Stable flight at the end of the alley
Lexington, KY – While Flyway connections were busy at Keeneland November Sale assembling a mighty group of mares to send in their new stallion, the superstar herself settled into her new home at Lane’s End Farm .
‘Rising star TDN’ Flight route (Tapit – Feathered, by Charlie India) arrived at the Versailles-based breeding facility less than 24 hours after he cemented his place in history at the GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. Accompanied by John Sadler’s assistant and gymnast Juan Leyva and barn foreman Cesar Aguilar, the undefeated son of Tapit got off at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday and then strutted down the aisle of the warehouse and into his new stall – which had been decorated with his nameplate – without having to do his hair.
“Part of the Flightline team was here to help him settle into life on the ranch,” said Chris Knehr, a member of Lane’s End Stallion Seasons team. “They’ve done a great job with him throughout his entire campaign and he’s truly a great horse to be with.”
Knehr added that Sadler and his crew are welcome back to the ranch to visit their former interns whenever they are in Kentucky.
“It’s a credit to Sadler’s team that he’s who he is,” Knehr said. “One of the things that is very striking about him is that he has a very big, very intelligent eye. We’ve all seen it in really smart horses, and Flightline has it. There’s a class and intelligence about him that he can take in the environment and adjust to it. “
This week, Flightline spent a few hours each morning in the round pen before heading back to her stall and relaxing throughout the day. Knehr says that Peter Sheehan, who took over as Director of Lane’s End Stallion last year, is confident the big bay will come out onto his own beach patio next week.
“Luckily, because he’s smart and so nice to work with, he’s made the transition very well,” Knehr said. “It was just a gradual process that let him down and got him used to being a horse again.”
Soon, Flightline will be available to many breeders who are calling to test the new stallion. On Wednesday, it was announced that the 4-year-old will command a $200,000 fee in his first season.
According to Knehr, their team delved into Flightline’s pedigree analysis and sought the help of Sid Fernando of Werk Thoroughbred Consultants to begin drafting guidelines for mares that would suit him best.
“He has Dynaformer and Storm Cat far enough back to where there are a lot of options with him and mares might suit him,” Knehr explained. “From that point of view, the bottom of the pedigree allows us to try a few different things. Obviously because Tapitwe can also use that formula with mares that have worked well with Tapit and even some of his sons at stud school. “
Flightline has been campaigning through six consecutive career victories of the Summer Wind Equine breeder in partnership with Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing. Many of those ties signed tickets on senior mares at Keeneland November in the hope of sending most of those purchases to new studs.
Summer Wind’s latest additions include three-time 3rd place winner and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly winner and runner-up Mare Sprint Edgeway (Competitive) for $1.7 million, SW Park Avenue (Quality Sugar) for $1.45 million and the 3rd place winner was Proud Emma (Included), who sold the ponies to Quackfor 1 million dollars.
With Terry Finley signing the ticket, Gage Hill acquired the Song of Mine, the half-sister of the Songbird champion (Ghostzapper) for $700,000 and made many other purchases with Detined Stud collaboration including Salty as Can Be (Into Mischief), a half-sister to a grade I girl who eats Salty (Quality Sugar), for $2 million as well as the winning Empire Maker’s Seeking Fame horse for $575,000.
Earlier this week, on Monday, the 2.5% fractional interest in Flightline sold for $4.6 million to kick off the Keeneland November Sale. Knehr said that the results from the auction exceeded the organization’s expectations.
“I’ve never seen [the sales pavilion] he said. “The final price was beyond our expectations. The idea is also intended to attract attention from outsiders. He has a national awareness and with the idea of the Metaverse we wanted to bring a few things together and ignite interest in that and for the sport in general. We haven’t seen a racehorse like this in quite a while. The attention has been amazing, both from the fan’s point of view and from the breeders’ point of view. “