Co-owner Charles Winner, right, celebrates with jockey Brice Blanc after Flamboyant’s victory in the Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes, Saturday, January 2, 2016 at Santa Anita Park. © BENOIT PHOTO
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2015) — Timed to perfection by French native Brice Blanc, French-bred Flamboyant saved ground throughout and overhauled favored Obviously late to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes by a neck while getting 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita turf in 1:46.64.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Irish-bred Obviously, one of America’s top rated milers for the past two years, ran too good to lose, as he was running comfortably on a lonely lead through splits of 23.26, 46.60, 1:10.27 and 1:34.36, but the added furlong appeared to do him in as he offered little resistance late.
Off at 46-1 in a field of 11 older horses, Flamboyant, who is conditioned by Paddy Gallagher and had been winless in 10 starts since taking Santa Anita’s La Puente Stakes in his U.S. debut on April 19, 2014, paid $94.20, $33.40 and $13.80.
Owned by CHRB Chairman Chuck Winner and David Bienstock, Flamboyant, a 5-year-old gelding by the Sunday Silence stallion Peer Gynt, picked up his fourth win from 18 starts and with the winner’s take of $120,000, increased his earnings to $398,368.
“Early on, I was a little concerned because I thought he’d be up closer to the lead, but Brice knew what he was doing,” said Winner. “Going into the far turn, I saw he was full of run and when he started moving I thought, ‘We got a shot.’ This all worked out because my wife is French, the horse is French and the jock is French. It’s the French Connection!”
Legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger, who called the previous day’s Rose Bowl on ESPN, presented the San Gabriel trophy.