The question on when standout sprinter Flightline would run again got answered on Sunday when trainer John Sadler said he’d run in the Feb. 5 Grade 2 San Carlos at Santa Anita.
The seven-furlong San Carlos fits Sadler’s early-season itinerary. It also allows the son of Tapit to stay home, where he’s 2-0, where he turned in a 47.80-second four-furlong workout on Sunday morning.
“He went in 47 and four according to the (Santa Anita) clockers,” Sadler told the track’s Ed Golden. “I had him in 48 and one (48.20) on my watch, but more important is the way he went. He looked very comfortable and it was just a start on the road back. He’ll return in the San Carlos, but the big goal is the Met Mile.”
Belmont Park’s Met Mile is one of the top mile races of the season. Sadler built Flightline’s schedule around that race and the Breeders’ Cup, filling in races with those two as anchors. The Grade 1 race is on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Flightline vs. Life Is Good could loom in June
What could overshadow a non-Triple Crown Belmont would be if newly minted Pegasus World Cup winner Life Is Good decided to run the Met Mile. A Flightline vs. Life Is Good Met Mile would instantly become Race of the Year material.
On Saturday, Life Is Good destroyed Knicks Go in their anticipated Pegasus World Cup showdown at Gulfstream Park. He vaulted to an early lead under Irad Ortiz Jr. and was never threatened by the likely Horse of the Year. Life Is Good opened his 4-year-old season romping to a 3 ¼-length victory, prompting Ortiz to call Life Is Good, “… the best horse I’ve sat on in my whole life, on dirt.”
Similar sentiments were shared about Flightline. When last we saw the $1 million colt, he was dismantling the Dec. 26 Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Flightline won the Malibu – his first stakes race – by 11 ½ lengths.
That gave Flightline three victories in as many races. The three scores came by a combined 37 ½ lengths, making Flightline one of the hottest horses in the country. Despite his lightly raced resume, Flightline is one of three finalists for the Eclipse Champion Sprinter of the Year.
“It would be a terrific race, very exciting,” Sadler said about a Flightline-Life Is Good Met Mile.