Photo: Coady Photography
Imperative comes into the Gold Cup at Santa Anita with a gap of more than two months since his last race, a 26-1 upset of Game On Dude in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 19. No problem there. That’s been the plan all the way.
“We just gave him some time off and got him ready for the Gold Cup,” explained trainer George Papaprodromou. “Hopefully there will be pace in the race with Game On Dude and Fury Kapcori to make things easier for us. But he’s already exceeded our expectations, winning a million dollar race after we claimed him for $50,000.”
Imperative is scheduled to work “a nice, easy half (mile)” under regular rider Kent Desormeaux on Monday.
In other Gold Cup news:
Tokyo City Cup winner Majestic Harbor worked five furlongs Sunday morning in a bullet 58.80 under regular rider Tyler Baze, galloping out six furlongs in 1:11 3/5. Fractional times were 23 seconds for the first quarter mile and 47 2/5 for the half.
“I was very pleased and so was Tyler,” trainer Sean McCarthy said. “It was just what we were looking for. He worked great.”
Also, Chilean invader Salto Del Indio worked five furlongs for trainer Mike Puype in 1:00.40 under Brice Blanc, who rides the 4-year-old ridgling in the Gold Cup, which will mark his U.S. debut.
“He’s been training well and he’s got good dirt form,” Puype pointed out. “He’s a wild card for the race, obviously, but we’ve got to take a shot and see what can happen.
“He’s been one-two-three in 13 of 15 starts on dirt. I’ve watched replays of his races, and he comes from off the pace.”
Probable for the Gold Cup: Clubhouse Ride, Joe Talamo; Fury Kapcori, Corey Nakatani; Game On Dude, Mike Smith; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux; Lideris, Juan Eugenio Enriquez; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze; and Salto Del Indio, Brice Blanc.
Trainer Peter Miller said Sunday morning he would enter Lideris in both the Gold Cup and the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Stakes at about 1 ¾ miles on turf closing day, June 29. In either race, Peruvian jockey Juan Eugenio Enriquez would ride, Miller said.