He’s an impressive looking animal when he’s just standing out on the track. Put him in motion and he’ll take your breath away.
With regular exercise rider Juan Leyva aboard, Flightline broke off at the five-furlong pole and set fractions of 24.30, 36.40, 48.20, 1:00, before stopping the clock at 1:12.20. It was the best workout of seven for the distance on the day. Trainer John Sadler said it was what he was looking for.
“Very good,” Sadler said afterward. “He stayed on a nice steady pattern and he went off beautifully relaxed today.”
Sadler says Flightline will have two more works with another one planned for next Saturday morning, two weeks before the Classic.
“The next one is the one we’ll focus in on a little bit more,” Sadler said, “and then he’ll have an easy work the week before.”
Sadler has always taken a patient approach with his 4-year old budding superstar, a $1-million yearling purchase by Hronis Racing, et al. Flightline has only raced four times in his career and didn’t race until he was three, breaking his maiden in his debut by 13 1/4-lengths at Santa Anita. That was in April of 2021. He followed with a 12 3/4-length victory in an entry level allowance at Del Mar on closing weekend in September.
There were rumblings about the Breeders’ Cup but Sadler refused to take the bait and chose to run instead in the G1 Malibu at Santa Anita in December. Flightline romped again, this time by 11 lengths. For anyone keeping score, that’s three wins by a combined total of 37 lengths.
Sadler had planned for Flightline to make his 4-year old debut in March but a strained hock delayed his return until June. When he came back he looked no worse for wear, crushing an excellent field in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park. It was the first time the colt had ventured outside of California and he handled it well, though he “only” won by six lengths this time.
That was on Belmont Stakes Day. Flightline has been working every week since July 9, two at Santa Anita and now four at Del Mar. Two of those six outings have been bullet works.