ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2016)—French-bred Flamboyant is suddenly the “now” horse in California’s marathon turf division as he rallied from off the pace to win Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes by three quarters of a length while negotiating 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:01.58. Ridden by Brice Blanc and trained by Paddy Gallagher, he was again impressive as he followed up on his neck victory in Santa Anita’s Grade II, 1 1/8 miles turf San Gabriel Stakes on Jan. 2.
“I don’t know if the French connection helps, but I’ll run with it,” said Blanc, himself a native Frenchman. “He’s doing really well in the mornings…I don’t know about better, but (he’s doing) as well as he was doing before the San Gabriel.
“I wasn’t worried about the mile and a quarter, the distance is fine for him. I was just hoping for a good trip and that’s pretty much what happened. I had a great trip. He gave me his best like he always has since I’ve been with him (dating back to a third place finish, beaten a nose here on Oct. 22).”
The narrow second choice in the wagering at 5-2, Flamboyant paid $7.60, $3.60 and $2.80.
A 5-year-old gelding, Flamboyant is owned by CHRB Chairman Chuck Winner and David Bienstock. In getting his fifth win from 19 starts, Flamboyant picked up $120,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $518,368.
“The first quarter mile was quick enough for him,” said Gallagher in reference to Flamboyant’s come-from-behind style. “Down the backside, Brice got him into an even better spot and by the three eighths pole, he was in a perfect spot and he was good enough to get there.”
Grey in color, Uruguayan-bred Gaga A cut an impressive figure as he skimmed the rail turning for home as he wrested the lead from pacesetter Hay Dude, but couldn’t hold off the late charge of the winner inside the sixteenth pole. Off at 16-1 with Mario Gutierrez, Gaga A finished three quarters of a length in front of Quick Casablanca and paid $12.60 and $7.80.
Ridden by Tyler Baze for Ron McAnally, Quick Casablanca finished well to be third, one length in front of Class Leader. Off at 45-1, Quick Casablanca paid $12.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.72, 47.50, 1:12.23 and 1:37.22.
Source: Santa Anita Park