ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2015)–Pamela Ziebarth’s homebred Ambitious Brew, an impressive minor stakes winner going one mile on dirt Sept. 12, West Point Thoroughbreds’ Rock Me Baby and Pam and Martin Wygod’s Forest Chatter head a field of seven California-bred or sired 3-year-olds and up in Monday’s $100,000 California Flag Handicap, to be run at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course.
Trained by Marty Jones, Ambitious Brew, a 5-year-old gelding by Tizbud, has three wins and a two seconds over the unique course, and coupled with his impressive last-out win at Los Alamitos, could be the horse to beat in what will serve as the Columbus Day Holiday feature.
Ambitious Brew, who is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Kathwen, is 14-5-6-0 overall with lifetime earnings of $338,130.
Trained by Craig Dollase, Rock Me Baby, a 6-year-old gelding by Rock Hard Ten, comes off a sixth place finish in the one mile Harry F. Brubaker Stakes Aug. 26 at Del Mar, but was second, beaten a neck, two starts back in the state-bred California Dreamin Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf July 26 and he was a minor stakes winner going five furlongs on grass at Golden Gate Fields June 13.
Competitive in four graded stakes over his career, Rock Me Baby has a win and a second from four tries down the hillside and was sixth, only beaten three lengths, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint here in November, 2013.
Rock Me Baby is 21-7-6-2 overall with earnings of $492,352.
A perfect four for four down the hillside turf, trainer Richard Mandella’s Forest Chatter comes off a sixth place finish in the five furlong turf Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 19 and seeks his first stakes win on Monday. A California-sired 4-year-old gelding by Dixie Chatter, he’ll again be ridden by Mike Smith, who was aboard for all four hillside wins.
Owned by Pam and Martin Wygod, Forest Chatter is 9-4-1-1 overall with earnings of $170,510.
The complete field for the California Flag Handicap, to be run as the fourth race on a nine-race program with jockeys and weights in post position order: Ambitious Brew, Gary Stevens, 124; Rock Me Baby, Edwin Maldonado, 123; K Thirty Eight, Alex Solis, 117; Somethings Unusual, Drayden Van Dyke, 114; Bold Fantasy, Corey Nakatani, 117; Forest Chatter, Mike Smith, 122, and Over Par, Mario Gutierrez, 114.
First post time on Monday, Columbus Day, is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.