Flightline’s Sibling Eagles Flight Debuts Monday 

May 26, 2024

Eagles Flight in a work for John Sadler (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

> Work Tab: Arabian Knight Drills, Nominated to G2 Triple Bend
> Memorial Day: 3 Graded Stakes, Food & Drink Specials, More
> Hernandez New Leading Rider After 3-Win Saturday

Stable Notes by Victor Ryan

ARCADIA, Calif.— Eagles Flight, half-brother to undefeated 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline, is set for takeoff Monday at Santa Anita.

Eagles Flight will debut in the eighth race on Memorial Day, a six-furlong maiden heat on dirt. With three consecutive bullet works on the tab, including a five-furlong drill in a swift 58.80 seconds last Sunday, he is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 10. 

“He’s a good prospect. We’re excited to get him going,” said trainer John Sadler, who also conditioned the brilliant Flightline.

Eagles Flight is a 3-year-old bay colt by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of graded stakes winner Feathered, by Indian Charlie. He is co-owned by breeder Summer Wind Equine, who also bred Flightline, along with Hronis Racing and W.S. Farish.

Flightline, by Tapit out of Feathered, was a perfect 6-for-6 with four Grade I wins including the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is now a stallion at Farish’s Lane’s End Farm in central Kentucky where he stands for $150,000.

Eagles Flight will be ridden by Flavien Prat, who was also Flightline’s regular rider. They will break from post two.

“He drew a little inside for his first race, but he’s ready. We’re anxious to get him going,” Sadler said.

Eagles Flight first started working in late November at Santa Anita. He went six weeks without a drill beginning in mid-December but has been breezing steadily since Jan. 31.

“It took a little while for him,” Sadler said. “We had the wet winter here and that put him a little behind. But the last five or six weeks have been really good.”

Sadler added Eagles Flight “is a well-made colt, a different body type than his brother, with a real good brain on him.”

Among Eagles Flight’s chief rivals are 5-2 second choice Santarena, who will be ridden by Antonio Fresu for trainer Mark Glatt. A 3-year-old Omaha Beach colt, Santarena has started three times and enters off a pair of runner-up efforts in maiden dirt sprints at Santa Anita.

The eighth race Monday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT. 

The field

Work Tab: Arabian Knight Drills, Nominated to G2 Triple Bend

Grade I winner Arabian Knight continued to gear up for his 4-year-old debut with a sharp five-furlong gate work at Santa Anita Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Arabian Knight completed the move in company in 59.80 seconds. It was his eighth work since April 11.

Arabian Knight wins The Pacific Classic, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire
Arabian Knight wins the Pacific Classic (Ernie Belmonte/Past the Wire)

Arabian Knight has not started since a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. Prior to the Breeders’ Cup, the Uncle Mo colt won both the GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar and GII Southwest at Oaklawn Park, which bookended a third-place finish in the GI Haskell at Monmouth Park.

Arabian Knight is nominated to both this Saturday’s GII Triple Bend going seven furlongs at Santa Anita and the GI Metropolitan Handicap at a mile on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 8 at Saratoga.

Also working towards his seasonal bow for Baffert was Grade I winner Prince of Monaco. Off since a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, the Speightstown colt worked five furlongs from the gate in company in 58.80 seconds. It was the fastest of 36 works at the distance.

Prince of Monaco last year won the GIII Best Pal and GI Del Mar Futurity, both at Del Mar, prior to the Breeders’ Cup. He has been working steadily since April 7.

Working for Baffert towards an expected start in the GII Summertime Oaks June 8 at Santa Anita was Nothing Like You. A 7 ½-length winner of the GII Santa Anita Oaks April 6, Nothing Like You worked six furlongs in 1:12.40.

By Malibu Moon, Nothing Like You also owns wins in the GII Starlet in December at Los Alamitos and the Desi Arnaz Stakes last November at Del Mar.

