Flightline Heads BC Breezers Saturday

Flightline | Horsephotos

Unbeaten sensation Flightline (Tapit) headed a bevy of Breeders' Cup workers across the country Saturday. The likely favorite for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic covered six furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:11.80 (1/3).

Flightline entered the main track via the quarter-mile chute with John Sadler assistant Juan Leyva aboard just prior to 6:35 a.m. Accompanied by a stable pony, he galloped under the wire and around the clubhouse turn and was set down approaching the five-furlong pole.

From there, he clicked off splits of :23.60, :35.40, :47.80 and :59.40 en route to the seven-furlong pole, where he stopped the clock for six furlongs in 1:11.80. Clocker Gary Young had the 'TDN Rising Star' galloping out seven furlongs in 1:24.80 and one mile in 1:38.60.

“Perfect,” said Sadler, who noted that Flightline will have his final Santa Anita work next Saturday, Oct. 22. “It was another routine work from him. He always works the same and we're not looking to do anything different from what we've been doing. As you saw, he went six [furlongs] in :12, out [seven-eighths] in :24 and a mile in :38 and three. Just a nice steady work pattern.”

He continued, “All's good. That's him, that's the way he works. He'll have one more here and then he goes to Keeneland after his next work. He'll have one work over there.”

Flightline is expected to ship to Lexington a week from Sunday, Oct. 23.

Among the many Breeders' Cup hopefuls who stretched their legs at Keeneland Saturday were:

  • Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), last seen taking a controversial renewal of the GII Lukas Classic S. at Churchill Oct. 1, had his first work back at Keeneland Saturday morning as he points for the Breeders' Cup Classic. The Doug O'Neill pupil was clocked in :49.40 (47/80) under Tyler Gaffalione, who was reunited with the $5.5-million earner last out for the first time since they finished second together in the 2020 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at 94-1 over the same strip. “It was a good, relaxed work,” Gaffalione said. “He went well within himself. I'm very happy right now. He's in a great mindset.” The leading Kentucky-based rider added, “He's grown up a lot [since the Juvenile]. He's much bigger, much more powerful and much more mature. Right now, it seems like he's the complete package.”

  • Rich Strike (Keen Ice), the GI Kentucky Derby upsetter who came up a head short of Hot Rod Charlie in the Lukas despite leaning on his rival, also got back to work Saturday. The chestnut, who could go in the Classic or wait for the Nov. 25 GI Clark S. at his favorite track, Churchill Downs, covered a half-mile in Lexington Saturday in :47.60 (4/80) first thing in the morning. He galloped out five panels in 1:00 flat. “I didn't think that I'd get nervous for only a maintenance work,” trainer Eric Reed admitted. “I was hoping for :48 or :49, but he was doing it so easy and as long as he wasn't fighting him, I was good with that. He handled the track well and whatever decision we make, he'll be ready to run.” Of what will go into that next race call, Reed said, “The decision would be easier if the Breeders' Cup was at Churchill Downs and there wasn't a Flightline. And it is not only Flightline, but there is Life Is Good (Into Mischief) and Olympiad (Speightstown) and Epicenter (Not This Time).”
  • Leading conditioner Chad Brown sent out a number of Breeders' Cup-bound workers at Keeneland Saturday, including 'Rising Star' Jack Christopher (Munnings, GI Sprint or GI Dirt Mile, 1:00 {1/67}); Search Results (Flatter, GI Distaff, 1:00.60 {5/67}); Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper, GI F/M Sprint, 1:00.60 {5/67}); and Blazing Sevens (Good Magic, GI Juvenile, :48.60, {21/80}). Jack Christopher's work came in company with fellow stakes-winning sophomore Artorius (Arrogate), who is expected to contest next Saturday's Perryville S. Last-out GI Champagne S. hero Blazing Sevens worked in company with GII Pilgrim S. runner-up and fellow 'Rising Star' I'm Very Busy (Cloud Computing), who is pointing for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. “Everything was smooth this morning,” Brown said. “All of the horses have settled in nicely.”

  • Unbeaten Iowa-bred Tyler's Tribe (Sharp Azteca) tested out turf for the first time on Saturday, working three furlongs on the Keeneland lawn in :39.80 (1/1) ahead of a likely start in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. The dark bay gelding has won his five starts, all at Prairie Meadows, by almost 60 lengths combined. Tyler Tribe's regular rider Kylee Jordan, who lost her bug earlier this season, was aboard for the work. “Kylee was comfortable with him out there,” trainer Tim Martin said. “I was a little concerned when he bobbled a bit, but he was trying to jump the cones [on the course that were set up near the outer rail]. Maybe he has a future as a jumper.” Martin said he was not at all concerned about the slow time: “He always works in :38 or :39. If he gets with another horse, he'll work a bullet. I know he is a fast horse and I know he can run.”

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