CALIFORNIA RACING INDUSTRY’S GOLDEN STATE SERIES BOLSTERS
CALIFORNIA CUP ENTRIES & INCREASES JUVENILE PURSES
“The Golden State Series, which was initiated this year by the California racing industry, has helped bolster entries for this year’s Cal Cup and it is responsible for significant increases in purses for both of our 2-year-old stakes,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Racing Rick Hammerle. “Both the Bob Benoit Juvenile and the Keith Card Juvenile Fillies have had their purses bumped from $100,000 to $250,000 each. This is great news for the Cal Cup and for our game here in California.”
While the Classic enjoys top billing on Saturday’s 10-race program, the John Deere California Cup Distaff will garner plenty of notice as well as it attracted 22 fillies and mares, resulting in the race being split, to be run as races six and eight. The Distaff will be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course and with the split of the race, bettors will be offered a total of six stakes on the afternoon.
Trained by Carla Gaines, John Scott, a gelded son of Bertrando, comes off a game win in the one mile Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 4, a race run on synthetic Polytrack.
Fourth, beaten just 2 ¼ lengths by eventual Santa Anita Derby winner Lookin at Lucky in Santa Anita’s Grade I Norfolk Stakes as a 2-year-old in Oct. 2009, John Scott subsequently went to the sidelines and did not resurface until April 21, 2012 at Santa Anita.
In that race, a 6 ½ furlong first condition allowance, he finished a close fourth and went on to register consecutive allowance wins at Betfair Hollywood Park going seven furlongs and 1 1/16 miles, on May 26 and June 28. He was subsequently second, beaten a half-length, by the highly regarded Rail Trip in the Grade II San Diego Handicap going 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar on July 28.
Saturday’s Cal Cup Classic will be the first time John Scott has faced statebreds since winning the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar in 2009.
John Scott figures to press the Classic pace or make the early lead under his regular pilot, Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for the Brubaker score and who has partnered with “John” in four of his lifetime victories. John Scott brings an impressive 8-5-1-0 mark and $301,304 in earnings to the Cal Cup party.
Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred Rousing Sermon, 3-year-old colt by Lucky Pulpit, has faced America’s best 3-year-olds this year and will be taking on older competition for the first time in the Classic.
Most recently fourth, beaten 5 ¼ lengths in the Grade II Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 8, Rousing Sermon has been busy on a national scale throughout 2012; running fourth behind I’ll Have Another in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4, fifth in the Grade II San Felipe on March 10, third in the Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans on April 1, eighth in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on May 5, fourth in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Swaps Stakes July 4, and second in the state bred Real Good Deal Stakes on Aug. 3 at Del Mar.
Conditioned by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Rousing Sermon’s best races have come when he is able to mount a late-charging rally from off the pace. A first-out Cal Bred maiden special weight winner on June 5, 2011, his most recent win came in the Bob Benoit Cal Cup Juvenile on Oct. 29. He has banked $477,000 from a 13-2-3-4 record.
Lucky Primo, a 6-year-old gelded son of Atticus, was second, beaten a neck in last year’s Classic and comes off a close fourth-place finish in a 1 1/16 miles allowance race at Del Mar on Aug. 30.
His best races have come on turf and Lucky Primo has two wins on synthetic surfaces as a 2-year-old, including the 2008 Cal Cup Juvenile. Owned by JBK Stables and Jason Litt, he has a forwardly-placed style that should ensure a solid pace. He has $332,616 in earnings from a record of 15-5-3-3.
Claimed for $25,000 in July, 2011, the 7-year-old gelding Holladay Road has made $183,432 this year alone. Trained by Julio Canani and owned by Gary and Wendy Broad, Holladay Road was third, beaten 1 ½ lengths by John Scott in Del Mar’s Brubaker on Sept. 1. He has $355,252 in career earnings and an 18-7-1-4 mark.
