David Flores and Sweet Catomine, the very likely 2-year-old filly champion of 2004, are scheduled to join forces again Sunday when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (g. I) winner makes her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
Flores, who will be 37 on Feb. 5, rode Sweet Catomine to a second-place finish in her first start last July 31, going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar. With her regular rider, Corey Nakatani, serving a 30-day suspension, Flores was given the mount by trainer Julio Canani for the 3-year-old test for fillies.
"She always showed great potential," Flores said. "Of course, she was bred to go long (Storm Cat-Sweet Life) and that was only her first race. I had worked her before her first race and she had the kind of stride that told you right away it was just a matter of a couple races before she was going to win."
Flores has struggled through the first eight days of the meet, winning just one race from 35 mounts.
Sweet Catomine won in her second start and has captured three consecutive races, topped by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 30.
Canani said he doesn't know if Sweet Catomine would run if the track is off. Santa Anita endured 11 inches of rain through the first nine days of the winter meeting and more heavy storms are expected this weekend.
Sweet Catomine has a 3-1-0 record from four starts with earnings of $799,800 for owners Marty and Pam Wygod of Rancho Santa Fe.