California Flag Favored in Full Turf Sprint
by Tracy Gantz
Date Posted: 11/3/2009 9:31:59 PM
Last Updated: 11/6/2009 11:04:47 AM
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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