The undefeated Flightline cemented his status as the top horse in the show in fashion, pulling away to a stunning 8 1/4-length triumph in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
French jockey Flavien Prat heavily favored the four-year-old colt to victory in the 1 1/4-mile showpiece that capped a two-day, 14-furlong race worth more than $30 million at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.
“This is one of the great horses of all time. I think history will show,” Fugaline trainer John Sadler said.
Fugaline left behind his last rival at the top of the last stretch and moved on to an impressive victory.
“He showed so much talent,” Praet said. “We were expecting a big run from him. I thought it was one of the highest in the field but it was for everyone.
“It broke really well. I was traveling well and really relaxed from the back end well. I felt like I was in control the whole race.”
The 2-5 favorite, winning Praet’s fourth career Breeders’ Cup laugher, improved to 5-0 with the 25-1 Olympia, leaving him second and Taiba (8-1) finishing third.
“This is a very special animal for our sport,” said Co-Fugaline owner Kosta Hironis. “We need a man. We need a fight. An undefeated horse and someone who can really go out and do his thing.
“And that Flightline.”
When asked about the horse’s future, the previous decision to retire to study or perhaps the possibility of future races in the station classics romp, Hironis said that nothing has been decided.
“The company will gather in the next couple of days and consider how to move forward,” he said.
Hironis was impressed with how Flightline, who lost in the US Triple Crown, bid as though three years of injuries ruined his first career, the Classic responded to the challenge.
“He who holds himself against all slander and keeps proving himself,” says Hironis. “And today against the best competition is a new stage… he just seemed to take another step forward and proved himself the best.”
The son of Tapit sadler was delighted in his dominant exercise.
“It’s a really big win,” Sadler said. “It ran beautifully, just like we thought it could. It’s amazing when everything works.”
The classic Epicenter entrant was taken off the track by ambulance and later diagnosed with a “repairable” fracture to his right front leg. The horse was scheduled to undergo surgery on Sunday.
– Great Godolphin day –
Rebel Romance won the $4 million turf stakes by 2 1/4 lengths, 1 1/2 miles in a career record 2:26.25 to deliver his fourth victory of the event for the Godolphin Stables, following the Mile, Dirt Mile and Juvenile. Sprint Turf.
Another horse trained by Charles Appleby of Britain, in today’s Godolphin Games. took control in the middle of the seven-wide field to win the $2 million by 3/4 of a length.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Malathaat, ridden by John Velazquez, completed the three-way photo in the final stride to edge 24-1 longshot Blue Stripe in the $2 million Distaff with third-place Clairiere another nose back.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien took his 16th career Breeders’ Cup win and his first in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf on Tuesday when he overcame the Italian by a length.
Power picked up for the sixteenth pole fighter Jackie Favors and took a 1 1.4-length triumph in the $2 million Sprint, the third victory of the event for AGASO Irad Ortiz in 1:09.11 over six furlongs.
Godolphin homebred Cody edged Cyberknife by the head to win the $1 million Stakes in 1.35.33.
Caravel went out in front at the start and raced up to the $1 million turf by a half-length over Emaraaty Ana, completing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.79 for an upset victory by a 42-1 length shot.
Goodnight Olive won the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint by 2 1/2 lengths, seven furlongs in 1:21.61.