PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $80,409 INTO SUNDAY; TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD EXCEED $500,000; LEGENDARY BROADCASTER BRENT MUSBURGER ON HAND TO PRESENT TROPHY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2015)–Timed to perfection by French native Brice Blanc, French-bred Flamboyant saved ground throughout and overhauled favored Obviously late to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes by a neck while getting 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita turf in 1:46.64.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Irish-bred Obviously, one of America’s top rated milers for the past two years, ran too good to lose, as he was running comfortably on a lonely lead through splits of 23.26, 46.60, 1:10.27 and 1:34.36, but the added furlong appeared to do him in as he offered little resistance late.
“There was plenty of pace to run at today, which I think is great because he seems like once he settles down, he can finish up and really make a nice run,” said Blanc. “He has a tremendous turn of foot when he uses it and I think he’s got a lot of back class.
“This was a tough bunch on paper, quite a few nice horses. I think the mile and an eighth helped him and it didn’t help some of the others.”
Off at 46-1 in a field of 11 older horses, Flamboyant, who is conditioned by Paddy Gallagher and had been winless in 10 starts since taking Santa Anita’s La Puente Stakes in his U.S. debut on April 19, 2014, paid $94.20, $33.40 and $13.80.
Owned by CHRB Chairman Chuck Winner and David Bienstock, Flamboyant, a 5-year-old gelding by the Sunday Silence stallion Peer Gynt, picked up his fourth win from 18 starts and with the winner’s take of $120,000, increased his earnings to $398,368.
“Early on, I was a little concerned because I thought he’d be up closer to the lead, but Brice knew what he was doing,” said Winner. “Going into the far turn, I saw he was full of run and when he started moving I thought, ‘We got a shot.’ This all worked out because my wife is French, the horse is French and the jock is French. It’s the French Connection!”
Idle since well beaten over soft turf in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 31, 8-year-old Obviously was off at 5-2 and paid $5.00 and $3.80.
“He was doing it so easily today, that was a tough loss,” said Talamo. “I had a lot of horse turning for home. That’s the slowest he’s been in a while, so I was glad he was able to relax. It’s just a tough beat but he definitely handled the distance well.”
Brazilian-bred Bal a Bali, who got a good stalking trip in third positon for most of the race, finished 2 ¼ lengths behind the favorite and paid $3.80 to show with Flavien Prat up.
Legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger, who called yesterday’s Rose Bowl on ESPN, presented the San Gabriel trophy.
There is a Pick Six carryover of $80,409 into Sunday at Santa Anita and it’s expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool will exceed $500,000. The main event on a nine-race card tomorrow is the Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes.
First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.