Sadler ‘Feeling Very Good’ About Undefeated Flightline’s Chances In Malibu

Flightline was racing’s worst-kept secret when he made his debut on April 24 at Santa Anita.

The precocious $1 million son of Tapit was favored at 9-10 and won the six-furlong sprint by 13 ¼ lengths. His salient supporters pressed their luck at 20 cents to the dollar next out, an optional claiming race also at six furlongs, this at Del Mar Sept. 5

He won by 12¾ lengths.

Next up: the prestigious Grade 1 Runhappy Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on opening day Sunday, Dec. 26.

Toward that goal, Flightline worked five furlongs at 6:30 Sunday morning in 1:00.20 under regular rider Flavien Prat.

“He went real well in a minute flat and galloped out (seven furlongs) in (one) 25,” said trainer John Sadler. “He just cruised around there in his last work before the race.

“I’m feeling very good about his chances,” added Sadler, who conditions the bay colt for owners Hronis Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds. “We’re hoping it’s Christmas on the 26th.

“He’s trained up to the race super; we’ve had our eye on the Malibu for a couple of months. It’s the right conditions, 3-year-olds, a Grade 1 at seven-eighths which we think is going to be a good distance for him.

“It will be his first time against better horses but we’re excited about the challenge.”

On paper, the obvious competition would appear to come from Dr. Schivel, winner of five straight races including two Grade 1’s before suffering an excruciating nose defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar Nov. 6.

Flightline will be the Malibu’s post time favorite, with Dr. Schivel, favored in four of eight starts, relegated to second choice.

Prat has ridden Dr. Schivel in his last five starts and Flightline in his two races, but stays with the latter in the Malibu.

“That’s a definite,” Sadler said.

Dr. Schivel worked this morning for the Malibu, going a half-mile in 48.20 for trainer Mark Glatt. Opening Day entries were taken this morning and will be available later in the day at

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