Champion of Champions

Champion of Champions

Flash Bak wins American Quarter Horse racing's richest race for aged runners.

Flash Bak. PHOTO: William Zuazo

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One of five qualifiers from the barn of reigning AQHA champion trainer Heath Taylor, Flash Bak broke sharply from his rail post and sped to a three-quarter length victory in the sport's richest and most prestigious race for older runners, Saturday's $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Flash Bak covered 440 yards in :21.578 under jockey Francisco Calderon while earning a 98 speed index and his fifth career Grade 1 win. The 5-year-old Moonin The Eagle gelding also banked the $375,000 winner's share of the purse for his owner, Valeriano Racing Stables.

Flash Bak qualified to the Champion of Champions with his third-place finish in the November 12, 400-yard Z. Wayne Griffin Director's Trials at Los Alamitos. The gelding was bred in Missouri by Jim Streelman and Bill Dale, and he is out of Checknbac, a daughter of the Hennessy (TB) stallion Check Him Out who won the 2006 Governor's Cup Futurity (RG1) at Los Alamitos for the Dutch Masters III partnership. His second dam, the Utah-bred Splash Bac mare Running Bac, won the '02 Mildred N. Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) for fillies and mares at Los Alamitos.

Campaigned in three states, including New Mexico and Oklahoma, Flash Bac has won 11 of 29 races -- including eight of 15 at Los Alamitos -- and he has earned $1,820,157. His three wins in 15 starts at the classic 440-yard trip include the October 15, $350,000 Albuquerque Fall Championship (G1) at Albuquerque Downs, and last year's $100,000 Zia Park Championship (G1) at Zia Park.

Empressum, the sport's reigning world champion and the 11-10 favorite in the full field of 10, finished second and was followed by A Tres Of Eagle, Jeriko, Take A Swig Of This, Shott Gun, Apollitical Pence, Hooked N Gone, Scoops Dynasty, and Whiskey Creek.

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