Flamboyant-Gaga exacta in San Marcos

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

February 7th, 2016

David Bienstock and Charles Winner’s Flamboyant scored his second straight graded win at Santa Anita Saturday, following up his January 2 San Gabriel (G2) with another strong finish in the $201,380 San Marcos (G2).

There were a couple of differences. Ignored at 46-1 last time, the French import was given due respect here as the 5-2 second choice. The 1 1/4-mile San Marcos was held over an extra furlong, but the added ground figured to help his cause.

As in the San Gabriel, a Fanticola/Scardino colorbearer trained by Phil D’Amato went out winging—not Obviously, but Hay Dude, the slight favorite at 5-2. Hay Dude opened up through fractions of :23.72, :47.50 and 1:12.23. The field closed in at the mile split in 1:37.22, and the burning question was if Hay Dude were just playing possum before springing back up again, or if he really were beginning to stall.

The answer was not long in coming, as Hay Dude weakened, and Gaga A shot through on the rail in her bid for history. The well-traveled gray, doubly assisted by her light weight and ground-saving passage, flirted with becoming the first female to win the San Marcos (judging by the honor roll on

Then came a Flamboyant entrance onto the scene. Once again responding to jockey Brice Blanc, the Paddy Gallagher pupil forged three-quarters of a length ahead in a final time of 2:01.58 on the good course. He deserves extra credit for conceding the runner-up nine pounds as the 124-pound co-highweight.

Quick Casablanca made it a clean sweep for the imports by rallying for third, three-quarters off fellow South American Gaga A. This was his best performance since being sidelined by emergency colic surgery in the summer of 2014. Also a traffic-troubled fifth in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) on Thanksgiving, Quick Casablanca is rounding into form just in time for Santa Anita’s long-distance turf prizes, the March 13 San Luis Rey (G2) and April 10 San Juan Capistrano (G2).

As described in the San Gabriel recap, Flamboyant is himself recovering his sparkle from 2014. During that sophomore season, he garnered the La Puente and placed in the Pennine Ridge and the lucrative Belmont Derby Invitational (G1). He now sports a mark of 19-5-3-4, $518,355.

Flamboyant is by far the best performer sired by Peer Gynt, a Sunday Silence stallion who was effective over a range of distances in Japan. The 5-year-old was produced by the Until Sundown mare Relicia Bere, a half-sister to Group 3-placed stakes scorer Bartex. Group 2-placed multiple stakes heroine Kenzadargent is also close up in the family, while world-record miler Atticus appears at a further remove.

Photo courtesy Santa Anita/Benoit.