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California Flag Returns in Green Flash

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California Flag and Cost of Freedom bring to mind the adage, "Go to the front and improve your position." They both are known to break on top and never look back and they'll be expected to do just that in Wednesday's Green Flash Handicap at 5 furlongs on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

 

For Cost of Freedom that was not the case in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes on Aug. 1 when he broke in the air, got off last and managed only to reach second place before fading to fifth. The John Sadler trainee picks up the services of a classic gate rider, Patrick Valenzuela, for this round.

 

California Flag, trained by Brian Koriner, will be out to duplicate his winning effort in the 2009 Green Flash, a win that preceded victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The Green Flash marks his first start since finishing third in the Emirates Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai on World Cup day. Mike Smith replaces the injured Joe Talamo aboard California Flag.

 

Cost of Freedom has some Breeders' Cup credentials, too, finishing third in a blanket ending to the 2009 Breeders' Cup Sprint. He was beaten a head for the big prize behind Del Mar-based Dancing in Silks and Crown of Thorns.

 

The eight-horse field will line up this way from the rail, with weights and riders: Dilemma, 116, Victor Espinoza; Quick Enough, 113, David Flores; California Flag, 124, Smith; Wing Forward, 115, Martin Garcia; Cost of Freedom, 123, Valenzuela; My Summer Slew, 118, Alonso Quinonez; Lt. Hopeful, 117, Martin Pedroza, and Stoneside, 117, Joel Rosario.

 

 

 

 

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