04/10/2008 11:00PM

Flores finds his Derby horse


ARCADIA, Calif. - David Flores will ride Santa Anita Derby runner-up Bob Black Jack in the Kentucky Derby, if the speed colt gains a berth in the classic race at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Flores said he agreed to ride the colt earlier this week to ensure he had a mount in the Kentucky Derby.

"It's getting closer," he said. "We had to make a decision."

Flores has ridden Bob Black Jack in 6 of his 7 starts, including wins in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes and Sunshine Millions Dash, and a third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 15. In the Sunshine Millions Dash at Santa Anita on Jan. 26, Bob Black Jack set a world record of 1:06.53 for six furlongs.

Richard Migliore rode Bob Black Jack in the Santa Anita Derby. Flores rode El Gato Malo to a fifth-place finish in that race. Flores was left impressed with Bob Black Jack's half-length loss to Colonel John. Bob Black Jack was second for most of the race and led briefly in the final furlong.

"The way the track plays here, he ran a good race," Flores said. "This track is not for speed horses."

Owned by Jeff Harmon and Tim Kasparoff and trained by Tim's brother, James, Bob Black Jack has won 3 of 7 starts and $442,925. He has earned $180,000 in graded stakes, which leaves him 16th on the list of Kentucky Derby hopefuls. The Kentucky Derby is limited to the top 20 3-year-olds in graded stakes earnings, if the race oversubscribes.

James Kasparoff said he has been elated with the way that Bob Black Jack has recovered from his second in the Santa Anita Derby, and that Bob Black Jack will have a workout Sunday or Monday.

"He walked three days and he's been back to the track for three days," Kasparoff said. "We gave him a couple of easy days and we'll breeze him on Sunday or Monday. The fact that he was back to the track in three days was pretty good."

Kasparoff said Bob Black Jack could start in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 27 or the $1 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 17, if the colt does not gain a berth in the Kentucky Derby.

"It would probably be one or the other," Kasparoff said. "If I can get in the Derby, I want to run him in the Derby. He's still improving."

Bob Black Jack will wear blinkers in the Kentucky Derby. Kasparoff said the blinkers would be "cheater" blinkers, which reduce peripheral vision less than full blinkers.

"We'll work him in them," Kasparoff said. "I don't want him any more aggressive."

Kentucky Derby plans have not been finalized for El Gato Malo, according to trainer Craig Dollase. El Gato Malo has earned $145,000 in graded stakes, which through Friday left him in 20th on the earnings list. Major prep races this weekend in Kentucky and Arkansas and next weekend in Kentucky are expected to change the graded stakes standings, which could leave El Gato Malo without a berth for the Kentucky Derby.

"I don't know what the status is or whether we're on the bubble or not," Dollase said.

Dollase said El Gato Malo has resumed training at Hollywood Park.

Colonel John has also resumed training and will have a workout at the beginning of the week, trainer Eoin Harty said. Colonel John is considered a leading candidate for the Kentucky Derby.

Well Armed, Idiot Proof resting

Well Armed, the third-place finisher in the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29, and Idiot Proof, second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Stakes for sprinters on the same program, are being given one-month breaks on farms, their trainers said Friday.

Well Armed is based at WinStar Farm in Kentucky, Harty said. Owned by WinStar Farms, Well Armed will return to training in early May, with a goal of starting in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28.

Idiot Proof has been sent to owner Marty Wygod's River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif., trainer Clifford Sise said. Sise said Idiot Proof will return to racing in the summer, possibly in a stakes at Monmouth Park.

The winner of the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes last October at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, Idiot Proof will be pointed to that race this fall as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Indian Blessing eyes La Troienne

Indian Blessing, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2007, worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Friday.

Unraced since finishing second in the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 8, Indian Blessing is a possible starter in the $150,000 La Troienne Stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard, trainer Bob Baffert said earlier this week.

Baffert emphasized that his plans for Indian Blessing are not definite. Owned by Patti and Hal Earnhardt, Indian Blessing has won 5 of 6 starts and $1,647,200.

At Hollywood Park, Salute the Sarge, winner of last month's San Miguel Stakes in his only start this year, worked six furlongs in 1:12.40, the fastest of 16 recorded works at the distance. Salute the Sarge is expected to start in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 19.

Pick-six winner nabs Corvette

For the second time at the winter-spring meeting, an ontrack customer has been the sole winner of the pick six and won a Chevrolet Corvette as a bonus.

Thursday, Joseph Scardino, 75, of Glendora, Calif., spent $1,008 on the pick six and had the only winning ticket, which was worth $105,208.

Scardino, a retired drywall contractor, owns horses trained by Julio Canani. Scardino has owned horses such as Silver Circus, Bruho, and Budroyale, owning the latter when he was a $50,000 claimer and not a multiple stakes winner.

Earlier this week, Scardino said he purchased a filly at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in-training sale for $600,000.

The Corvette was available if the only winning pick-six ticket was purchased ontrack. On March 24, an on-track customer hit the pick six for $131,295, becoming the first winner of the sports car promotion.