Flightline Big Morning-Line Favorite in Saturday’s Breeders Cup Classic

Flightline, the undefeated 4-year-old superstar colt, drew the fourth gate for Saturday’s $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland and became the heavy 3-5 morning-line favorite after Monday’s post position draw.

Flightline, with jockey Flavien Prat aboard, takes to the dirt at Del Mar in September. The 4-year-old colt, undefeated in five starts, is the heavy morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Trained by John Sadler, Flightline has dominated the field in all five of his races. His average margin of victory is more than 12.5 lengths, and the colt’s coming off his best performance. In the Sept. 3 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar, he took off along the backstretch and blew his five competitors away, winning by 19-and-a-quarter lengths and posting a time of

In his first race around two turns and at the Classic distance of 1-1/4 miles, he missed the track record of 1:59.11 by just .17 seconds.

Flightline has had six workouts since that romp at Del Mar. The most recent work was Saturday at the Lexington track, and he turned in a time of 1:00.6 over five furlongs.

It was the fourth fastest time that day out of the 62 who worked out at that distance.

He’s had a good week and gotten settled in, and the track is a little similar to Del Mar,” Sadler said after Saturday’s training session.

He’ll face by far his toughest test in the marquee event of the two-day championship racing series. Flightline has three Grade 1 stakes victories. His seven opponents in the field have won a combined 11 Grade 1 races.

Epicenter, Life Is Good Top Contenders

The second choice on the morning-line is Epicenter, at 5-1. After bitter disappointments in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, where he finished a close second in both, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt rebounded with a terrific summer. He won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Runhappy Travers to cement himself as the top 3-year-old colt.

Next is Life is Good, who has four wins in five races this year and nine in his 11 career starts. At 6-1, trainer Todd Pletcher’s 4-year-old colt has won three straight, including a wire-to-wire win in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes on Oct. 1 at Aqueduct.

Like Flightline, Life Is Good also ran five furlongs Saturday at 1:00.6.

“He is a superior work horse,” Pletcher said. “Today was typical of what we have seen his whole career.”

Post time Saturday for the Breeders’ Cup Classic is 5:40 pm ET. NBC will broadcast the race.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Morning-Line
1. Taiba Mike Smith Bob Baffert 8-1
2. Life Is Good Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher 6-1
3. Happy Saver John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 30-1
4. Flightline Flavien Prat John Sadler 3-5
5. Hot Rod Charlie Tyler Gaffalione Doug O’Neill 15-1
6. Epicenter Joel Rosario Steve Asmussen 5-1
7. Olympiad Junior Alvarado Bill Mott 10-1
8. Rich Strike Sonny Leon Eric Reed 20-1

Circa Offers Fixed Odds on Classic in Vegas

If you’re in Las Vegas this week, Circa Sports has already posted its two-way, fixed-odds market for the Classic.

Flightline is currently available at -185 (bet $185 to net $100) to win and +150 (bet $100 to net $150) to lose. Epicenter is +750/-1140, while Life Is Good’s odds are +800/-1240.

Bob Baffert’s Taiba, who drew the rail, is +1000/-1600. Happy Saver, Pletcher’s second entry in the race, is +4000/-6600, and the Doug O’Neill-trained Hot Rod Charlie is available for +1540/-2640.

Olympiad, trained by Bill Mott, has odds of +1400/-2400, and Eric Reed’s Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is +3400/-5800.

Those who bet in the parimutuel pools for the Classic and other Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and Saturday will get the benefit of truer payouts due to Kentucky’s new law that requires tracks to pay winnings to penny. Before the law was enacted in July, tracks rounded down to the dime for each $1 wagered.

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