Flightline Earns Historic Rating for Dirt Horse, Lands Top Spot in Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings

The Sport
Flightline, above after his goose-bump inducing victory in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes, rose to the top spot in the latest edition of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings while earning the top rating ever given to a dirt horse. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Flightline ascended to the top of the latest edition of Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2022 — moving ahead of unbeaten European superstar Baaeed — by earning a 139 rating, the second highest in the history of the rankings and the best ever given to a dirt racehorse.

The 139 rating earned by Flightline comes on the heels of an electric performance in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes, which he won Sept. 3 at Del Mar by 19 ¼ lengths over Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline winner Country Grammer (121 rating).

With his victory, Flightline, who also won the Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap in June and is undefeated in five career starts, raised his rating 12 points from his previous 127 rating. Historically, this mark is the highest earned by a dirt horse and only one point below Frankel’s benchmark rating of 140 under the current system. Previously, the highest rating given to a dirt horse was the 135 achieved by Hall of Famer Cigar in 1996.

LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings

Leading Horses

click here for complete rankings

Rank

Horse

Rating

Trained

1

FLIGHTLINE (USA)

139

USA

2

BAAEED (GB)

135

GB

3

NATURE STRIP (AUS)

126

AUS

4

EPICENTER (USA)

125

USA

4

LIFE IS GOOD (USA)

125

USA

6

PYLEDRIVER (GB)

124

GB

6

TITLEHOLDER (JPN)

124

JPN

The ratings are for 3-year-olds and older that raced between Jan. 1 and Sept. 11, 2022.

Meanwhile, Baaeed raised his rating to 135 from 128 following his victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes, where he defeated Mishriff (122) by 6 ½ lengths. He is now a perfect 10-for-10 in his career, and his other wins this year include Group 1 victories in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, and Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. Baaeed’s rating of 135 is the highest given on turf since Frankel received his 140 in 2012 and is one below the 136 his own sire, Sea the Stars, earned in 2009.

Another U.S.-based newcomer to this month’s rankings is Epicenter, who received a 125 rating following his victory in the Runhappy Travers Stakes, which he won by 5 ¼ lengths Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!