Hronis: “Great Possibility” Flightline Will Race Next Year

Flightline | Benoit

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It appears that the door is open more than just a crack when it comes to whether or not racing's superstar Flightline (Tapit) will race next year as a 5-year-old. Appearing as the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week's Thoroughbred Daily News Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, Kosta Hronis, a co-owner of Flightline, said there was a “great possibility” that Flightline would race in 2023 rather than beginning his stallion career.

“Just like with Stellar Wind (Curlin), which we left on the track an extra year, just like with Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky), which worked out great after we decided to bring him back for another year, our philosophy has always been that they were born to be race horses,” Hronis said, referring to two former stars that ran for Hronis Racing LLC. “Let's let them do what they want to do as long as they want to do it. I can't really give you a percentage when it comes to his running next year. You'd have to ask Flightline. But I really believe as long as he is healthy and happy with what he is doing and he still wants to go to the racetrack every day and be a part of this and he still wants to run the way he has been running, then I think there is a great possibility that we will see him next year as 5-year-old.”

Hronis added: “We're going to the Breeders' Cup, we'll come out of the race, see how we do and just go to the next step. I race horses, that's what I like to do. That is Hronis Racing. When it comes to their after-racing careers, we're not heavily into that.”

The situation is complicated by the fact that Hronis Racing LLC is one of just five entities that own a part of the horse. The others are Siena Farm LLC, Summer Wind Equine LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, LLC. Hronis said that while he wants to see Flightline race next year, he will listen to the opinions Bill Farish of Woodford Racing and Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm. Lyon is also the breeder of Flightline.

“As far as me personally, I will defer to Bill Farish and Jane Lyon because they are the absolute experts when it comes to this,” he said. “I still consider myself to be kind of a newcomer. I've only been in the sport for 10, 11 years. As far as that second career for a horse, it's not something we are heavily involved in. As far as what happens on the racetrack, I defer to John Sadler. He is the man and he makes the decisions. As far as his second career, I will defer to Jane and Bill and let them call the shots and I will follow along. I will be a good partner.”

Yet, Hronis made it clear which way he is rooting.

“We'll keep our fingers crossed for Flightline to continue his career and to continue to be as successful as he has been,” he said. “He's good for horse racing and that's good for every owner in the country. I believe (Flightline running next year) might be the shot in the arm we need. So I really hope that we can continue this.”

Hronis also made a point of commending trainer John Sadler and exercise rider and assistant trainer Juan Leyva for the work they have done with Flightline. After his sensational 19 1/4-length win the in GI TVG Pacific Classic, Flightline is 5-for-5 lifetime and has never been challenged.

“John has done a great job with him in between races teaching him,” he said. “Him and Juan Leyva constantly teach him how to be a race horse and taught him how to go from six furlongs to a mile-and-a-quarter. I have to give them all the credit. The plan was laid out quite a long time ago and it has come to fruition. We have a great trainer. I have said this a few times: As blessed as we are to have Flightline, I think Flightline is really blessed to have John Sadler. He took his time, he didn't rush him and he taught him how to be a race horse.”

Elsewhere on the show–which is also sponsored by Coolmore, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, XBTV, West Point Thoroughbreds and Legacy Bloodstock–Joe Bianca, Bill Finley and guest host Randy Moss recapped closing weekend at Saratoga and, in the Weekend Preview presented by Three Chimneys, took a look at stellar race cards at Kentucky Downs and Del Mar.

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