Top Flight | Horse Profile

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Top Flight

Top Flight is considered one of the greatest U.S. fillies of all time. Born on April 15, 1929, she lived until she passed away at the location currently known as Gainesway Farm in Kentucky in 1949. She was bred by Harry Payne Whitney and was raced after his death in 1930 by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.

Top Flight’s ancestors were successful runners in France. Her father Dis Donc was a French stakes winner and a son of champion French sire Sardanapale. Her mother was Flyatit, who was a daughter of Hall of Famer Peter Pan.

Her 2-year-old season in 1931 was one of the most successful in history. Undefeated in seven starts, she beat the males in the Saratoga Special at Saratoga, Belmont Futurity, and Pimlico Futurity, as well as winning the Clover Stakes, Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes, Spinaway Stakes, and Matron Stakes. By the end of her juvenile season, Top Flight had earned a whopping $219,000, along with the Champion 2-year-old Filly title.

Top Flight’s 3-year-old season was also a cracking success. She won five of her nine races, including the Coaching Club American Oaks, Arlington Oaks, Alabama Stakes, and Ladies Handicap. Three of her four defeats that year came against the males, and she was named Champion 3-year-old Filly.

By the time she finished fourth in her final race, the 1932 Potomac Handicap, Top Flight was the top earning filly or mare in American Thoroughbred racing history. She finished with winnings of $275,900, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, her primary owner, retired Top Flight to his private farm, where she had limited success as a broodmare. Her only stakes winner was Flight Command and she bore just seven foals, three of which were stakes-producing mares.