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Breeders' Cup 2017

Flamboyant Plays Role of Spoiler

Flamboyant wins 2014 La Puente
Photo: Benoit Photo

Glen Hill Farm’s Enterprising, with victories notched in the Oceanside Stakes and the La Jolla Handicap, could become the fourth horse in Del Mar history to sweep the summer meeting’s 3-year-old stakes series with a win in Sunday’s $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Derby.

But to join Lightning Mandate (1974), Ladies Din (1998) and Blackdoun (2004) to complete the triple, the Tom Proctor-trained son of Elusive Quality will have to overcome seven rivals and prevail at a 1 1/8-mile distance at which his record is 0-2.

Chief among the rivals, in the estimation of track oddsmaker Russ Hudak, is Flamboyant, the 5-2 second choice to Enterprising’s 9-5 on the morning line.

The French-bred Flamboyant, trained by Patrick Gallagher, won the La Puente Stakes in April at Santa Anita in his U.S. debut after winning twice and never being worse than third in six starts in France. Taken to Belmont Park in New York, Flamboyant kept his on-the-board record clean with a second to Gala Award in the Pennington Ridge and third behind Mr Speaker in the Belmont Derby.

Toast of New York, who would subsequently finish second in last Sunday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, was sixth in the Belmont Derby.

“He ran well in both races in New York and he’s been training well since he’s been back here,” Gallagher said. Flamboyant has one work on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, venue for the Derby, and four on the Polytrack main surface. The latest was six furlongs in 1:12.80 a week ago (Saturday, Aug. 23), best of 13 at the distance.

New York-based Joel Rosario will make the cross-country trip to ride Flamboyant.

“(Rosario) said after the races in New York that he wanted to stick with (Flamboyant),” Gallagher said. “That was back then and you never know how things are going to work out. But he (Rosario) is coming out to ride him.”

Flamboyant is co-owned by California Horse Racing Board Chairman Chuck Winner, who is committed to getting an in-person look at every horse he buys and, when time allows, travels the world to do so.

“He’s always been good to train for and we’ve been fairly lucky together,” Gallagher said. “I’ve known him a long time. He had horses with my old boss Bill  Shoemaker before me.”

The field for the Del Mar Derby, which goes as the ninth on an 11-race card,  from the rail out is: Home Run Kitten (Joe Talamo, 6-1), Sawyer’s Hill (Martin Garcia, 8-1), Midnight Storm (Tyler Baze, 12-1), Talco (Corey Nakatani, 8-1), Enterprising (Mike Smith, 9-5), Aventador (Elvis Trujillo, 8-1), Flamboyant (Joel Rosario, 5-2) and Sammy Mandeville (Rafael Bejarano, 10-1).

Source: Del Mar

 

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