Wow. Just wow. Anyone who doubted Flightline’s dominance of racing right now is eating their words. After watching Flightline win the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 8 1/4 lengths, it seems that the comparison to Secretariat after his win in the Pacific Classic is valid. He’s the type of racehorse you rarely get the privilege to watch.
Flightline missed most his three-year old season after being injured (you can see the massive scar on his right hindquarters — the result of backing into a stall latch. An injury that took three months to heal and then suffering from an abscess.) So he never had the same visibility as the colts who competed in the Triple Crown races.
However, he’s now six for six in the races he’s run. Coming up to the Classic, he had won his races by an average of 10 lengths, at distances from a six-furlong sprint and all the way to a mile and a quarter.
In the Classic, he faced the toughest field in his career and he made the win look easy. Up until the quarter pole it was a two horse race, with Life is Good leading from the starting gate and Flavien Prat tucking Flightline behind the speedster.
“You know it played out exactly how I thought it would. I knew Life Is Good would extend him further than he’s ever been extended, that he had to track that pace for longer than he’d ever have to track it,” said an emotional Bill Farish of Lane’s End Farm. “Irad (Ortiz Jr. on Life Is Good) tried to keep us out as far away from the rail as far as he could for as long as he could. But you know, this horse is just too good.”
The rest of the field was more than 9 lengths back. When Life is Good ran out of run, Flightline blew past him with ease. Olympiad finished second, Taiba was third, Rich Strike finished fourth and Life Is Good faded to fifth.
“This is one of the great horses of all-time,” said trainer John Sadler. “Most trainers don’t get a horse like this, so I’m just feeling very blessed.”
“For me there is a large degree of relief because I know he’s that good and I’m happy I didn’t screw it up,” Sadler said. “He’s got that rare ability where he’s a fast horse but a fast horse who can carry it a classic distance. Everyone was assuming that since he could run in 1:08 that he would be lesser if he ran further. But the reality is he’s better when he runs further because that’s when he really separates himself.”
Unfortunately, the race was marred when Epicenter was pulled up by jockey Joel Rosario on the backstretch. He was found to have sustained a repairable displaced condylar fracture to his right foreleg and will undergo surgery tomorrow morning at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Condylar fractures are one of the most common injuries seen in racehorses.