The complete field for the Lava Man Cal Cup Classic, presented by City National Bank, which will be run as the ninth on a 10-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Holladay Road, Joe Talamo, 124; Got Even, Brice Blanc, 114; Rousing Sermon, Rafael Bejarano, 114; Woodmans Luck, Garrett Gomez, 117; Lucky Primo, Tyler Baze, 117; Thirtyfirst Street, Chantal Sutherland, 117, John Scott, Victor Espinoza, 124, and Accelerant, Edwin Maldonado, 117.
Volume I of Saturday’s John Deere Cal Cup Distaff, for fillies and mares three-years old and up, will go as the sixth race and favoritism could likely befall the Marty Jones-trained Tiz Flirtatious, a lightly raced 4-year-old filly by Tiz Bud.
A winner of her first three starts, Tiz Flirtatious tasted defeat as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade II La Canada Stakes on Jan. 22 and has not run since.
Owned by her breeder, Pamela Ziebarth, Tiz Flirtatious will be reunited on Saturday with jockey Joel Rosario, who is now based in New York but had ridden her in her last three starts.
In addition to trying to overcome the lengthy layoff, Tiz Flirtatious will be trying the turf for the first time on Saturday. Her three wins, all in sprints, were executed from off the pace and it is expected Rosario will try to have her sitting mid-back early.
Tiz Flirtatious has $134,800 in earnings from a 4-3-0-0 mark.
Ted and Judy Nichols’ homebred Teddy’s Promise, a winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes on Dec. 31, 2011, has been idle since running fifth in the Grade II A Gleam Handicap on July 14 at Hollywood Park.
A 4-year-old filly by Salt Lake, Teddy’s Promise has a steady series of drills on her work tab for trainer Ron Ellis, her most recent move a half-mile out of the gate at Hollywood in 47.80, a possible indication that Ellis would like to see his charge in close early attendance on Saturday.
Teddy’s Promise has one second-place finish from four tries on turf. She has $418,681 in earnings from an overall record of 17-6-2-1, and will be ridden for the first time by Edwin Maldonado, who was the leading rider at the recently concluded Fairplex Park meeting.
Unusual Hottie, who was most recently second, beaten a half-length in the one mile (turf) Solana Beach Handicap on Aug. 19 at Del Mar, is a 3-year-old filly by Unusual Heat who will facing older for the first time. However, she has but one off-the-board effort in nine career starts and retains the services of Garrett Gomez.
Due to her consistency alone, Unusual Hottie, who is owned by her breeder, Seyyed M. Nilforushan, has to be accorded a good measure of respect on Saturday. She has $171,660 in earnings from a 9-4-3-1 record.
The complete field for the John Deere California Cup Distaff, which will be run as the sixth race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Tiz Flirtatious, Joel Rosario, 117; Tasty Treat, Martin Pedroza, 119; Teddy’s Promise, Edwin Maldonado, 124; River Kiss, Kevin Krigger, 115; Sizzling Gold, Agapito Delgadillo, 117; Warren’s Amber, Mike Smith, 122; Miss Becca, Victor Espinoza, 117; Logical Single, Martin Garcia, 117; Bleach Blonde, Julien Couton, 119; Best Present Ever, Russell Baze, 122, and Unusual Hottie, Garrett Gomez, 119.
Volume II of the Distaff will manifest itself as Saturday’s eighth race, and like Volume I, it attracted a field of 11 fillies and mares.
The Walther Solis-trained Willa B Awesome, a winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on March 31, has banked $615,896, and as such, has the distinction of being the afternoon’s leading money earning participant.
Owned by Daniels, London, Winters and partners, Willa B Awesome has been idle since running third as the 3-2 favorite in Del Mar’s Fleet Treat Stakes for statebred 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on July 28.
A 3-year-old filly by Awesome Gambler, “Willa” will be tackling older competition and trying the turf for the first time in the Distaff.
Stephen Weissman’s homebred Sugarinthemorning just missed winning the Grade II Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Aug. 19, finishing second, beaten a half-length at 4-1. An allowance winner down the hillside turf course in March, 2011, the 4-year-old by Candy Ride has two Grade I stakes placings to her credit and four graded placings overall.
