For Sadler’s Flightline ‘Sensational Is The Norm’

October 22, 2022

Breezes Six Furlongs In 1:11.80 before shipping to Keeneland Sunday

ARCADIA, Calif.—Unbeaten and untested Flightline was nothing short of brilliant Saturday morning at Santa Anita as the presumptive $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite got an official six-furlong time of 1:11.80 in his final local breeze prior to shipping to Lexington, KY early Sunday morning and an appointment with destiny in the Grade I Classic Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

In keeping with a seven-day Santa Anita work pattern dating back to Sept. 24, Flightline, accompanied by a stable pony and ridden by John Sadler assistant trainer Juan Leyva, passed under the finish line well ahead of sunrise at 6:35 a.m., galloped around the Club House turn and was set down for serious business at the five furlong pole with a blinking red light on Leyva’s helmet serving as a welcome beacon for clockers and media alike.

Through splits of 12 flat, 23.80, 35.80 and 59.80, Flightline worked six furlongs to the seven furlong pole and was then timed galloping out seven eighths of a mile in 1:24.20, a mile in 1:37.20 and on Sadler’s watch, a mile and one eighth in an incredible 

John Sadler all smiles after Flightline’s work. Santa Anita photo

“This was just like his last work at Del Mar (prior to winning the Grade I Pacific Classic on Sept. 3) when he went out a mile in 37 and change, which is what he did today,” said Sadler immediately following this morning’s drill. “When I talked to Juan this morning, I essentially told him, we’re not doing anything different. We’re just going to breeze him like he’s been breezing, which, sensational is the norm for him.”

Was this Flightline’s best work ever?

“He’s always worked well,” said a decidedly reserved Sadler. “More people are watching now, but he’s never worked anything other than really well. This was just what we wanted…We can do more or less and just hope he bounces out of it good.

“He ships tomorrow, early, at two in the morning and flies out of Ontario. “Rene Quinteros will accompany him on the van to Ontario and Cesar Aguilar will meet him in Louisville. He’ll then van over to Keeneland tomorrow afternoon.

“He’ll have one breeze at Keeneland, one week from today, pending weather. It would be a lesser work, five (furlongs) in a minute is usually what he does…Just kinda cruise around there. His groom, Adolfo Correa and the other guys will fly back tonight and get there ahead of the horse.”

A record 19 ¼ length winner of the Pacific Classic, which was his first try around two turns, Flightline, who stopped the clock for a mile and one quarter while eased up under Flavien Prat in a scintillating 1:59.20, also earned a 126 Beyer Speed Figure, by far the best fig in North America this year. A six-length winner of the Grade I Metropolitan Mile Handicap June 11 at Belmont Park, Flightline, in his first stakes assignment, took Santa Anita’s Grade I, seven-furlong Malibu by 11 ½ lengths three starts back on Dec. 26.

Owned by a partnership that includes California-based Hronis Racing, LLC, Siena Farm, LLC, Summer Wind Equine, LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing LLC, Flightline, in winning his five races by a combined 62 ¾ lengths, has spurred comparisons to some of racing’s all-time greats while amassing earnings of $1,394,800.

4-year-old colt by Tapit out of the Indian Charlie mare Feathered, Flightline was purchased for $1 million out of the 2019 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga Select Yearling Sale. While his connections have announced that Flightline will stand stud at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles Kentucky following his racing career, it remains undetermined as to whether or not he will race as a 5-year-old in 2023.

Santa Anita Press Release
Photo by Ernie Blmonte/Past The Wire

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