Jockey Flavien Prat guides Flightline to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes, Sunday, December 26, 2021 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.
© BENOIT PHOTO
In just the third start of his career, Flightline lit up the racing world with a monster performance in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park, completing seven furlongs in 1:21.37. The 3-year-old son of Tapit is undefeated through three starts by a combined 37 ½ lengths, and his big run on Sunday earned the year’s best Beyer Speed Figure of 118.
Trainer John Sadler has not committed to a next start for Flightline, though he mentioned the Saudi Cup and the Met Mile as possible targets in 2022.
“The bigger picture point I was trying to make is that he could run in any race, but we haven’t honed in on anything, obviously,” Sadler told the Santa Anita publicity department. “The horse is on a different level. All has to go right, but we might be looking at a historic-type horse before it’s all over.”
Owned by his breeder, Summer Wind Equine, as well as Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, Woodford Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds, Flightline commanded a million-dollar price tag at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select yearling sale.
The horse racing industry was quick to react to Flightline’s big win on Twitter, lauding his natural talent and even comparing the colt to some of history’s greatest runners. Here’s a selection of top Tweets:
Flightline = Freak
“That gave me goosebumps” — Flavien Prat
Us too… us too! pic.twitter.com/PKC3FzAKVy
— Britney Eurton (@BritneyEurton) December 27, 2021
Fortunate to have seen in person Buckpasser win the Malibu in 1966, Damascus in ’68, and Spectacular Bid in 1980. All became Horse of the Year. Flightline has that type of talent but there’s still plenty of work to be done. With @johnwsadler in charge, he’ll have his chance.
— Jeff Siegel (@jsiegelracing) December 27, 2021
Can’t stop watching the replay of Flightline. Watch his ears. He pins them back early after he didn’t break well, like he was angry that the other horses were even near him. At the top of the stretch, up come the ears as it’s time to have fun.
— Larry Collmus (@larrycollmus) December 27, 2021
A truly astonishing performance. Flightline’s new @Timeform rating of 133p is the highest I’ve ever awarded a horse on just their third career start @SportingLife https://t.co/cqY8lbr2vD
— Mark Milligan (@mark_milligan73) December 27, 2021
Flightline is the best horse since Frankel. Just ridiculous talent. pic.twitter.com/7PIPAbapE7
— Ed DeRosa (@EJXD2) December 27, 2021
I’m trying to think of a more powerful and impressive performance and keep going all the way back to Ghostzapper. It’s high praise but what Flightline just did is worthy of it. Wow!
— Travis Stone (@TravisStone) December 27, 2021
Flightline gallops home in 1:21.37 in his expected Malibu triumph. That’s 3.42 seconds faster than the La Brea. He is an absolute monster. Maybe better than advertised. Wow!
— Andy Serling (@andyserling) December 27, 2021
Flightline possesses the sort of talent that we’ve only witnessed a handful of times over the past few decades. I just hope he stays healthy so we get to see him strut his stuff in even more prestigious races next year.
— David Aragona (@HorseToWatch) December 27, 2021
Flightline had a good excuse to miss his 2 year old campaign. Amazing! It’s not slowing him down now 🏇💨 pic.twitter.com/9tlW10qemZ
— Paula Taube (@DoveCrossingTBs) December 27, 2021
Flightline as a yearling. What an absolute beast he has become. pic.twitter.com/CGFYN3MD0s
— Daniella (@daniellaricci_) December 27, 2021
📽 Watch Malibu S. (G1) winner FLIGHTLINE sell for $1,000,000 at the 2019 Saratoga Sale!
The Tapit colt was purchased by @westpointtbred from the consignment of @LanesEndFarms. Flightline was bred in Kentucky by @MoreSummerWind. #FasigGrad #FasigSaratoga pic.twitter.com/mIHiPEuMl0
— Fasig-Tipton (@FasigTiptonCo) December 27, 2021
If there was a race at a mile and a sixteenth on dirt.
2. LIFE IS GOOD
3. KNICK’S GO
What would the line be?
Who would win?
That I’d like to see.
— Vic Stauffer (@goofonroof) December 27, 2021
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