California Star Flightline gearing up for Santa Anita return

Flightline, the talk of the horse racing world, had his first workout since his 11 1/2-length victory in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, going 4 furlongs in 47.80 ON Sunday morning.

“I had him in 48 and one on my watch, but more important is how he went,” trainer John Sadler told Ed Golden of Santa Anita publicity.

Sadler said Flightline, who’s won his three starts by a combined 37 1/2 lengths, will run next in the 7-furlong Grade II San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita on March 5. “The big goal is the Met Mile (at Belmont Park on June 11),” Sadler said.

Kentucky Derby prep races on Saturday

… There are two other Grade III Kentucky Derby prep races scheduled Saturday – the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, which attracted Remsen Stakes winner Mo Donegal (5-2 morning-line favorite), and the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, an 11-horse field that includes 3-1 morning-line favorite Early Voting from the Chad Brown barn. The Holy Bull also serves as a steppingstone to the Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Withers is a prep for the Gotham Stakes, both to be run March 5.

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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