06/17/2006 11:00PM

Dixie Meister takes Californian Stakes


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - David Flores was a delighted passenger on Dixie Meister in the first half of the $250,000 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

As Spellbinder and Ice Cole fought through quick fractions of 22.74 and 45.99 seconds, Flores kept Dixie Meister well off the pace, waiting to pounce. The winning move came in early stretch when Dixie Meister rallied from fifth to reach the front.

With the pacesetters out of contention, Dixie Meister held off Super Frolic to win by a length.

The Grade 2 Californian was the most important race of the 4-year-old gelding's career.

"I was hoping it would come out that way," Flores said. "There was plenty of speed in the race, and they were sending, so I was just sitting on my horse."

Dixie Meister ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:49.53 and won by a length over Super Frolic. That's an Outrage finished third in the field of eight.

The Californian was a prep to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 8.

Owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Julio Canani, Dixie Meister ($14) has won 4 of 20 starts and $496,210. The Grade 2 Californian was Dixie Meister's first stakes win since the Star Of Texas Stakes for state-breds last November when he was trained by Steve Asmussen.