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Confident Flores Riding Well at Age 43

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 easy.”

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.”



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