LOUISVILLE, KY – When it comes to Thoroughbreds, there truly is no timeline. If you breed one, they will nurse their way through life, slowly maturing along nature’s own course. If you buy one, God only knows when they will make it to the races. Figuring that they do can be a costly proposition, in its own right.
They grow on their own terms. They live life one day at a time. Really, the only thing they do fast is run. Or so you come to believe, at times.
All an owner can do is pay the bills and pray for the best. Or is it, pray for the bills to stop, and pay more attention to work? But definitely, don’t make any plans. After all, there is no timeline right?
Not until now.
On Sunday, the rapid and rapidly improving 3-year-old colt that goes by the name “Timeline” made a name for himself once again by pulling away to easily win the Pegasus Stakes by 31/2 impressive lengths at Monmouth Park.
And, on Sunday night, the world of horse fans — who have watched the Triple Crown come and go, looking for a horse to latch onto and ride — may have just found a rising star. Just in the nick of time.
“He was brilliant again,” said winning trainer Chad Brown, who was interviewed after the Pegasus by the media team at Monmouth Park. “There was a chance he would wind up on the lead. Ultimately, I just left it up to Javier (jockey Castellano). He rode a terrific race, as always.”
Timeline ran a terrific race, too, and that is becoming something akin to “as always,” as well.
Saturday’s Pegasus Stakes marked the fourth career race for Timeline – who races for the syndicate known as Woodford Racing LLC, and is managed by Lane’s End Farm President Bill Farish and his good friend Ben Haggin.
And, it was the fourth time that Timeline finished a race in front at the wire and got to get his picture taken in the winner’s circle.
Not too shabby, for a youngster who didn’t make his first career start until March 4 of this year – just two short months before the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown. And, too short of a timeline to even consider making a run for the glamour races of the spring.
But ever since that first win – which came in a 7-furlong endurance sprint at Gulfstream — Timeline has been making giant strides towards a showdown with some of the game’s best.
In April, he won an allowance race at Aqueduct. A month later, just a week after the Derby, Timeline captured the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont, pulling away on a sloppy track in a splash dash. On Sunday, he didn’t even mess around a little bit. Wearing the green and gold colors that is representative of Woodford County’s own Lane’s End Farm (with just a little bit of a design twist), Castellano put Timeline into running gear early and the two dispatched a rather modest field of competitors in short order. Talk Logistics put up a mild threat before faltering to second, and it was another 13-plus lengths farther back to the third place finisher, Honor the Fleet.
Despite being throttled down nearing the wire, Timeline covered the 11/16-mile distance in an eye-popping time of 1:41.32 – just one second off the track record of 1:41.20 set for Formal Gold in 1997.
That is the same Formal Gold — a late-developer in his own right, who just so happened to run three of the eight fastest Beyer Speed Figures of the 1990s. He went on to win the Donn Handicap and the Woodward Stakes, but is best known for whipping the champion Skip Away in four of their six meetings.
Not bad company to be keeping company with, these days, Mr. Timeline.
“I used him (Timeline) a little out of the gate to just get him going,” Castellano said. “I loved the way he did it today because when I asked him early, he didn’t rush. He just galloped along on the lead. He handled the track so well. He’s a very nice horse.”
Woodford Racing LLC purchased Timeline for $500,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2015 from the consignment of Gainesway Farm. One of the syndicate members is none other than Bill Hoskins, who resides in Versailles, KY., when he is not couching it at his beautiful lake house on the hills of Harrington.
Bill is such a great friend of mine that I call him my brother. He may refer to me, on the other hand, as his wayward son.
Yet, through it all, Mr. Hoskins spends much of his time doing legal work for some of the best in every walk of life, and trying to counsel those of us that are less fortunate. Just so happens that Mr. Hoskins also represents Ambassador Farish and his son, Bill, too.
I saw Bill at a Memorial Service last Monday evening for one of our mutual friends that had gone on to that great winner’s circle in the sky. After a few minutes, the conversation turned to Timeline and his upcoming race in the Pegasus on Sunday. Bill looked at me and smiled a smile that he always uses when he knows he is about to win a big legal case. “This might be the one,” he said. “This just might be the one.”
Back in 2015, at the time Woodford Racing purchased this son of Hard Spun, some in the syndicate may have developed some early thoughts that this one just might be their Derby Horse. Yet, those plans and that deadline just wasn’t in Timeline’s timeline.
But a huge future just may be the right time for Timeline. Next up may be the Grade 1, $1-Million Haskell Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park. It is a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
That race just might fit Timeline’s timeline just perfectly. And, just like Bill said, “He might be the one.”
For Bill’s sake, I sure hope that this colt is. Bill has put his time in, for sure. And, Timeline just may put them all in the big time.