There’s an aura of tranquility surrounding David Flores these days,
from head to toe and inside and out. The 43-year-old jockey carries
himself with an air of confidence that comes from experience. The
Tijuana native hopes his demeanor helps on Oct. 6 when he rides Pat
O’Brien winner Capital Account for Bob Baffert against Breeders’ Cup
Sprint king Amazombie in the inaugural Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
“If he runs like he has been, we’ll be fine,” Flores said of
Capital Account, who worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track
Sunday in 1:00.60. “A good pace will help him, although he’s a much
better horse at seven or seven and a half furlongs.”
The Santa Anita sprint will be decided at six furlongs, so
adjustments might be in store. “He ran a good race behind Amazombie the
time before (third by a length and a quarter in the Bing Crosby on July
29),” pointed out Flores, who is represented by agent Craig O’Bryan.
“But going shorter, I don’t know. We might have to change something. But
the horse has the talent.”
As for Flores, he’s like a kid on Christmas morning every time he gazes at Santa Anita’s rapturous setting.
“I enjoy every moment here,” he said. “It’s a lovely place and
I’ve had the privilege of being here for quite a while now, and still
have few nice horses to ride. It’s great to have trainers who back me
up. If you don’t have the trainers to support you, this game is not
Now one of the senior riders on the circuit, Flores takes facing Father Time it in stride.
“Things have been changing for the last 10 years and there are a
lot of new riders here now,” he said. “But I feel great. I’m on the top
of my game, physically and mentally. As long as I have good stock,
we’ll be able to compete with this new colony of riders.”