Flightline not only garnered the Older Dirt Male Eclipse Award, but his impressive performances throughout 2022 earned him the right at this coveted prize—Horse of the Year.
We may never see another one quite like him again.
Crowned as Longines World’s Best Racehorse in London last week, Flightline, to absolutely no one’s surprise, added Horse of the Year and champion older dirt male honors at Thursday evening’s Eclipse Awards.
The unbeaten ‘TDN Rising Star’ ran to his unworldly reputation and then some by concluding his six-for-six career with a spectacular 8 1/4-length victory in the $6-million GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland. Hailing from a prolific Phipps family, a 2.5% fractional interest in Flightline sold for $4.6 million prior to the start of Keeneland’s November Sale just two days later.
Campaigned in partnership by the all-star line-up of Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, breeder Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, the $1-million Fasig Tipton Saratoga yearling’s brilliant, albeit abbreviated 2022 campaign, also featured a jaw-dropping victory following a troubled trip in his seasonal debut in Belmont’s GI Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan H. June 11 and a record-setting 19 1/4-length romp while making his two-turn bow in the GI TVG Pacific Classic S. at Del Mar Sept. 3. The latter earned him a career-high 126 Beyer Speed Figure and a negative 8 1/2 from Thoro-Graph, the fastest number the latter has ever given.
“This is one of the greatest horses of all time,” trainer John Sadler said.
Flightline, a winner of all six of his career starts by a combined margin of 71 lengths, will now begin his career at stud at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky. He will command a stud fee of $200,000.
“We all thought we had a special talent before he even ran.” –co-owner West Point’s Terry Finley
“The fact that I bred him almost doesn’t come into my mind. I don’t take credit for any of that because I think a horse like this is a gift.” -breeder Jane Lyon
“The first day that I sat on him, I thought, ‘Wow, what an amazing animal.’ Just the way he moves is so different from other horses. And I’ve been at this for quite a while now, so I draw from experience of being on some good horses in the past. And he was just something that I had never experienced.” —Juan Leyva, exercise rider and assistant trainer to John Sadler
“When he first came in, he was such an impressive-looking horse. He was already 16 hands. When we started the breaking process, it crossed my mind that maybe he had already been started because he was so quiet. Everything he did was easy. He came like a ready-made horse. There was no learning curve with him because he already knew it all somehow.”
—Mayberry Farm’s April Mayberry
“Lane’s End handles a lot of the sales for Jane Lyon out at Summer Wind. We went out shortly after some of her yearlings turned a year old, in February or March of their yearling year, and they were showing us a chestnut Tapit colt out of American Pharoah‘s dam who turned out to be Triple Tap. And there was a chestnut [Triple Tap] and a bay [Flightline], and I kept looking at the bay, and they said you need to look at the chestnut, because the bay is the one she’s thinking about keeping. We went back a few times through the spring, and the bay one was the one I always liked.”
–bloodstock agent David Ingordo