Flightline seeks new heights in Breeders' Cup Classic
Flightline will bring superstar billing to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), overpowering the competition in five career starts, but he’s yet to beat the best. That opportunity comes at Keeneland on Nov. 5.
The four-year-old exits a rousing win in Del Mar’s centerpiece race, the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) on Sept. 3, drawing comparisons to Secretariat for the 19 1/4-length decision, and long-striding Flightline makes it look so easy.
He’s naturally fast, racing on or close to the pace before drawing off impressively, winning his five starts by a combined 63 3/4 lengths, and Flightline showed tenacity when overcoming a slow start in June’s prestigious Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park.
His Brisnet Speed ratings are also top-notch. Flightline registered a 117 Speed figure when annexing his second career start by 12 lengths and equaled that number in the Pacific Classic. The bay colt received a 114 Speed rating for a smashing victory in December’s Malibu (G1), and none of his Breeders’ Cup Classic rivals have run as fast.
By three-time leading sire Tapit, Flightline is campaigned by Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing. John Sadler trains, and Flavien Prat rides the dynamo.
His brilliance is undeniable, but Flightline hasn’t been tested. Facing short fields, he’s put rivals away by the midway point of the far turn, racing against the clock as he rolls home unopposed through the stretch.
And while he’s defeated a few notable horses, Met Mile runner-up Happy Saver, a projected longshot in the Classic, is the lone vanquished rival targeting the Breeders’ Cup.
Flightline will be a prohibitive favorite against a much deeper Breeders’ Cup Classic field.
Life Is Good, a convincing winner of the Pegasus World Cup (G1), Whitney (G1), and Woodward (G1) this season, brings quality speed to the 1 1/4-mile race. Travers (G1) romper Epicenter and up-and-coming Pennsylvania Derby (G1) victor Taiba will look to strike from just off the pace.
This is the challenge we’ve been anticipating, the missing element from a remarkable resume.
Flightline will look to confirm himself as a great one by beating the best in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic.