Sports

Unbeaten Breeders Cup champ Flightline retires

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Flightline has been retired and will stand at stud after completing a dominant, unbeaten career capped by Saturday’s runaway victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

The son of Tapit will begin his breeding career next year at the farm in Versailles, Kentucky, Lane’s End Farms announced in a news release Sunday morning.

The 4-year-old bay colt won the 1¼-mile Classic by a record 8¼ lengths as the 2-5 favorite to cap a 6-0 thoroughbred career.

Flightline was virtually unknown until his 19¼-length victory in September’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. His combined victory margin of 62¾ lengths entering the season-ending championships soon drew a lot of attention — along with comparisons to legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Trainer John Sadler’s pupil lived up to the hype in the biggest race of his career, starting from the No. 4 post. He and Todd Pletcher-trained Life Is Good (8-1) soon jetted away from six other horses at a blistering pace to form their own match race through the far turn.

By then, Flightline had begun reeling in Life Is Good, drawing even as they turned for home and taking off from there.

Flightline’s ownership syndicate, comprised of five groups, has yet to determine a stud fee. A 2.5% fractional interest in Flightline will be auctioned on Monday at Keeneland ahead of the track’s November Breeding Stock Sale.

“We would like to thank trainer John Sadler and his team for the incredible work they did with Flightline,” Lane’s End’s Bill Farish said in the release. “His historic performances are a credit to their expertise and unwavering efforts to bring out the very best in the horse.”

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