Flightline Carries the Hopes of American Racing

Comparing generations is not only difficult but foolish; to enjoy the different Champions in each generations is more fulfilling a process, especially since there are so few experts to properly evaluate two different generations if they happen to see them live and understand the form of the generations that existed.

Flightline is one of those horses that stand apart in this generation and on dirt he ranks with what Frankel did on grass this century. In fact his Pacific Classic performance was a monster run but then again, he raced against what will likely prove an inferior generation, or did he? His sheer time of the race was amazing in the fact that he was fractionally outside the course record easing up on the line and strolled to victory in a common canter. The jockey barely moved on the horse. Yet he was fractionally outside of the record.

The upcoming Breeders' Cup will isolate how good Flightline really is. He hasn't run much in his short but unbeaten career and has won by double digits lengths most of the time. He's barely been off the bridle and has not be tested at all. Not showing ultimate early speed, he has finished his races closer to the turn than at the finish line, as a matter of speaking, such was the nature of the wins.

In South Africa, we saw the sensational Horse Chestnut (90's) and the unimaginably popular Sea Cottage in the '60's but neither tested themsslves against true overseas competition. Horse Chestnut did win at Gulfstream Park on the way to the then Gr. 1 Donn Handicap (now Pegasus World Cup) but was injured after the Gr. 3 Broward win in which he was warmly welcomed to the States but the commentator at the time.

Sadly that Millennium Dubai World Cup meeting with Dubai Millennium wasn't to be either. The two best horses that year never met. One had a poor stud career, the other almost none as he died early. Dubai Millennium did leave behind Dubawi though.

Generational champions aren't easy to assess but there is the excitement of comparing them, as fruitless and opinionated as it is, it is nonetheless done.

Flightline is the next one on that radar as was Baaeed a few weeks ago. Beaten by the ground, some have said, but beaten nonetheless. Champions are rare and few, far between and when they standout, they really do. Could Flightline be America's Secreteriat of today?

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