ARCADIA, Calif.— Trainer Brian Koriner understandably still has fond memories of California Flag, who will be honored this Sunday with the ninth edition of the race named in his honor.
Koriner, a native of Montebello, California, conditioned the gelding for six seasons, winning 11 of 27 races and earning $1,288,825.
California Flag ran in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint a remarkable five consecutive times, from 2008 through 2012, winning it in 2009, when he was co-California Horse of the Year.
He set a track record in 2008 winning the Morvich Handicap (presently known as the Eddie D. stakes) and is the only horse to win the race three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
A gray son of the Seattle Slew stallion Avenue of Flags bred by Hi Card Ranch, California Flag is now 19 and still enjoying retirement at Peacefield Farm in Temecula.
“We hauled him to Hong Kong and he ran really good (fifth in the 2009 Hong Kong Sprint), he went to Dubai and he ran really well (third in the Al Quoz Sprint),” reflected Koriner, who celebrates his 56th birthday on Oct. 21.
“You’d love to have another one like him. He was a machine; always felt good. He ran off before the start when he won the Turf Sprint in 2009 but he won anyway with Joe Talamo. “He was a lot of fun, that horse.”
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: California Flag (Benoit Photo)
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