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally has overseen “Sugar’s” lifetime mark of 17-5-6-1, which has produced earnings of $456,684.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Sparkling Style is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and the 4-year-old daughter of Badge of Silver rates an upset chance Saturday. Idle since running third at 4-1 in the statebred Solana Beach on Aug. 19, Sparkling Style will try the Santa Anita turf for the first time in the Distaff. She has earnings of $150,202 from a 7-3-1-1 record.
The complete field for the second division of the John Deere California Cup Distaff, which will be run as the eighth race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Bella Viaggia, Joe Talamo, 119; Cayanna, Mario Gutierrez, 117; Fabulous Fit, David Flores, 117; Madoffwiththemoney, Alonso Quinonez, 117; Sparkling Style, Rafael Bejarano, 124; West Ruler, Tyler Baze, 117; Willa B Awesome, Martin Pedroza, 122; Going for a Spin, Garrett Gomez, 124; Missdealornodeal, Kevin Krigger, 117; Sugarinthemorning, Martin Garcia, 117, and Camille C, Ricardo Jaime, 117.
Trainer Doug O’Neill will saddle the consistent Mensa Heat in the $100,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.
The Valpredo attracted a wide open field of 10 and Mensa Heat may enjoy a class edge, as he appears to have been facing the toughest recent competition. He comes off a big third, beaten 1 ½ lengths, in the Grade III Eddie D Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on turf on Sept. 28. Prior to that, the 6-year-old Unusual Heat gelding was second to the highly regarded Comma to the Top in the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes Sept. 5, and three starts back, was second to recent Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship winner Coil in a classified allowance July 26.
Mensa Heat is owned by Ho, Randall, Westside Rentals.com and partners. He has earnings of $505,718 from a 48-9-9-9 record.
Bay Area-based trainer Lloyd Mason will send out the hard knocking Shudacudawuda in the Valpredo.
The 5-year-old Marino Marini gelding rates a big chance Saturday on the strength of his rousing six furlong classified allowance win at Golden Gate Fields Sept 3, in which he earned a Cal Cup Day best last-out Beyer speed figure of 100.
Owned and bred by Mason’s son Brett, Shudacudawuda has banked $314,629 from a record of 18-9-4-2.
Ain’t No Other, second in Fairplex Park’s Governor’s Cup Handicap on Sept. 19, was second, beaten a neck, as the 4-5 favorite by Shudacudawuda in the one mile turf Jess Jackson Owners Handicap on Aug. 5 at Santa Rosa.
A Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred 4-year-old gelding by Old Topper, Ain’t No Other is trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer. His record stands at 18-6-5-4 with earnings of $286,423.
Arnold Zetcher’s Derby Gold, who broke his maiden in the $200,000 Echo Eddie for statebreds on March 31, was never a factor when fifth, beaten nine lengths, as the 2-1 favorite in the $200,000 Real Good Deal on Aug. 3, a race that included Rousing Sermon, who ended up second. Trained by Bob Baffert, Derby Gold will add blinkers in an attempt to atone for the Del Mar debacle.
A 3-year-old, Derby Gold will face older for the first time in the Valpredo, which will be his fourth career start. He has two consecutive bullet works on his tab, including a half-mile in 46.60 at Santa Anita on Oct. 8, fastest of 44 drills at the distance. He has $127,200 in earnings from a 3-1-1-0 record.
The complete field for the second division of the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint, to be run as the seventh race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Maui Mark, Garrett Gomez, 117; Bench Points, Chantal Sutherland, 117; Mensa Heat, Edwin Maldonado, 117; Night Wind, Juan Hernandez, 117; Obsess, Joe Talamo, 117; Korban, Agapito Delgadillo, 117; Ain’t No Other, Rafael Bejarano, 117; Shudacudawuda, Julien Couton, 124; Derby Gold, Martin Garcia, 122, and Legal Separation, Russell Baze, 117.
