Flightline to Take on Met Mile at Belmont Park
When Flavien Prat dismounted his mount Flightline after a stunning victory in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, he couldn’t find the words to express his excitement. It was a moment that left him in awe, a religious experience in the world of horse racing. Flightline, a phenomenal superhorse, had just won his stakes debut by an impressive 11 1/2 lengths. Prat, a highly skilled jockey, had been on many outstanding horses throughout his career, but this victory was something extraordinary.
The majority owner of Flightline, Stephanie Hronis, describes Prat’s reaction as he got off the horse, “That was exciting.” It was evident that Prat was overwhelmed with the experience, filled with spine-tingling chills. These awe-inspiring moments have become a regular occurrence with Flightline, as he effortlessly dominates every race he participates in. Prat navigates the horse skillfully, showcasing their remarkable chemistry.
The Highly Anticipated Met Mile
The Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, often referred to as the Met Mile, is one of the most eagerly anticipated races in the horse racing calendar. It holds its own spotlight, even without the influence of a Triple Crown race. The list of past winners includes legendary horses like Mitole, Shackleford, Ghostzapper, and Holy Bull, to name just a few. The race has a rich history and is known for attracting high-caliber competitors.
However, this year’s Met Mile has an additional element of excitement. Flightline, one of the fastest horses in the world, will be making his 2022 debut in the race. This superhorse has dominated his opponents in previous races, winning by a combined total of 37 1/2 lengths. In 2021, Flightline recorded the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any North American horse, an impressive 118. The anticipation for Flightline’s performance in the Met Mile has reached a fever pitch.
Flightline’s First Test
For Flightline, the Met Mile presents a new challenge. It will be his first race outside of California, his first race in over five months since the Malibu victory, and his first race beyond seven furlongs. Trainer John Sadler recognized Flightline’s potential to excel over longer distances and carefully planned his racing campaign. Sadler has ensured that Flightline receives extensive training to prepare him for this momentous race.
Flightline’s recent workouts have been exceptional, with two bullet workouts in his last three sessions. The most recent workout at Santa Anita Park was a blazing 46.80-second four-furlong work, the fastest out of 79 horses at that distance. These workouts demonstrate Flightline’s readiness and form leading up to the Met Mile.
A Worthy Challenger: Speaker’s Corner
While Flightline has captivated the racing world with his remarkable performances, he will face stiff competition in the Met Mile from Speaker’s Corner, another exceptional 4-year-old colt. Speaker’s Corner boasts the fastest Beyer Speed Figure of 2022, an outstanding 114, achieved in his dominant victory in the Grade 1 Carter. Trainer Bill Mott has successfully shifted Speaker’s Corner from route races to dominating the one-mile distance. The colt has been unbeaten in three starts this year and has consistently led at the half-mile mark in his recent races.
The presence of Speaker’s Corner adds an extra layer of intrigue to the Met Mile, as these two formidable colts battle it out for supremacy on the racetrack. Two other notable contenders in the race are Aloha West, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Happy Saver, who triumphed over Mystic Guide and Tacitus in the 2020 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, or Met Mile, at Belmont Park promises to be a thrilling showdown between the lightning-fast Flightline and the formidable Speaker’s Corner. The anticipation surrounding Flightline’s 2022 debut is palpable, as horse racing enthusiasts eagerly await his performance in this prestigious race. Trainer John Sadler has carefully prepared Flightline for his first test outside of California, shaping him into a true professional. Speaker’s Corner, with his unbeaten streak and impressive speed, poses a significant challenge to Flightline’s dominance.
1. What is Flightline’s best performance to date?
Flightline’s most impressive performance to date was his victory in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes, where he won by an astounding 11 1/2 lengths. It was his stakes debut and left spectators in awe of his exceptional talent.
2. How does Flightline’s Beyer Speed Figure compare to other horses?
Flightline recorded the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any North American horse in 2021 with a remarkable 118. This figure reflects his incredible speed and performance on the racetrack.
3. What makes the Met Mile such a prestigious race?
The Met Mile holds its own prestige due to its rich history and the caliber of past winners. Legendary horses such as Mitole, Shackleford, and Ghostzapper have claimed victory in this race, cementing its status as one of the premier events on the horse racing calendar.
4. How has Trainer Bill Mott transformed Speaker’s Corner’s racing career?
Trainer Bill Mott successfully transitioned Speaker’s Corner from competing in longer route races to becoming a dominant force in one-mile sprints. This strategic adjustment has resulted in Speaker’s Corner’s unbeaten streak and his remarkable speed.
5. Who are the other notable contenders in the Met Mile?
Aloha West, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and Happy Saver, victorious in the 2020 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, are among the notable contenders in the Met Mile. Their past successes make them formidable competitors in this prestigious race.