12/28/2007 1:00AM

Flores sweeps opening-day stakes

EmailARCADIA, Calif. – Before a crowd of 30,156, jockey David Flores guided Monterey Jazz to a front-running win in Wednesday’s $122,100 Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita, completing a sweep of the three stakes on the opening day of the winter-spring meeting.

Earlier in the day, Flores won the $250,000 Malibu Stakes with Johnny Eves and the $138,375 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes with Bob Black Jack. Johnny Eves and Bob Black Jack led throughout their wins.

Monterey Jazz ($12.80) set fractions of 22.81 and 46.32 seconds, and was not challenged until the final furlong of the one-mile turf race. Mr Napper Tandy closed from ninth to finish second by a length. Twilight Meteor also closed well to finish third in the field of 13 3-year-olds.

Monterey Jazz ran the mile in 1:34.36, scoring his third win in his last four starts. He is unbeaten in two starts at a mile on turf. He is owned by the partnership of A & R Stables and Class Racing Stable.

Opening-day attendance was down 8.4 percent from the 2006 opening day crowd of 32,931.

Santa Anita opened its 2006-07 winter-spring meeting on a Tuesday, which track president Ron Charles said is a day that draws a larger crowd. He pointed out that the 2001 winter-spring meeting, the last year the track opened on a Wednesday, drew an ontrack crowd of 27,713.

“I go a lot by atmosphere and how people react,” Charles said of the crowd. “I think this will start us off well and put us on our way.”

The track offered a new bet, the $1 Super High Five, which required bettors to correctly select the first five finishers of the last race, which on Wednesday was a sprint for maiden claimers. The bet drew a handle of $54,653, and there were no winning tickets. There is a carryover of $43,350 for Friday’s card.

The winning combination of 8-4-6-10-3 comprised Custom Design ($9), Danny Templeton (8-1), Press Release (9-1), The Emerald King (57-1) and Court Rule (46-1).

Hennessy’s Hope, the 3-1 favorite, finished ninth. The race was off at 4:37 p.m., but the payoff was not announced until 5 p.m.