Although he is still a maiden, the lightly raced The Humancomplaint would appear to have run better in his most recent start than any of the nine rivals he’ll be facing in the $250,000 Bob Benoit Cal Cup Juvenile, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Owned and named by J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing, the son of Tribal Rule was surging late when second, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, in the six furlong I’m Smokin Stakes Sept. 3 at Del Mar. Trained by Ben Cecil, The Humancomplaint is one of five Benoit entrants who ran in the I’m Smokin. He’ll try two turns for the first time on Saturday.
The most experienced Benoit pretender is another son of Tribal Rule, Strong Wind. Trained by Steve Knapp and owned the Roncelli Family Trust, Tomasic or Tomasic, Strong Wind was third in the I’m Smokin, a half-length behind The Humancomplaint.
A winner of the $100,000 Graduation Stakes on Aug. 1, Strong Wind is easily the biggest money earner in the Benoit lineup. He too, will attempt two turns for the first time. Strong Wind’s record stands at 6-2-0-2, with $124,360 in earnings.
Class Racing Stable’s Real Heat will be making his second start in the Benoit and could generate some interest as he ran an even fourth, beaten five lengths going 5 ½ furlongs on Sept. 3 by the undefeated Gervinho, who was a smashing winner of Santa Anita’s $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes on Monday. Real Heat, by Unusual Heat, is trained by Eric Kruljac.
The complete field for the Bob Benoit Cal Cup Juvenile, which will be carded as the fifth race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Warren’s Rocky, Alonso Quinonez, 120; Strong Wind, Joe Talamo, 120, The Humancomplaint, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Monument, Martin Garcia, 120; Star Rocker, Mario Gutierrez, 120; Ballard Ruler, Joel Rosario, 120; O Wild West Wind, Amir Cedeno, 120; Real Heat, Russell Baze, 120; Life a Riley, Garrett Gomez, 120, and Lovmeister, Martin Pedroza, 120.
The Mike Harrington-trained Tilde, a daughter of Swiss Yodeler, is easily the most accomplished among a field of ten 2-year-old fillies contesting Saturday’s nightcap, the $250,000 Keith E. Card Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies, at 1 1/16 miles.
Bred by Harrington and his wife, Patricia, Tilde is also owned by Harrington and comes of a three-quarter length win in the six furlong, $150,000 Generous Portion at Del Mar on Aug. 29. Two starts back, she won the $100,000 CTBA Stakes on July 20. With earnings of $195,060, Tilde has a record of 4-3-0-1 and will try two turns for the first time Saturday.
Graduator, who drew the outside post, was an impressive second after breaking slow and encountering traffic around the far turn in her debut going seven furlongs on Sept. 5 at Del Mar. By In Excess, she’s owned by Cancellieri or Legacy Ranch and was bred by Legacy Ranch. She appears to be a filly on the improve.
Cotton’s Point, who was second, beaten 3 ½ lengths by Tilde in the CTBA Stakes, was subsequently second against statebred maidens on Aug. 12 and could easily be the second choice in the Juvenile Fillies wagering. Owned by Bolton, Gonzalez, Summit Racing and partners, the daughter of Salt Lake is trained by Jeff Bonde. Still a maiden, her record stands at 4-0-3-0, with earnings of $46,120.
The complete field for the Keith E. Card Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies, which will be run as the 10th race, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Doinghardtimeagain, Martin Garcia, 120; Warren’s Sugarbuzz, Tyler Baze, 120; Cotton’s Point, Mike Smith, 120; Bert’s Altarcation, Joel Rosario, 120; Akiss Forarose, Alonso Quinonez, 120; Qiaona, Juan Hernandez, 120; Sacred Delight, Garrett Gomez, 120; Awe Golly Molly, Martin Pedroza, 120; Tilde, Rafael Bejarano, 120, and Graduator, Joe Talamo, 120.
Admission gates open at 11 a.m. Saturday and first post is 1 p.m. All attendees will receive a collector’s item Doug O’Neill Bobblehead, free with paid admission. Santa Anita will also offer a $400,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 on the final four races.
For information, or to make reservations, visit http://www.santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.