In an impressive performance that lived up to the hype, Kentucky-bred Flightline cruised to an 11 ½-length victory in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. The traditional opening day feature at the Arcadia, Calif., track, the Malibu marked the third consecutive win in as many starts for Flightline who has now won his three outings by a combined 37 ½ lengths.

Never challenged at any point, Flightline jogged home the easiest of winners under jockey Flavien Prat, getting the seven furlongs in 1:21.37 following an internal six-furlong clocking of 1:08.72. Owned by Hronis Racing, Siena Farm, Summer Wind Equine, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing, Flightline is trained by John Sadler. The bay son of Tapit—Feathered, by Indian Charlie, was bred in the Bluegrass by Summer Wind Equine.

“I’ve been stressing the last 20, 30, or 40 days getting ready for today,” said John Sadler. “The next race is up to the horse. We have to be true to the horse. We will chart the course from there. This horse is so brilliant. This is not an ordinary horse. This is a very special horse.

“He had a foot bruise at Del Mar, so we backed off,” Sadler added. “After Flavien (Prat) got off him the last time, he said this horse can go further. He’ll go a distance the next time.”

Woodford Racing’s Bill Farish said, “We hoped to win this, but to do this against this kind of field, this was the real class test for him, and I think he answered it the way we thought he would.”

Also on the opening day program, Kalypso, with John Velazquez aboard for trainer Bob Baffert, kicked clear in the stretch and drew out to a convincing 4 ¾-length score in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1). Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Kalypso is owned by David Bernsen, Gainesway Stable, Rockingham Ranch, and Chad Littlefield.

Now a three-time stakes winner, Kalypso is by Brody’s Cause out of Malibu Cove, by Malibu Moon. The $180,000 winner’s share of the La Brea purse increased her career bankroll to $480,600.