Photo: Benoit Photo
Trainer Richard Baltas
was all smiles following Saturday’s $125,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for good reason, as his Big Macher, claimed seven starts back out of a maiden $20,000 claimer on July 17 at Del Mar, had just powered to a 1 ¾ length win under Rafael Bejarano, covering six furlongs in a rapid 1:08.62.
Breaking from the outside post in a nine-horse field, Big Macher, the second choice at 2-1, sat second to longshot Coach Bob and Kent Desormeaux down the backside and around the far turn before taking the lead at the top of the lane.
“Rafael said he was going to sit far back, but I told him that if he breaks sharp not to be too far out of it,” said Baltas. “I think that’s where he likes to be, up close, and he still can kick when he’s up close. He just came into the race real good and it was a great day.”
A 4-year-old gelding by Beau Genius, Big Macher paid $6.20, $4.20 and $3.80.
Owned by Tachycardia Stables or Mansor, Big Macher picked up $75,000 for the win, hiking his earnings to $146,428. It was his third win from eight starts.
Coach Bob, off at 23-1, set rapid fractions of 21.95, 44.62 and 56.47 and ran a huge second, finishing, a half length in front of a fast finishing Kate’s Event and Victor Espinoza.
“This is the quickest horse I’ve ridden in 10 years—no doubt,” said Desormeaux. “The winner took the race from him. I love this horse. He has tons of heart.”
He paid $14.20 and $13.80.
Off at 8-1, Kate’s Event paid $8.00 to show.