With supreme excitement and anticipation having built for months, Flightline managed to outdo himself Sunday at Santa Anita in an outrageous performance to win the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes.
The 3-year-old colt answered the big challenge after winning his first two races by a combined 25 lengths. Saturday’s winning margin was 11 1/2 lengths, the largest in the history of the Malibu, which has been won by the likes of Hall of Famers Ferdinand, Precisionist, Specatacular Bid, Ancient Title, Damascus and Buckpasser.
Flightline got away a bit slow, bumping with Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Dr. Schivel, but went right to the front to take command. Into the turn, he was still cruising and beginning to pull away, and he opened up in the stretch while Flavien Prat barely budged an inch.
Prat said afterward, “I was in cruise control the whole race, galloping freely. He was quite impressive. I wanted to get a good position and get myself into the race. My idea was to get out there running and see what happened. He has been brilliant so far. He really has been quite amazing.”
Trainer John Sadler said, “I’ve been stressing the last 20, 30 or 40 days getting ready for today. This horse is so brilliant. This is not an ordinary horse, this is a very special horse. There is a lot of pressure on you, but it is the pressure you want. It’s like the high school coach for LeBron. You know you have something special and he is much the best. This horse is there. You just don’t want to screw it up.”
Flightline became the 14th Grade 1 winner for West Point Thoroughbreds. He was purchased as a yearling through bloodstock agent David Ingordo at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sale, with WPT teaming up with Hronis Racing, Woodford Racing, Siena Farm and his breeder Summer Wind Farm.