12/26/2013 8:58PM

Santa Anita: Flores bids farewell to California by winning Malibu

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Benoit & Associates
David Flores, riding for the final time before leaving for Singapore, brings home longshot Shakin It Up in the seven-furlong Malibu.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey David Flores left California a winner on Thursday.

Hours before he embarked on a late night flight for Singapore, where he is booked to ride for at least six months, Flores rode Shakin It Up to an upset win in the $301,500 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

Shakin It Up ($36) closed from eighth in a field of 11 to win by a half-length over 10-1 Central Banker. Zeewat, a 7-1 chance, finished third, 2 3/4 lengths in front of Flashback, the 9-5 favorite. Shakin It Up ran seven furlongs in 1:20.53 in the Grade 1 Malibu.

Flores returned to the winner’s circle with a faceful of dirt, but the 45-year-old veteran did not seem to mind.

“I was expecting a good pace,” Flores said. “The thing was to get a good start and let him be. He did it all right.”

Bakken finished fifth, followed by Our Double Play, Heir of Storm, Distinctiv Passion, Syndicated, Zee Bros, and Holy Lute.

Shakin It Up was trainer Bob Baffert’s third winner of the opening day of the winter-spring meeting. Earlier, Baffert won a maiden special weight race with Battled, and an optional claimer for sprinters with Five Palms.

“He was training great,” Baffert said of Shaking It Up. “The way he was training, he had the back class to win it. I knew he could win it from way off.”

The Malibu was the first start for Shakin It Up since a fourth in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby in New Mexico in March, and the colt’s first stakes win since the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs here last February.

In the Malibu, Shakin It Up broke from post 2 in a field of 11. Shakin It Up was eighth for the first half-mile, well behind the quick pace of 21.66 and 43.33 seconds set by Distinctiv Passion. Flores guided Shakin It Up wide on the turn and had moved into fifth with a furlong remaining. He took the lead in the final strides.

Shakin It Up is co-owned by former U.S. congressman Dennis Cardoza and breeder Mike Pegram, who co-owns Five Palms. By Midnight Lute, Shakin It Up has won 3 of 6 starts and $367,600.