California Flag, the 7-2 favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is fine after he unseated assistant trainer Colleen Hartford and galloped back to his barn at Santa Anita Nov. 4.
“He was schooling out of the gate, and a horse kind of crossed over in front of him,” said trainer Brian Koriner. “He stuck his front feet in the ground, jumped back the other way, and ran off home.”
Koriner’s barn isn’t far from the gap where horses school in the gate, so California Flag didn’t have far to go. Koriner said that the 5-year-old gelded son of Avenue of Flags–Ultrafleet, by Afleet, suffered no ill effects.
“It probably helped him and got him on edge,” Koriner said. “I’ve just been galloping him, so a blowout is probably good for him.”
California Flag is coming off a sharp victory in the Sept. 30 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the same downhill turf course of about 6 1/2 furlongs as the Turf Sprint. Owned and bred by Keith and Barbara Card in the name of their Hi Card Ranch, he drew post position three for the race.