Flores rides to rescue, 3,000th career victory
Jockey Alex Bisono’s loss was David Flores’ gain.
When Bisono was unable to fulfill his obligation to ride Time to Get Even in the $109,700 Lazaro Barerra Memorial on Sunday at Hollywood Park because of lingering ankle soreness after a spill four days earlier, Flores picked up the mount on the 7-1 shot and was up to win the Grade III stakes race in the final yards.
Besides providing trainer Walther Solis with his first victory in a graded race, the win was the 3,000th of Flores’ career, a milestone celebrated by a sizable gathering in the winner’s circle, including his riding colleagues.
“There’s nothing better than doing this [victory No. 3,000] with a good horse in a stakes,” said Flores, who was off the board earlier in the day with his only other mount. “This horse gave me an incredible run.
“I was patient and we were a little wide, but I had a lot of horse. When I turned him loose down the stretch, he gave me a great effort. I knew I had it in the last sixteenth.”
A native of Guatemala, Solis, 45, was a former rider and assistant trainer to Caesar Dominguez. He was the farm manager at Golden Eagle Farm near San Diego before going out on his own as a trainer three years ago.
He purchased Time to Get Even, a son of Stephen Got Even, for $5,000 for owners Murietto Stables and Joe and Mario Lopez at the Keeneland September sale, and the dark bay has obviously been a bargain. He has won two of three and the win on Sunday pushed his bankroll to more than $100,000.
“I liked everything about him when I bought him,” said Solis. “I thought he had stakes potential after his first couple of works.”
Principle Secret, the 2-1 favorite, finished second, a neck behind the winner and a nose in front of 3-1 second choice Desert Code. Try to Fly, who lost for the first time in three starts, Abalanche, Euroglide, Taxi Fleet and Another Kris completed the order of finish. Hurry Home Warren, Robbos Courage and Scat Thief were all scratched.
Thanks to a slew of longshots, there will be a two-day pick six carry-over of $850,466 when racing resumes Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Sightseeing, the 3-5 favorite, was up in the last stride to defeat 14-1 shot Prom Shoes in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Owned by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey, the 3-year-old Pulpit colt won for the second time in nine starts. He was favored on the strength of his runner-up effort behind Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Wood Memorial on April 7 at Aqueduct.
Ridden by Edgar Prado, Sightseeing, who ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.89, might have earned a start in the Belmont Stakes on June 9 with his narrow win in the Grade II Peter Pan.
“The Belmont is possible,” said McGaughey. “We’ll wait and see how he comes out of this race. We’re here and I’m sure the Phipps would love to run in the Belmont if they thought they had a legitimate chance.”