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Mathea Kelley

California Flag to Begin Campaign in Crosby

Last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner aiming for repeat in 2010.

California Flag, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and third in the 2010 Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-III) in Dubai, is back working for a possible start in the Aug. 1 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. Trainer Brian Koriner said that he hopes California Flag can go straight into the six-furlong Crosby as a first step to tackling the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which is a grade II at Churchill Downs this year.

“He came back from Dubai just great, and he’s doing well,” said Koriner July 3. “The Breeders’ Cup race this year is only five-eighths, so it’s even better.”

In 2009, California Flag won the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, when the race was carded at about 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill. The gelding that year won two turf sprint stakes heading into the race, in which he defeated the mare Gotta Have Her. In her most recent start, Gotta Have Her won the July 3 Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park.

Following last year’s Breeders’ Cup, California Flag finished fifth in the Dec. 13 Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I). The Al Quoz Sprint has been his only 2010 start to date. Koriner began breezing him again in early June, and in his most recent work California Flag went five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Santa Anita July 2.

Owned and bred by Keith and Barbara Card’s Hi Card Ranch in California, California Flag is a 6-year-old son of Avenue of Flags—Ultrafleet, by Afleet. He has won eight of 18 starts for earnings of $1,104,596. He is a full brother to multiple graded turf sprint winner Cambiocorsa.