December 26 promises to be one of the most important days in the history of 1/ST Racing. It’s opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita, opening day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park and host date of the Christmastide Day stakes card at Laurel Park. All month, 1/ST BET will prepare you for a 26th of December to Remember with special content.
A year ago at this time, Flightline was a promising prospect without any credentials. He won a Santa Anita maiden in April and a Del Mar allowance in September on closing week of the summer meet. Three months had passed since he competed. Then came the Dec. 26 Malibu at Santa Anita.
The promise showed through on the tote and the track as the public hammered him to 40 cents on the dollar in the betting. Flightline did his part to oblige, smoking the field by 11-1/2 lengths for his first stakes victory. A star was born.
Said trainer John Sadler after the Malibu, “The horse is on a different level. All has to go right, but we might be looking at a historic-type horse before it’s all over. We celebrated Christmas a day late.”
Flightline would go on in 2022 to win the Met Mile, Pacific Classic and Breeders’ Cup Classic without a threat to be found in any. He retired recently with a 6-for-6 career record and burned a memory for racing fans not seen since the likes of Spectacular Bid and Secretariat.
The 26th of December to Remember Stakes Lineup
Gulfstream Park | Championship Meet | Opening Day
$100K Tropical Park Derby
$100K Tropical Park Oaks
Santa Anita | Classic Meet | Opening Day
$300K G1 Malibu
$300K G1 American Oaks
$300K G1 La Brea
$200K G2 Mathis Mile
$200K G2 San Antonio
$200K G2 San Gabriel
Laurel Park | Christmastide Day Stakes
$100K Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move