ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 15, 2014)–Idle since April 26, Grade I winner Tamarando may rate top billing in a field of six in Saturday’s $100,000 California Flag Handicap for 3-year-olds and up bred or sired in California at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course. Undefeated 3-year-old Red Outlaw and consistent 4-year-old Boozer also bring solid recent credentials and both have proven ability over the course.
Owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Tamarando likes to run from off the pace and has an impressive resume that includes wins in last year’s Grade I Del Mar Futurity and the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields three starts back on Feb. 15.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the bay colt by Bertrando was on the Kentucky Derby trail prior to running a distant eighth in the Grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 22. His most recent start was in the state-bred Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita going 1 1/8 miles on turf April 26, in which he finished a close fourth as the 3-2 favorite.
The California Flag will be his first try down the hill and his second lifetime start on grass. He’ll be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith. Tamarando has an overall mark of 12-4-2-3 and has earnings of $645,120. He has seven listed works for his return at Fairplex Park and has two at Santa Anita–his most recent a leisurely three furlongs on turf in 39.80 Oct. 12.
Hollendorfer will also saddle the battle-tested Ain’t No Other, who unlike his stablemate, likes to run on or near the early lead. Owned by his breeder, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC, the 6-year-old Old Topper gelding will hope to bounce back off a disappointing fourth as the even money favorite in the six furlong Harris Farms Stakes Oct. 5 at Fresno. Second in last year’s California Flag, Ain’t No Other has one win, two seconds and a third from nine tries down the hill. He is 39-10-10-8 overall, with earnings of $616,645.
A minor stakes winner down the hillside three starts back on Feb. 16, trainer Peter Miller’s Red Outlaw went on to win Del Mar’s seven furlong (Polytrack) Real Good Deal Stakes versus state-breds on Aug. 1, and his most recent win was an impressive gate to wire score in the one mile El Cajon Stakes Aug. 29.
A chestnut gelding by Tribal Rule, Red Outlaw is owned by Blinkers On Racing Stable, Aurelio, Bizovi and partners. Currently stabled with Miller at San Luis Rey Downs, Red Outlaw is unbeaten in five starts and could be extremely tough to beat on the lead with regular rider Edwin Maldonado up. Red Outlaw has earnings of $285,200.
A maiden winner down the hill in his second career start, trainer Mark Glatt’s Boozer has two wins, two seconds and a third from five tries down the hill and although he’ll be making his first stakes start in the California Flag, the 4-year-old gelding by Unusual Heat comes off a game mile and a sixteenth turf allowance win in open company Aug. 31 at Del Mar and has been training well at Santa Anita.
Owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood, Boozer has won two out of his last three starts, all in partnership with leading rider Rafael Bejarano, who will ride him on Saturday. Favored in his last six starts, Boozer has four local works for his return, the fastest a bullet half mile in 46.20 on Sept. 27–best of 53 at the distance. Well seasoned, his overall record stands at 11-4-2-2 and he has earnings of $232,672.
Trained by Carla Gaines, lightly raced Super Ability lends considerable speed to the lineup and could prove tough off the bench with regular pilot Martin Garcia engaged. A 6-year-old gelding by Langfuhr, Super Ability set the pace and tired to finish a close sixth in a one mile turf classified allowance Aug. 15 at Del Mar.
Bred by Harris Farms, Inc., and owned by Harris Farms and Iconic Thoroughbreds, LLC, Super Ability will try the hill for the first time but has proven ability on grass, as three of his four lifetimes wins have been in turf routes. Additionally, he has proven effective sprinting on both natural dirt and synthetic Cushion Track and 9-4-2-0 overall, with earnings of $213,590.
A state-bred allowance winner over the course seven starts back, Heat Flash would benefit from a fast pace and will hope to be rolling late under Fernando Perez Saturday. Trained by Barry Abrams, the 4-year-old Unusual Heat gelding was bred by Abrams and Madeline Auerbach, who also owns him in partnership with Little Red Feather Racing. Heat Flash is 19-2-2-4 overall, with earnings of $144,596.
The California Flag Handicap, to be run as the third race on a nine-race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Ain’t No Other, Elvis Trujillo, 120; Super Ability, Martin Garcia, 119; Heat Flash, Fernando Perez, 114; Boozer, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Tamarando, Mike Smith, 121, and Red Outlaw, Edwin Maldonado, 121.
First post time on Saturday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.