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Whirlaway and Flightline Connection

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

By Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

Four years ago in 2018, I wrote a column for Thoroughbred Daily News, “The Influence of Lady Pitt and Whirlaway.” The thrust of the piece is that while Whirlaway was once more common in the breed and in the pedigree of the great gelding Forego, he has rapidly disappeared.

There was one exception—a tail female line of horses that descended from Lady Pitt have kept Whirlaway alive in the modern breed through such horses as Oscar Performance (Kitten’s Joy) and his full brother Oscar Nominated, Instilled Regard (Arch), Giant Payday (Giant’s Causeway) and Pure Prize.  This tail female line is a branch of the 20-b female line under the Bruce Lowe numbering system.

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Photo Credits: Susie Raisher & Adam Coglianese/NYRA

I had mentioned in that 2018 piece that most major sires had a few horses from this female line of horses.  I had this particularly to say about Tapit in 2018: “Perennial leading sire Tapit has three fillies and one colt from the line–the colt being the only one from the 20-b female family that does not trace back to Lady Pitt.”

That number of Tapit-sired horses bred to the 20-b line has since gone from 4 when I wrote that article in 2018 to 12 horses.  In 2018, the year my article was published, Tapit was the sire of another Lady Pitt/female family 20-b colt that all horse racing fans would know much about:  this would be FLIGHTLINE   (USA) b. C, 2018 {20-b}, the winner of this year’s Met Mile and Pacific Classic (winning by an insane margin and in the race’s second fast time).

There are certain horses that keep certain famous horses in modern pedigrees.  For Omaha it was Nijinsky, The Minstrel and to a lesser extent Far North and Summer Tan.  For Sir Barton it is Copelan (in such horses as Rockport Harbor) and Tapizar, Pyro, Paddy O’Prado and the mare Untappable.  For Citation it is Afleet and Exceed and Excel, and to a lesser extent Bullsbay.  Perhaps for Whirlaway the horse that keeps him in modern pedigrees will be Flightline. He comes from a long female line of stakes winners, all bred by the best sires ever.


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