Spirit of Makena in a work (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Spirit of Makena, winner of last year’s GII Triple Bend and GIII San Carlos at Santa Anita, had his first work of the year for trainer George Papaprodromou. Off since finishing ninth in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship last November, the 6-year-old Ghostzapper horse went an easy half mile in 52.20 seconds.

Other notable workers included Vlahos (5f, 1:00.20), Raging Torrent (5f, 1:00.80) and Anarchist (4f, 49.60) for trainer Doug O’Neill; both Musical Rhapsody (4f, 50.40) and Motorious (4f, 49.20) for trainer Phil D’Amato; and Missed the Cut (7f, 1:28.40) for trainer John Sadler.

There were a combined 201 workouts between the main track and training track Sunday.

Memorial Day: 3 Graded Stakes; Drink, Food Specials And More

Santa Anita Park (Benoit Photo)

It will be an action-packed Memorial Day Monday at Santa Anita with top-class racing, food and drink specials, handicapping tournament and much more.

Set to be run on Monday are a pair of Grade Is on turf, the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile and $300,000 Gamely Stakes, plus the 86th running of historic GII, $200,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles on dirt. Entries for Monday’s blockbuster card will be taken on Friday.

For on-track patrons, the world-class racing will be just part of the fun on Memorial Day. Fans on-site can enjoy Dollar Day specials including $1 beers and sodas plus $2 hot dogs. Additionally, the infield will host both a carnival and the Smorgasburg BBQ Invitational. The barbecue will feature a curated group of the best up-and-coming barbecue vendors from around Southern California.

Horseplayers will also be able to compete in a live-money handicapping tournament, the $1,500 Gold Cup Challenge. The buy-in includes a $1,000 bankroll with a $500 entry fee that will go into the prize pool. 

The tournament will feature all live races from Santa Anita. Permitted wagers are Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double. Participants can compete on-site at Santa Anita or online at Xpressbet.com.

In addition to the cash prize pool, players will be competing for entries into the 2025 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), plus berths to either the 2025 Pegasus World Cup Betting Challenge or 2024 California Crown Betting Championship, each valued at $6,000.

After the races Monday, there will be a poker tournament benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation. Folds of Honor provides scholarships to the families of military veterans who have sacrificed their lives or been disabled while serving their country.

The poker tournament will be held at the Player’s Room in the Baldwin Terrace starting after the last race at approximately 6:15 p.m PT. For more information and to register please visit www.santaanita.com/poker.

Admission gates Monday open at 11 a.m. with first post set for 1 p.m.

FINISH LINES ____________

Juan Hernandez surged to the top of the jockey’s standings with three wins Saturday. He now has 19 wins at the Hollywood Meet, two more than runner-up Antonio Fresu. Hernandez scored in the second with Smiling Beast ($4.20) for trainer Brian Koriner, the fourth with Kings River Knight ($2.40) for trainer John Sadler and the eighth with Shady Tiger ($6.60) for trainer Phil D’Amato…

The Chosen Vron’s win in Saturday’s Thor’s Echo was his 12th stakes victory at Santa Anita, which ties him with the great John Henry for second-most stakes wins at The Great Race Place. Hall of Famer Beholder is the all-time leader with 13 stakes wins at Santa Anita…

According to Daily Racing Form’s Brad Free, The Chosen Vron earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure winning the six-furlong Thor’s Echo…

Trainer Phil D’Amato said Shady Tiger, winner of Saturday’s Snow Chief Stakes on turf, would likely get a break before returning in the Real Good Stakes Aug. 2 at Del Mar. The Real Good Deal is for California-bred 3-year-olds going seven furlongs on dirt…

Sunday’s $1 Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 starts at 1:25 p.m. PT with the eighth race from Gulfstream Park…

A memorial service for late turf writer Art Wilson will be held next Sunday at Santa Anita. 
 

@PastTheWire Great read brought back some sad memories.The only race she lost killed her. Legacy. @jonathanstettin pic.twitter.com/Jx9WF7OjUe

Tim n (@CigarSire) View testimonials

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