LARC NEWS Posted: 11/8/2021 2:51:37 AM


         Running in seventh place at the beginning of the Grade 1, $925,650 Los Alamitos Super Derby, Dutch Masters III’s Flash Bak appeared to have little chance to catch the turbo express named Apollitical Patty, as the millionaire filly’s sizzling start gave her a 1 ½ length advantage over the Moonin The Eagle gelding in the 400-yard derby.   

          In the face of an apparently insurmountable task, jockey Oscar Peinado still had hope that Flash Bak’s potent late run would kick in at the midway point of the race to give him a chance to make it a close race.  

          “There was a lot of shouting and screaming in the starting gates that when they opened the gates, (Flash Bak) moved a little bit and didn’t break,” Peinado said. “He started closing strong and towards the end I just thought ‘you’re taking off!’ We were so far behind. We were at the back. She had us by a length. Thankfully we won. It wasn’t until we got near the finish line that we caught her. At the end, he always takes off. He has so much ability at the end. He stuck his neck in front, and I just said, ‘we won this!’”

          Flash Bak got it done, as the Jaime Gomez-trained runner crossed the finish line, just like Peinado said, a neck ahead of Apollitical Patty to win the richest derby of the meet at Los Alamitos. The effort earned the James Streelman and Bill Dale-Missouri-bred runner a first-place check of $375,333 plus a presumptive berth to the December 11, $600,000 Champion of Champions at 440 yards.

          After posting the fastest qualifying time in the trials to the Super Derby on October 16, Flash Bak was placed on the veterinarian list. That meant that he was required to have satisfactory timed 220-yard workout of :13.0 or faster 14 days after the trials to participate in the final. Flash Bak cleared that hurdle easily on Sunday, October 31, working 220 yards in :12.40.

          “There was a little angst last Sunday,” admitted Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III. “I was a little concern. I knew he could do 13 flat with no problem, but we had some problems with him at Ruidoso as well. We’ve done a lot of different things, stem cells and other things. He looked tired after this race. We’ll see who’s in the Champion of Champions.”

          Streelman has had one of the best years of his career as owner. His juvenile star, Jess Savin Candy, won the Ruidoso Futurity and Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and with Flash Bak, he’s won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February and now the Los Alamitos Super Derby. It appears that Streelman will have a runner in the Champion of Champions, which surprisingly has been rare for him over the years.

          “I’ve only run in 35 years twice in the Champion of Champions,” Streelman said. “My horses run good at ages two and three and then kind of top out, but this horse has been lightly raced his whole career. We’ll probably get an invitation (to the Champion of Champions). We’ll have to see who’s in the race. The Champion of Champions is a month down the road. We’ll see how he comes back.”

Streelman’s only starters in the Champion of Champions have been the Bob Baffert-trained Zure Hope Again in 1988 and Chazaq a few years ago (2017) after he won this race. I think this horse can go 440 with no trouble.

       "This has been a good year. I just have to thank God for my blessings,” said Streelman, who has won a record four runnings of the Los Alamitos Derby.

          Streelman, who had a heart transplant in 2013, is especially thankful to have recovered from a breakthrough case of COVID-19 this past summer.

          “We qualified for the All American (Futurity) and I had been driving to Ruidoso the last couple of years,” Streelman said. “My wife was begging me to drive her to South Dakota to see (family) in Sioux Fall. I said, ‘it’s only 1,100 miles. I can do that.’ We drove up there and that’s where I got sick. I was really sick for four days and I’m somewhat immune compromise because of my heart transplant. The people at Cedars Sinai told me that if I had not been immunized, I would have been dangerously sick. Let’s just say that my 180-yard club only goes 155 yards still. I’m not quite back yet. My days of hitting the ball long are done. I don’t have the strength I used to have, but I’m working hard on it every day.”

          Surrounded by family and friends, Streelman was strong enough to hold the large Super Derby trophy in the winner’s circle, which could end up being a good test of strength with the Champion of Champions just around the corner.

          “Somebody asked me about my birthday recently,” Streelman said. “My birth (year) is 1945. That makes me 76, however, if you average my parts, I’m only about 60. The doctors gave my heart another 200,000 miles to go. My heart is doing good.”

          And about his other current Quarter Horse start, Jess Savin Candy, Streelman is excited about his horse’s future.

          “He’s about six inches deep in shavings in a big stall in a beautiful farm in Missouri right now,” Streelman said. “My partner (Bill Dale) picked him up in Oklahoma City last weekend. He has to go to University of Missouri in three weeks (for a follow up). They took a chip out of each ankle. He’s jumping around and he’s perfectly sound on that right front foot.  No question, he’ll race next year. The doctors say he’ll be better and stronger next year than he was this year. If he runs well in Ruidoso on the first of July. He’ll be supplemented to the Los Alamitos Super Derby just like I did with (Flash Bak).

          “I’ve paid the supplement twice before. I paid a horse by the name of Forget It. (Former Los Alamitos Nominations Director) Melodie Knuchell told me I had to run fifth to get my money back and Forget It ran third. Tonight, we did a little better. Jaime and (assistant trainer) Carlos Lopez got this guy ready. He definitely favors this racetrack over New Mexico. He has two derby wins here and was second to Apollitical Patty in the Los Alamitos Two Million last year.”

          Now a winner in seven of 15 starts, Flash Bak has now earned $946,015. In addition to his exploits at Los Alamitos, he also raced in the All American Futurity last year and the Rainbow Derby this year.

          Owned by Julianna Hawn Holt and trained by Monty Arrossa, Apollitical Patty was tremendous in her runner-up effort in the Super Derby. Ridden by Jose Nicasio, the filly by Apollitical Blood earned $151,921 to take her career earnings to $1,243,263. The Los Alamitos Oaks winner was bred by the late Jim Walker.

          “She’s a stunning filly.” Streelman said of Apollitical Patty.


          Arrossa also saddled third place finisher, Fallout, for owners Dunn Ranch. The Steve Burns-bred gelding by Favorite Cartel was ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala. He earned $107,238 for the show placing. A Dangerous Flash, Counting The Ways, Reason To Fly Mv, SC Divas Cartel Man, Rite On Time and A Dash Of Sign complete the field.




          With Flash Bak’s Super Derby win earning him the presumptive berth to the Champion of Champions, he joins the following horses in the Quarter Horse classic on December 11: Powerful Favorite (Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship and Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship), Circle City (Vessels Maturity), Reason To Fly Mv (Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap), You Can Run (Go Man Go Handicap), Instygator (All American Derby) and Cats Daddy Little Girl (Junos Request Stakes).


          Instygator and Cats Daddy Little Girl received invitations to the Champion of Champions as part of the race’s new format which was announced in March. The Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials, which serve as the trials to the Champion of Champions, will be held on Sunday, November 14.



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