ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2012) – Along with his 31st victory of the meeting, 18-year-old apprentice jockey Eswan Flores gained his first career stakes win Sunday when driving Irish-bred Tones to a narrow upset victory in the $81,140 Baffle Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
The high school senior maintained his third-place standing behind such nationally renowned riders as Joel Rosario (49 wins) and Rafael Bejarano (37 wins) while vigorously encouraging 13-1 Tones to hold off Stoney Fleece, the hard-charging 2-1 favorite ridden by Rosario. The winning margin was a neck.
Flores’ accomplishment was instrumental in generating a Pick Six carryover of $135,405 into Thursday’s program when racing resumes at Santa Anita. It is projected that Thursday’s Pick Six pool will exceed $750,000.