01/02/2016 8:06PM

Flamboyant wakes up to pay $94.20 for winning San Gabriel

Benoit & Associates
Flamboyant, ridden by Brice Blanc, ends a 10-race losing streak in the San Gabriel.

ARCADIA, Calif. - After Flamboyant won the La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita in his American debut as a 3-year-old in April 2014, the colt seemed poised for a big season. He then lost his next five starts, all stakes. In 2015, Flamboyant was winless in five starts and had been gelded by the end of the year.

All of that led to a start in Saturday’s $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita, and a result few could have predicted. Flamboyant ($94.20) closed from ninth in a field of 11 to win by a neck over the 5-2 favorite Obviously.

Flamboyant rallied to lead in the final strides, allowing jockey Brice Blanc to ease down his mount as he reached the front.

“There was plenty of pace to run at,” Blanc said. “When he settles, he can fly home.”

A fast pace helped Flamboyant, who broke from the inside. Obviously, who was ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 31, set a quick pace of 23.26 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.60 for a half-mile, leading by as many as 3 1/2 lengths. Obviously led by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go, but Flamboyant was closing steadily.

“It was a tough race on paper,” Blanc said. “There were a few nice horses. I think the mile and an eighth helped me and it didn’t help some of the others.”

Flamboyant ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.64. Bal a Bali, who was second in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar on Nov. 27, finished third, followed by Poshsky, Power Ped, Texas Ryano, Chiropractor, Big John B, Kenjisstorm, and Wanstead Gardens.

Macro Access, a 53-1 outsider, was pulled up in the stretch and vanned off.

Flamboyant’s 10-race losing streak included a third in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby in July 2014 and a fourth in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby here in October 2014.

A French-bred by the Sunday Silence stallion Perr Gynt, Flamboyant is trained by Paddy Gallagher for David Bienstock and Chuck Winner, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board.

Winner said that “I did bet” on Flamboyant, who paid $33.40 to place and $13.80 to show. He didn’t elaborate, but did say that his confidence was high when Blanc guided Flamboyant on the inside entering the stretch.

“He looked like he had a lot of horse,” Winner said.

Flamboyant has won 4 of 18 starts and earned $398,368.