Apollitical Man wins Indiana Championships

Apollitical Man and James Flores were on a mission from the start and led the field of talented older horses from gate to wire to win the fifth running of the $85,480 Indiana Championship at Indiana Grand Saturday, Oct. 21. The race was one of five stakes races on the card to polish off the final all-Quarter Horse racing night of 2017 at the Central Indiana racetrack.


Apollitical Man and James Flores were easy winners in the fifth running of the $85,480 Indiana Championship during all-Quarter Horse Stakes Night Saturday, Oct. 21. It was the first trip to Indiana for the five-year-old son of Apollitical Jess. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post six in the nine-horse lineup, Apollitical Man made his first start at Indiana Grand an impressive outing. Flores, who has been the regular pilot on the five-year-old gelded son of Apollitical Jess, knew he needed a quick, clean start, and that is what he got from Apollitical Man. Once on the lead, the duo never looked back, rallying home to a one and three-quarter length win in the 400-yard dash in a time of :19.641 seconds. Country Boy 123 and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez was able to fend off Stinkin Rich and Rolando Pina for the tight photo for second.

 “He really repeated what he did in his last out,” said Flores, who scored his first of two wins on the card aboard Apollitical Man. “When he runs his race, he is hard to beat.”

Jockey James Flores brings Apollitical Man back to the winner’s circle following his win in the Indiana Championships Sat. Oct. 21. Flores now has four stakes wins aboard the five-year-old gelding for trainer Larry Sharp. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Apollitical Man, the third favorite of the field, paid $9.20, $4.00 and $2.80 across the board. He earned his second straight win and his third in five starts for 2017 with his win in the Indiana Championships. He is owned by Jon and Brant Barley and capably trained by Larry Sharp. Apollitical Man cruised over the $100,000 mark with his win, now boasting more than $143,000 in career earnings. He has eight wins total, four of which are stakes wins all under the guidance of Flores, who leaves Indiana Grand this season with 10 wins in 26 starts and more than $240,000 in purse earnings.

 “I like this racetrack and I like the people here,” said Flores of his successful season, his first, riding at Indiana Grand. “I’ve been blessed to come in and ride some great horses.”

 Flores is currently ranked sixth in the country among all Quarter Horse jockeys for purses accumulated in 2017. The Oklahoma native has more than $1.6 million on his credentials with 69 wins. He frequently travels all across the country to compete in races. In just the past week, the multiple Graded Stakes winning jockey has ridden at Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma and made the trip to Prairie Meadows for the Grade I AQHA Distaff Challenge Championship Stakes, a race he finished second in aboard Time For Wine. Flores is in his seventh year of riding and has a long, successful relationship with Sharp.

Dianne Bennett, executive director of the QHRAI, presents the trophy to Trainer Larry Sharp (center) for his win with Apollitical Man in the Indiana Championships. Sharp is joined by owners Jon and Brant Barley and other family members and friends. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 “James (Flores) has ridden for me for a few years now,” said Sharp. “He’s done very well for us. We hit it off almost immediately. Of course, you can’t complain when you are winning races. He’s ridden a lot of winners for us.”