California Flag Favored in Full Turf Sprint

California Flag Favored in Full Turf Sprint
Photo: Mathea Kelley
Favorite California Flag drew post position three for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
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In a full field of 14 with two also-eligibles, California Flag drew post position three for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He was made the morning-line favorite at 7-2 for the race, which uses Santa Anita’s unique downhill grass course that makes a right-hand turn in the initial portion of the distance of about 6 1/2 furlongs.

Victim of a suicidal pace in the inaugural Turf Sprint last year, California Flag may again set the pace, but will likely set more reasonable fractions. He is calmer since returning from a layoff last year when he underwent surgery to remove a chip from his left ankle.

“Since he’s come back from the layoff, he’s been very kind walking to the gate, with his head down and really relaxed,” said trainer Brian Koriner.

Though Kornier preferred an outside post position, he noted that California Flag is used to being closer to the inside. He had the same post position in his last race, the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT), which he won over the same course.

Trainer John Sadler will saddle two in the Turf Sprint — Noble Court, who drew the rail and Get Funky, who drew No. 5.

Because of the configuration of the downhill course, the outside post positions are usually prized. Local runner Delta Storm drew the outside post position 14, while last year’s winner, Desert Code  , drew post 13.

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Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1.  Noble Court  Joel Rosario  John Sadler  8-1
2.  Silver Timber  Julien Leparoux  Chad Brown  8-1
3.  California Flag  Joe Talamo   Brian Koriner  7-2
4.  Lord Shanakill  Jim Crowley  Richard Mandella  8-1
5.  Get Funky  Rafael Bejarano  John Sadler  20-1
6.  Cannonball  Ramon Dominguez  Wesley Ward  8-1
7.  Gotta Have Her  Tyler Baze  Jenine Sahadi  15-1
8.  Square Eddie    Frankie Dettori  Doug O'Neill  20-1
9.  Diamondrella (GB)  Rajiv Maragh  Richard Dutrow  4-1
10.  Canadian Ballet  Alan Garcia  Linda Rice  20-1
11.  El Gato Malo  David Flores  Craig Dollase  30-1
12.  Strike the Deal  Kieren Fallon  Jeremy Noseda  15-1
13.  Desert Code    Richard Migliore  David Hofmans  20-1
14.  Delta Storm  Garrett Gomez  Mike Mitchell  10-1
AE  Tenga Cat  Mike Smith  Ron Ellis  30-1
AE  Cherokee Heaven  Brice Blanc  Martin Jones  30-1

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