<
>

Flamboyant looks to keep momentum going in San Marcos

play
Weekend Warrior: San Marcos Stakes (4:07)

The DRF crew breaks down Saturday's San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita. (4:07)

In his 18-race career in two countries, Flamboyant has never won consecutive races. Saturday's $200,000 San Marcos Stakes (:: Santa Anita: Buy PPs, watch Saturday's card live) at Santa Anita would be as good of a race as any to accomplish that.

Flamboyant was the 46-1 winner of the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 2, the most prestigious victory of his career. A repeat performance would put him in contention in a competitive running of the Grade 2 San Marcos at 1-1/4 miles on turf.

The San Marcos is the last of four stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, preceded by the Grade 2 Las Virgenes, Grade 2 San Antonio, and Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis.

Key Contenders

Flamboyant, by Peer Gynt

Last 3 Beyers: 104-96-92

Flamboyant, who races for California Horse Racing Board chairman Chuck Winner and David Bienstock, has won four times and earned $398,368. The win in the San Gabriel ended a 10-race losing streak that followed his win in the La Puente Stakes in April 2014.

"He seems like he's well within himself," trainer Paddy Gallagher said. "I was delighted that he won last time."

Flamboyant should handle the distance, having finished third by a nose in an optional claimer at 1-1/4 miles here Oct. 22, his last start before the San Gabriel.

"He seems like he could be able to run that far," Gallagher said.

Hay Dude, by Dubawi

Last 3 Beyers: 98-89-98

Hay Dude was stakes-placed in France in 2013 and won for the first time in the United States in an optional claimer at a mile on turf Jan. 14. It was his seventh start in this country.

Ridden by apprentice jockey David Lopez, Hay Dude led throughout and drew off to win by 5-1/4 lengths over Abbey Vale, who is also part of the San Marcos field. Hay Dude and Abbey Vale are trained by Phil D'Amato.

The style in which Hay Dude drew off in the stretch while going a mile gives D'Amato hope that he'll handle the San Marcos distance.

"As easy as he won the other day, we think he'll like it," D'Amato said. "He loves the give in this turf course."

Ganesh, by Sulamani

Last 3 Beyers: 89-93-98

Last spring or summer, Ganesh would have been considered a leading candidate for this race, but his results in the fall were disappointing -- a fourth-place finish behind Bal a Bali in an optional claimer on turf at Del Mar on Oct. 30 and a troubled 13th in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup there on Nov. 26. In the Hollywood Turf Cup, Ganesh was in traffic in early stretch and could not recover, finishing 8-3/4 lengths behind the winner, The Pizza Man.

A Group 1 stakes winner on turf in Argentina in 2014, Ganesh was second in the Grade 3 Last Tycoon Stakes at 1-1/4 miles on turf here last April and second in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes at 1-1/2 miles on turf last May.

Richard Mandella trains Ganesh, a Brazilian-bred.