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Race Preview: California Flag Handicap - Santa Anita, October 19, 2013

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Matt Carter

October 19th, 2013

Yet another pick 6 carryover on Saturday at Santa Anita, but we will focus on the feature, the 1st running of the California Flag Handicap. The six and one-half furlong sprint down the hill recognizes the gelding that loved the course and won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

The first running of the race could not have been any more wide open. The morning line favorite in the field of 10 at 3-1 is Strong Wind, who is coming out of three straight races during the summer over the Del Mar turf course. Those three races were at five furlongs and it remains to be seen if the colt wants further. He should be out winging on the front end and that may not be the place to be as there does appear to be other speed signed on.

Ain't No Other has run down the hill before including a win in the Sensational Star Stakes in February. The Old Topper gelding has won nine of his 29 career starts with seven seconds and eight thirds. He has never finished out of the money on the turf and is a must use in all plays on Saturday.

Others to consider are Tiz a Minister, who will be flying late, Circa'sgoldengear, who has a win over the course, Starspangled Heat, another course winner, and Luckarack, a five-year-old gelding that just loves to win.

While Mobilized may not look like a winner on paper, he will be ridden by Joe Talamo, the regular rider of California Flag. It would be a fitting win for the inaugural running.

First post on Saturday is 4:00 pm ET with the California Flag off at 7:45. The pick 6 starts in race four at 5:37.
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