Photo: Benoit Photo
Veteran conditioner Bruce Headley will be represented by 6-year-old horse and likely favorite Cyclometer
in Saturday’s $125,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint for older horses at six furlongs, a race that attracted a field of 10 older horses.
An important component to the Golden State Series for horses bred or sired in California, the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint is part of a newly created Sunshine Millions California Cup Day at Santa Anita that will offer fans six stakes and 10 races overall.
Fresh off victory in the six furlong Midnight Lute Stakes Jan. 4, Cyclometer would appear to be at the top of his game for Headley, who has specialized in taking his time with older horses throughout a storybook training career in the Golden State.
Owned and bred by Headley and Irwin and Andrew Molasky, Cyclometer was a close second as the 8-5 favorite two starts back in the 7 ½ furlong On Trust Handicap Nov. 24, and was a 2 ¼ length allowance winner going 6 ½ furlongs three back on Nov. 7.
By the Grand Slam stallion Cyclotron, Cyclometer has two wins and three seconds at six furlongs and is 8-3-3-1 at The Great Race Place. He has earnings of $330,254 from an overall mark of 17-5-5-3 and will be ridden back by Mike Smith.
With a hefty bankroll of $526,395 to his credit, veteran Luckarack
is easily the highest money-earner in the Sprint field. Reclaimed by trainer Ed Moger Jr. out of a gutsy $40,000 claiming win going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course Dec. 26, the 6-year-old Lucky Pulpit gelding will be making his 41st career start Saturday and be ridden back by Martin Pedroza.
With seven wins from 16 tries on natural dirt, Luckarack should be undaunted by the surface switch and is well suited at the distance as well, evidenced by his four wins, two seconds and four thirds from 12 starts at six furlongs.
Owned by Steve Moger, Luckarack has an impressive overall mark of 40-13-6-6.
Trainer Mark Glatt will be represented by the rapidly improving Follini
, who was a galloping 3 ¼ length allowance winner going six furlongs on Nov. 30, and who came back to make the lead and run a big third in a second condition allowance going 6 ½ furlongs Jan. 3—achieving a career-best 94 Beyer Speed figure.
A 4-year-old colt by Western Fame, Follini figures to be sent from the rail by regular rider Joe Talamo. Owned by Glatt, William Branch and Cory Wagner, Follini has three wins, a second and two thirds from nine starts.
William Ziering’s homebred Kate’s Event
, a 7-year-old horse by Event of the Year, was a winner of the 7 ½ furlong Tiznow Stakes versus statebreds April 27, and has been idle since well beaten in the 6 ½ furlong Governor’s Cup Handicap at Fairplex Park Sept. 18.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Kate’s Event has a win and a second from two starts going six furlongs and has run well at Santa Anita, posting a 9-4-2-1 mark in Arcadia.
Kate’s Event has an overall record of 19-6-2-1 and will be ridden for the first time by Victor Espinoza on Saturday. He has earnings of $329,406.
The complete field for the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint, to be run as the eighth race on a 10-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Follini, Joe Talamo, 120; Ourwestcoastghost, Abel Cedillo, 123; Luckarack, Martin Pedroza, 123; Coach Bob, Kent Desormeaux, 118; Mobilized, Corey Nakatani, 118; Cyclometer, Mike Smith, 123; Lakerville, Alonso Quinonez, 118; Kate’s Event, Victor Espinoza, 118; Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 120, and Big Macher, Rafael Bejarano, 118.