RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 18, 2017)–Trainer Peter Miller’s hard-knocking Richard’s Boy, Vann Belvoir’s recent graded stakes-winning Gold Rush Dancer and Blake Heap’s hard-luck Tribalist head a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in Saturday’s $100,000 California Flag Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
Named for Hi Card Ranch’s homebred winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, the California Flag is part of the lucrative Golden State Series for horses bred or sired in California.
RICHARD’S BOY: Idle since a close third as the 3-2 favorite in the five furlong turf Green Flash Handicap on Aug. 18, this 5-year-old Idiot Proof gelding has a solid hillside turf resume, with two wins, four seconds and a third from eight starts over the course. Second, beaten a head in this race a year ago, Richard’s Boy has been well traveled this year. A close fifth going six furlongs on turf in a Group I Stakes in Dubai five starts back on March 25, he was a subsequent minor stakes winner going five furlongs on turf at Pimlico May 19. Second, beaten a nose over the course six starts back versus state-breds in the Sensational Star Stakes on Feb. 25, Richard’s Boy looms the probable favorite. Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Richard’s Boy is 25-9-6-3 overall with earnings of $658,440.
GOLD RUSH DANCER: A winner of the Grade III Longacres Mile two starts back on Aug. 13, John Parker’s homebred 4-year-old colt by Private Gold, out of the In Excess mare Dances On Water, began his career in the Pacific Northwest, as he made five starts at Emerald Downs near Seattle at age two, winning two, including the Gottstein Futurity. A winner of the 1 1/8 miles turf Snow Chief Stakes here in May, 2016, Gold Rush Dancer was well beaten in his only other Santa Anita turf try when ninth in the Grade II Twilight Derby in November, 2016. A proven stakes performer on dirt, he’ll be trying Santa Anita’s hillside course for the first time on Saturday. Trained by Belvoir in his last 12 starts, Gold Rush Dancer is 19-6-3-3 overall with earnings of $512,113.
TRIBALIST: Although lightly raced, this Blake Heap-trained 6-year-old gelding by Tribal Rule has been a gem of consistency. A winner of the five furlong turf Green Flash Handicap two starts back on Aug. 18, he was unlucky to lose the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes over the course on Sept. 29, as a loose horse comprised his chances late. Second, beaten a head as a maiden in his only other try over the course in June, 2014, Tribalist has plenty of talent and will hope for good racing luck on Saturday. Out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Ultimate Summer, Tribalist was bred by Mitchell Dutko and Robert Abrams and is owned by Abrams, Dutko and Michael Paran. His overall mark stands at 7-4-2-1 and he has earnings of $240,900.
THE CALIFORNIA FLAG HANDICAP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- California Diamond–Brice Blanc (ALT)–118
- Gold Rush Dancer–Corey Nakatani–123
- Troutman–Martin Pedroza–116
- El Tovar–Drayden Van Dyke–116
- Richard’s Boy–Flavien Prat–123
- B Squared–Mario Gutierrez–117
- Tribalist–Victor Espinoza–124
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For more racing information, please visit www.santaanita.com for more racing information.