The $100,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint is not lacking
speed. That said, trainer Bruce Headley makes no bones about strategy
for his charge, 2009 Malibu Stakes winner M One Rifle. The Sprint goes
as the eighth of nine races.
“It’s perfect,” Headley said of drawing the No. nine post position. “There’s plenty of
speed inside us, but he’s got plenty of speed, too. It’s going to be a speed race.”
Among the speed horses is Bob Black Jack, returning from an
absence of nigh on to two years. The 6-year-old Stormy Jack horse will
be ridden for the first time by Patrick Valenzuela, noted for his
penchant for setting the pace. No bother to Headley.
“I’m speed,” he said, “so P. Val better have super speed. I’m
going to go. I’m not bleeping around for nobody. I’m dead fit. My horse
is ready to go. They better be ready to go from start to finish.”
Sounds like not only will the race be a survival of the fittest, it will be a survival of the fastest.
The field for the Sprint, the eighth of nine races: Mensa Heat,
Joe Talamo, 5-2; Legal Separation, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; Cost of
Freedom, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Chiloquin, Martin Pedroza, 10-1; Bob
Black Jack, Patrick Valenzuela, 3-1; Courtside, Joel Rosario, 8-1; M One
Rifle, Chantal Sutherland, 2-1; and Frumious, Martin Garcia, 20-1.
Dance With Gable and Warren’s Knockout were scratched.