Flightline, who has been compared to Secretariat, takes home Breeders’ Cup Classic in likely last race

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Flightline and Life is Good were neck and neck entering the final turn, but the heavy favorite pulled away down the stretch for a dominant eight-plus length win to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Flightline closed as the 2-5 favorite, and rightfully so. He had entered the race 5-0 in his career with an average margin of victory of 13.5 lengths.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Flightline covered the 1 ¼ mile in 2:00.05 and paid $2.88, $2.92 and $2.30. 

An accident and other nagging injuries delayed the start of his career and kept him out of the Triple Crown races last year, but now, at four years old, he’s ineligible to race in them.

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Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler at Keeneland Race Course on November 5, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky.
(Horsephotos/Getty Images)

Flightline has even been compared to Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973 and is widely regarded as the greatest thoroughbred horse of all time. He is the son of Tapit, the leading sire in North American from 2014 to 2016. Tapit is the sire of four Belmont Stakes winners since 2014: Tonalist, Creator, Tapwrit and Essential Quality.

Prat once deemed Flightline “the best horse I ever rode.”

Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler at Keeneland Race Course on November 5, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler at Keeneland Race Course on November 5, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. 
(Horsephotos/Getty Images)

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The Daily Racing Form’s speed rating calculation determined that Flightline’s victory at August’s Pacific Classic was the second highest over the past 30 years. In others words, in the million-or-so races run at tracks across the continent over the past three decades, over different speeds, distances and surfaces, only one other horse had recorded a more impressive effort.

However, despite just six races in his career, Flightline may very well have run his final race on Saturday. The L.A. Times notes that breeding rights could approach $100 million for the horse.

If the owners decide to keep the horse, he could very well be the next Seabiscuit, a household name in horseracing despite never participating in a Triple Crown race, let alone winning one.

So basically, he’s the Bo Jackson of horseracing.

Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler at Keeneland Race Course on November 5, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Flightline, with Flavien Prat aboard, wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic for trainer John Sadler at Keeneland Race Course on November 5, 2022, in Lexington, Kentucky. 
(Horsephotos/Getty Images)

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Rich Strike, the winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, finished fourth, while Epicenter, the runner-up of that race, did not finish due to a leg injury. He will undergo surgery.

Fox News’ Lee Ross contributed to this report.

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