Santa Anita Stable Notes Sunday, November 6, 2022
__STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN SUNDAY, NOV. 6, 2022 __
• FLIGHTLINE RETIRED AFTER BRILLIANT CAREER • JOCKEY AND TRAINER HONORS DECIDED TODAY • OWNERS IN TIGHT FIGHT FOR SANTA ANITA TITLE
FLIGHTLINE ONE OF THE GREATS OF ALL TIME: SADLER And so it came to pass that there was the John Sadler-conditioned Flightline, and then there was everybody else.
The magical, mythical meteoric star that flashed all too briefly through the Thoroughbred sky, was retired Sunday after winning Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic against arguably the deepest field ever by 8 ½ lengths for his sixth dominating triumph, increasing his combined victory margin to 81 lengths.
Jockey Flavien Prat never moved on the four-year-old son of Tapit as he broke sharply behind expected pacesetter Life Is Good in the mile and a quarter race at Keeneland, overtook the leader turning for home, and extended his lead at will to the roars of a crowd that delighted in their expectations being fulfilled.
They were to be the last ever uttered, as his ownership group this morning announced Flightline’s retirement to stud at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky.
If there were doubts about Flightline’s greatness before the Classic, there should be none now. He moved in a rhythm rarely if ever seen. When God created the Thoroughbred, Flightline is what he had in mind. He was born to run, but will run no more.
Although he has been mentioned in the same breath with Secretariat and Spectacular Bid, critics point out Flightline needed a comparable, extended resume before being elevated to their lofty status.
That said, he differed from their ilk in at least one respect: Flightline was never defeated; they were.
Despite the fact that racing needs a superstar like Santa Anita-based Flightline on a world stage, the economics of the game won out. Financially speaking, it was a no-brainer.
Although he earned $3,120,000 winning the Classic and has career earnings of $4,514,800, his value as a stallion is perhaps incalculable. His connections will reap infinitely more with Flightline at stud than they ever would racing, and horses, mighty though they be, are fragile and vulnerable.
They can get hurt in their stall.
For many reasons, the game is not like it was in days of yore, not even close.
Consider this: back in the 1940s, a horse named Stymie was claimed for $1,500 as a two-year-old and raced 28 times in his two-year-old campaign alone!
But wait; there’s more.
He ran 29 times as a three-year-old and 131 times in his career, with 35 wins, 33 seconds and 28 thirds, earning $918,485. He raced until he was eight years old, then retired as a stallion, siring 167 winners.
Sadler, although forthcoming and forthright, rarely puts his emotions on public display. He did allow himself this, however, after Flightline’s Classic victory:
“He is one of the great horses of all time.”
Sadly, Flightline’s growing legion of fans will no longer witness and savor that greatness on the race track.
JOCKEY, TRAINER RACES COULD GO DOWN TO THE WIRE Santa Anita’s leading jockey and trainer for the 18-day campaign that ends today may not be decided until the last race.
Presently, Ramon Vazquez leads runner-up Juan Hernandez, 23-20, among jockeys, while trainer Peter Miller has a 16-14 advantage over Phil D’Amato.
Vazquez, a 38-year-old native of Puerto Rico, is named to ride eight out of today’s 10 races, while Hernandez, a 30-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, is named on six horses.
Miller has two horses entered today, while D’Amato has five, two in the ninth race, Turn On The Jets and Lincoln Hawk.
CHRB MEETING DATE CHANGED TO NOV. 22 The California Horse Racing Board meeting that was scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, tentatively set to begin at 10 a.m., has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22. The location remains at Cal Expo. The meeting will be open to the public.
For those who do not attend, the webcast audio link on the CHRB website will provide a way to listen to the meeting. The agenda and package of materials for the meeting will be available on the CHRB website.
FINISH LINES: On the final day of racing, Red Baron’s Barn, LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC lead owners at Santa Anita this meet with five victories, one more than runners-up Gary Barber and the trio of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. Reddam and Team Pegram have chances to tie the leader, as they have and More Try in today’s fifth race and Azul Coast in the fourth, respectively…Santa Anita’s Grandstand Paddock Room will be open at 10 a.m. for simulcast wagering on a Thursday through Sunday basis throughout the month of November.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire