Tag: John Sadler

Neige Blanche won the first of three closing-day stakes races at Santa Anita Sunday. That was her third stakes victory of the Southern California track's 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet schedule. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Record Performances Headline Santa Anita Park’s Winter/Spring Meet

A training record for Phil D’Amato, a breakout riding season for Juan Hernandez, and a memorable first stakes win for the incomparable Flightline highlighted Santa Anita Park’s 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet. The iconic Southern California track finished its 76-day meet Sunday with an 11-race card featuring three stakes races. One of […]

Santa Anita Park's training titlist Phil D'Amato sends Rijeka out in the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano, Santa Anita's traditional closing day feature. Rijeka is one to watch in what could be a $3 million Rainbow Six. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Santa Anita Ends Long Meet with $3 Million Closing Day Rainbow Six

Santa Anita Park sends its 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet into the history books on Sunday with a Rainbow Six pool expected to hit $3 million. The 20-cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six comes with a mandatory payout on the Southern California track’s closing day. With that closing day, mandatory payouts come […]

Flightline soared to a six-length victory in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, remaining undefeated and cementing his reputation as the best horse in North America. Image: Susie Raisher)

Slow Start? So What for Undefeated Flightline in His Met Mile Cruise

This time, courtesy of a slow break, Flightline managed “only” a six-length victory in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. But his reputation as a superhorse is alive and quite well. The latest convert? Jockey Junior Alvarado, who rode 2.75/1 second choice Speaker’s Corner to third in the Met Mile, one […]

Flightline clocked yet another bullet workout last Sunday at Santa Anita Park. He returns as the 3/5 morning line favorite for Saturday's Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Flightline Plus Speaker’s Corner Equals a Memorable Met Mile

When Flavien Prat hopped off Flightline last December, after he had just dismantled the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes by 11 1/2 lengths, the veteran jockey had what could be described as a religious experience. As any jockey can tell you when they’ve ridden a superhorse, the words sometimes don’t come […]

Flightline won't have Flavien Prat's services for the foreseeable future. The standout Thoroughbred is out indefinitely with a hock injury. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Injury Sidelines Star Sprinter Flightline Indefinitely

Flightline, horse racing’s undisputed star of 2022, will miss an undetermined amount of 2022 with what is believed to be a strained right hock. The Daily Racing Form reported the news Saturday, quoting trainer John Sadler saying that while X-rays were negative, the star sprinter’s gait was “not perfectly normal.” […]

Flightline was in his own zip code when he finished Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. Flightline's 11 1/2-length victory came with a 118 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest Beyer by a North American horse this year. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Flightline Unwraps 2021’s Best Beyer With Malibu Stakes Victory

As trainer John Sadler put it after watching his star runner Flightline on Sunday, “Christmas came a day late.” For Sadler and the connections of the 3-year-old son of Tapit, Flightline’s performance in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park was the gift that keeps on giving. And […]

Private Mission and Flavien Prat seek a return to trips like this victorious one in the Grade 2 Zenyatta two starts ago. The pair are the 8/5 morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Private Mission’s La Brea Stakes Mission: Avoid A Pace Meltdown

The last time we saw Private Mission, she was engaged in an incendiary pace meltdown with Letruska and others in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. Now, we see if she’s learned a lesson from that rude awakening in Sunday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. […]

Flightline won this Del Mar allowance by 12 3/4 lengths in early September. The flashy 3-year-old makes his stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Fleet Flightline Sets Himself Up for a Malibu Stakes Cruise

It speaks volumes about Flightline’s frightening speed and fearsome reputation that Dr. Schivel, his erstwhile rival in Sunday’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park, won’t be the morning-line favorite. The runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the favorite in four of his eight career starts will be […]

Three days after this workout, Rock Your World finished sixth of eight in the Belmont Stakes. He retired Monday with three wins in seven races, but none since winning the Santa Anita Derby in April. (Image: Janet Garaguso/Coglianese Photos)

Santa Anita Derby Winner Rock Your World Rolls Into Retirement

Add Rock Your World to the 2022 first-year stallion crop after the Santa Anita Derby winner was suddenly retired from racing on Monday. The son of standout sire Candy Ride will stand at Spendthrift Farm for $10,000. Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said he’ll be featured in the farm’s “Share […]

Tripoli has two victories and a second in his last three races. This includes this win in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. He carries value-laden 3/1 odds into the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Awesome Again Pits ‘Youngster’ Medina Spirit Against His Elders

Medina Spirit is considered one of the “kids” in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes, a change in status from what his consideration would have been, had he run in last week’s Pennsylvania Derby. From one of the fellow 3-year-olds in that race, to one of the kids in Saturday’s […]

Jockey Tiago Pereira rode Tripoli to Horse of the Meet honors at Del Mar. Tripoli won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and helped owners Hronis Racing take its sixth Del Mar owners title and fourth in the last five years. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Wrap: Nothing Average About Record Average Daily Handle

Del Mar closed its 82nd summer season with a track record for daily average handle, watching horseplayers wager an average of nearly $18.4 million each day of the 31-day meet. That surpassed last year’s daily average of $17.3 million, which came without fans in the stands thanks to the pandemic. […]

Nobody has looked Flightline in the eye at the end of his first two races. He won a Sunday Del Mar allowance optional claimer by 12 3/4 lengths, clocking the best Beyer Speed Figure by an American horse this year. (Image: West Point Thoroughbreds)

As Del Mar’s Pick 6 Pool Soars, Flightline Proves He’s Still an Ace

Sunday’s penultimate day of Del Mar’s summer season not only brought a six-figure rollover to the track’s elusive Jackpot Pick 6, but the re-emergence of one of the country’s sprinting stars in Flightline. While horseplayers were setting the betting table for what figures to be a $6 million-plus pot for […]

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit won his third race of 2021 with this 1 1/4-length victory in the Shared Belief Stakes over Rock Your World. The two sophomores may see each other for the fourth time this year in either the Pennsylvania Derby or Awesome Again Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Medina Spirit Edges Rock Your World in the Shared Belief

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit returned to racing for the first time in 3 ½ months on Sunday, capturing the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. Along the way, Medina Spirit turned a trick no other Bob Baffert-trained horse has ever done. “For what this horse has gone through, he’s […]

Controversial Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit may return to the gate for the first time since May 15 at Saturday's Grade 3 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Derby Champion Medina Spirit May Return Saturday for Shared Belief

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, who hasn’t run since finishing third in the May 15 Preakness Stakes, could be back this Saturday for the Grade 3 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. According to the Daily Racing Form, the Bob Baffert-trainee’s return is contingent on a Monday workout for the […]

Tripoli and Tiago Pereira put on a vintage performance in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Del Mar's flagship race fueled a record day in betting handle at the San Diego-area track. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Del Mar Breaks Previous Daily Handle Record With $36 Million Windfall

Fueled by an eight-figure Jackpot Pick 6 pool, Del Mar set a single-day handle record Saturday, drawing $36,005,613 in wagers. The windfall washed down on Del Mar’s 11-race Pacific Classic card. In doing so, it destroyed the previous record of $25,870,431 set on Pacific Classic day in 2018. Much of […]

Express Train and Juan Hernandez captured the San Diego Handicap, considered a prep for Saturday's Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Express Train is the 3/1 morning-line favorite in a deep, competitive field. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Pacific Classic Comes In With a Tide of Legitimate Contenders

There isn’t a lot of star power in this year’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. What there is, however, is one of Jon White’s more challenging morning-line puzzles. Del Mar’s morning-line author, White found himself staring at one of the most competitive fields he’s faced this summer. Yes, […]

Rock Your World won his first three races before stumbling in two of the Triple Crown events. He's nominated for the 
 Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. (Image: Hronis Racing)

Rock Your World Pops Up as Surprising Pacific Classic Nominee

The last two times we saw Rock Your World, he rocked no one’s world. Which is why it rocked Del Mar’s world when the Santa Anita Derby winner was one of 15 horses nominated for the Aug. 21 Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Those nominations closed for Del Mar’s flagship race […]