths in 1:25.80 and the mile in 1:39.80.

 “He is a superior workhorse,” Pletcher said. “Today was typical of what we have seen his whole career.”

Pletcher is optimistic about Life Is Good returning to the 1¼-mile distance in the Classic after his fourth-place effort in the Dubai World Cup (G1) Sponsored by Emirates Airline in March.  

“He is hard to pull up at the end (of his workouts),” he said. “We are eager to run on a real track not like in Dubai, which was really deep that night. I think that played against him.”

In Pletcher’s other Saturday workers:

His other Classic pre-entrant, Happy Saver, owned by Wertheimer and Frere, strategically had what the trainer called a “spirited gallop” in lieu of a timed breeze.

“We let him two-minute clip the whole way around,” Pletcher said. “We are going to do similar to what we did before the (Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan-G1): just one breeze two weeks out. He tends to run better when he is fresh. He’ll have a few more strong gallops. He won’t breeze again.”

Also working this morning on the main track for Pletcher were Nest and Malathaat for the Distaff (G1). In company with recent maiden winner Inventing, Nest worked a half-mile in :50.40. Malathaat worked a half-mile in :49.60 with the 3-year-old maiden Old Point.

Working on the grass together were Annapolis (Mile) and Major Dude (Juvenile Turf), who were timed in :50.40 for a half-mile.

Shortly after Life Is Good finished his exercise, Hot Rod Charlie began a 6-furlong work in company with Roses N Gold, a 3-year-old maiden winner.

With Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Hot Rod Charlie started 4 lengths in back of his workmate, cut the deficit in half by the quarter pole and cruised past at the eighth pole en route to a 6-furlong time of 1:12.80.

“He looked good and I got him in 1:12 and 4,” O’Neill said.

Four other O’Neill runners who are pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup worked this morning.

They were Awake At Midnyte (5 furlongs, 1:01.20, Distaff), Slow Down Andy (5 furlongs, 1:00.40, Dirt Mile), Vegas Magic (5 furlongs, 1:02.20, Juvenile Fillies) and Sharp Aza Tack (5 furlongs, 1:01 on the training track, Juvenile Turf Sprint).

Also this morning, trainer Chad Brown sent out a dozen of his Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants, with seven working on the dirt and five on the turf.

Working a half-mile on the dirt were Jack Christopher (:48.60, Sprint or Dirt Mile), Goodnight Olive (:47.80, Filly and Mare Sprint), Blazing Sevens (:47.20, Juvenile) and working in company I’m Very Busy and Oxymore (:49.60 Juvenile Turf).

Working 5 furlongs on the dirt were Search Results (1:01.20, Distaff) and Pipeline (1:01, Dirt Mile).

On the turf rated as good were Regal Glory (4 furlongs, :49.80, Mile) in company with Rougir (FR) (4 furlongs, :49.80, Filly and Mare Turf), In Italian (GB) (4 furlongs, :50.80, Filly and Mare Turf) and Virginia Joy (GER) (5 furlongs, 1:02.60, Filly and Mare Turf) in company with Domestic Spending (GB) (5 furlongs, 1:02.60, Mile).

“We did great,” a beaming Brown said following the works.

Other horses pre-entered in the Breeders Cup worked this morning.

On the main track were Kimari (5 furlongs, 1:01.40, Sprint or Filly and Mare Sprint) and Chi Town Lady (5 furlongs, 1:01.80, Filly and Mare Sprint) in company for Wesley Ward; Willy Boi (4 furlongs, :49.20, Sprint) for trainer Jorge Delgado and Simplification (5 furlongs, 1:00.40, Dirt Mile) for Antonio Sano.

Working on the turf course were Reckoning Force (4 furlongs, :50.40, Juvenile Turf) and Cazadero (4 furlongs, :50.40, Turf Sprint) for Brendan Walsh; Arrest Me Red (5 furlongs, 1:03.60, Turf Sprint) and Campanelle (IRE) (5 furlongs, 1:03.80, Turf Sprint) for Wesley Ward; Private Creed (3 furlongs, :39, Juvenile Turf Sprint) for Steve Asmussen; Tyler’s Tribe (3 furlongs, :38.20, Juvenile Turf Sprint) for Tim Martin and Caravel (4 furlongs, :51, Turf Sprint) for Brad Cox.

Keeneland Press Release/Edited

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