Best Beyer: Flightline

• The week’s highest Beyer speed figure in North America

105 Flightline

Santa Anita (April 24): maiden special weight $61,000, 6f, dirt, 3yo+
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Owner: Hronis Racing, Siena Farms etc
Pedigree: 3 bc Tapit – Feathered (Indian Charlie)
Time: 1m08.75s

Now, this was something. Figures as high as this are hardly commonplace any day of the week, but from a horse making its racecourse debut? Virtually unheard of.

Be that as it may, Flightline justified pre-race confidence with a stunning 13¼-length victory first time out at Santa Anita, where he recorded a BSF of 105. That’s the second highest of 2021 by any three-year-old, and – given that Life Is Good is sidelined – the best by any active member of the Classic generation.

Flightline’s figure is well ahead of anything posted by any horse in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby field, where his John Sadler-trained stablemate Rock Your World leads the way with 100 for his Santa Anita Derby victory. Only two older horses (Mischevious Alex and Cezanne) have bettered Flightline’s BSF at up to a mile so far this year.

Moreover, it seems Flightline was ‘expected’, as he was sent off odds-on favourite in front of two Bob Baffert representatives, one of whom (Brutto) was a distant second as the winner scored by double digits under kid-glove handling.

Horse Racing Flightline
Star potential: Flightline (Flavien Prat) makes impressive debut at Santa Anita. Photo: Benoit

A $1m purchase at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale purchase, the son of Tapit was kept off the track as a two-year-old by an ankle issue. After breaking a half-step slowly, he easily moved through to dispute the lead before drawing away in effortless fashion.

Potential stars are seldom as easy to spot, and even if this was a weak race, the clock says Flightline is no counterfeit contender.

“He might have as much potential as any young horse I’ve ever trained,” suggested Sadler, speaking to the Daily Racing Form. “He’s a monster. Sometimes, you get hyped on the price tag, but this horse happens to be the real deal.”

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