ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2015)–Thursday’s $59,000 Southern California Sports Broadcasters Purse, run at a mile and a quarter on turf, developed into a game of inches, literally, as Southern Freedom and Procurement dead-heated at the wire, stopping the clock in 1:59.10 while Flamboyant had to settle for third money, just a nose back of the top two.
Ridden by Martin Garcia and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Southern Freedom showed the way throughout, setting fractions of 23.44, 47.35, 1:11.45 and 1:35.41 with the temporary rail set at 30 feet.
Off at 8-1, Southern Freedom, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Pure Prize, paid $9.00, $8.60 and $9.40. Owned by Dang, Mark DeDomenico, LLC, Todaro and partners, Southern Freedom got his sixth win from 17 lifetime starts and with the winner’s share of $23,600, increased his earnings to $195,690.
“I was the only speed in the race,” said Garcia. “I thought he was going to give me an honest try and when the pressure came to us, he just didn’t want to let Procurement go by.”
Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Tom Proctor, Glen Hill Farm’s Procurement sat second the entire trip, was lapped on the winner turning for home, but couldn’t quite overhaul him through the drive while holding off a three-wide Flamboyant late.
Also off at 8-1, Procurement paid $9.00, $7.20 and $10.20. A 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Milwaukee Brew, Procurement got his fifth win from 21 starts and increased his lifetime earnings to $273,594.
“There wasn’t a lot of speed in there besides Southern Freedom,” said Smith. “I thought I should get in position right away with the rail out and to be forward in the pocket or to be right outside of Southern Freedom and that’s where I was…When Flamboyant came up on my outside, he kind of pushed me just enough to get us in front. It was a shake ‘n’ bake deal!”
French-bred Flamboyant, who was ridden by Brice Blanc, finished 2 ½ lengths clear of even money favorite Abbey Vale. Off at 10-1, Flamboyant paid $11.40 to show.
First post time for an eight-race card on Friday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.