This week wasn't particularly pleasant
for Jerry Hollendorfer, whose Shared Belief has yet to return to the
worktab after dealing with an abscess. However, the dark cloud's
silver lining showed itself Saturday afternoon, when Scherzinger
sprung a mild upset in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa
After breaking sharply under jockey
Mike Smith, the daughter of Tiz Wonderful was taken back down the
backstretch behind recent stakes winners Teddy's Promise and Heir
Kitty. When the field turned for home, Scherzinger had a spot on the
rail and plenty of gas left in the tank. She re-rallied, poking her
head in front in midstretch and kicking clear late to stop the timer
in 1:22 flat for the seven-furlong distance.
Iotapa rallied for second in her first
start since July, while Teddy's Promise settled for third. The latter
was making her final career start before beginning her second career
as a broodmare. The Ron Ellis trainee retires with 11 wins in 29
lifetime starts and earnings of more than $906,000, and she will be
bred to star stallion Smart Strike.
Heir Kitty, Winding Way, and Lexington
Pearl completed the order of finish in the Santa Monica, which
doubled as a prelude to 2014's California Cup Day. Here are some
other notes from Saturday's festivities in Arcadia.
The $250,000 Cal Cup Derby carried
no Kentucky Derby points, but it may have served as a launching pad
for California Chrome. Last seen capturing the King Glorious Stakes
at Betfair Hollywood Park, the son of Lucky Pulpit romped in
Saturday's finale. He hit the wire more than five lengths in front
of 9/5 favorite Tamarando, himself a Grade 1 winner and a possible
Kentucky Derby hopeful.
Saturday served as a “welcome
back” party for jockey Kent Desormeaux. His return to Southern
California was a triumphant one, as he piloted two consecutive Cal
Cup winners. A half-hour after Ciao Bella Luna captured the Sunshine
Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint, the three-time Kentucky
Derby-winning jockey rode 65-1 longshot Susans Express to victory in
the Cal Cup Oaks.
As a direct result of Susans
Express's stunning upset, and also 21-1 shot Weewinnin's jaunt in
the Cal Cup Turf Classic, Santa Anita produced its second two-day
Pick Six carryover this week. Less than 48 hours after a pool of
more than $3.2 million was up for grabs, that same pool will have
$430,000 in it before a single bet is placed Sunday afternoon. While
Sunday's card doesn't have quite as many full fields, there are
plenty of tricky races, including the sixth, a turf sprint down the
hill featuring eight first-time starters and only one horse with
experience at one of the most peculiar routes in horse racing.