03/31/2012 7:53PM

Santa Anita: Apprentice Flores guides Warren's Amber to Evening Jewel upset

Benoit & Associates
Eswan Flores guides Warren's Amber to victory in the Evening Jewel for California-breds.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores won the richest race of his career – to date – aboard Warren’s Amber in Saturday’s $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes at Santa Anita. Considering his success in the last four months, that may only be a temporary status.

Flores, 19, is currently ranked third in the jockey standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, and rode like a veteran to score an upset win in the Evening Jewel Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Warren’s Amber ($24.20) rallied from off the pace to win by three-quarters of a length over Starlight Magic, the 8-5 favorite in the field of 11. River Kiss, who set a quick pace of 21.62 and 44.58 seconds, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Starlight Magic.

Warren’s Amber was behind fillies turning for home. Flores followed Starlight Magic through space on the inside, and had his mount pulling away from Starlight Magic in the final 50 yards. Warren’s Amber ran 6 /-2 furlongs in 1:15.97, winning for the second time in her seventh career start.

“I got some dirt in my face, but it was worth it,” Flores said. “I really trusted my filly. I knew I could win it. She was running for me.”

Warren’s Amber races for breeder Ben Warren and trainer Jorge Gutierrez. A filly by the Theatrical stallion Broadway Moon, Warren’s Amber could have been claimed for $30,000 here last November.

The Evening Jewel Stakes, part of the newly-created Golden State Series of stakes for California-breds, was her second appearance in a stakes.

She was third in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes over seven furlongs on Dec. 26. In her only subsequent start, Warren’s Amber was third in a starter allowance on Feb. 23. Warren’s Amber has earned $155,550.

Warren’s Amber and Starlight Magic are candidates for the $300,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old California-breds on the California Gold Rush program at Hollywood Park on April 28.