Candy made a successful surface transition to win the day’s richest event,
helping Rafael Bejarano join Victor Espinoza and Joe Talamo as the riding stars
of the 21st California Cup Saturday at Oak Tree/Hollywod Park.
his first appearance on something other than turf in his 10th career
race, Soul Candy won the $150,000 California Cup Classic Presented by City
National Bank as the 5-1 third choice in a field of eight.
for the first time by Bejarano, Soul Candy, a 4-year-old Birdonthewire gelding
out of the Lil Tyler mare Just Satisfaction, trailed early, then swept past
favored Enriched in the final furlong to earn his most significant victory.
by breeder Madera Thoroughbreds and E Z Eight Racing Stable and trained by
Paddy Gallagher, Soul Candy ran the 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track in 1:48.49.
1 ¼ length win was his fourth and the $90,000 top prize boosted his bankroll to
paid $12.40, $5.80 and $3.60. Unusual Suspect returned $4.80 and $3.00. He
defeated Enriched, Lava Man’s half-brother, by a nose. Enriched, who had been
1-2 in his four previous starts over Cushion Track, paid $2.40 to show as the
nice to run in these Cal
bred stakes,’’ said Gallagher, who also won the 2005 Classic with McCann’s Mojave.
“He’ll be more of a distance horse. He keeps going steady. He doesn’t have a
big turn of foot, he just stays steady and that helped today. It was a nice
pace and that helped him.’’
completed his stakes double a race later, getting up in the final strides with
19-10 favorite Slammer Time in the $75,000 California Cup Bob Benoit Juvenile.
head victory was the second in four starts for Slammer TIme, a 2-year-old Grand
Slam colt out of the In Excess mare Excessively Wicked. Owned by Alto Racing
and trained by Gary Mandella, Slammer Time has earned $83,152. The time for the
1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track was 1:44.63.
winner against maidens on turf Oct. 11, Slammer Time paid $5.80, $3.60 and
$2.60. Joy Boy, who finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Woodmans Luck, paid $7.40 and
$4.60. The show price on Woodmans Luck was $3.
and Talamo also won a pair of stakes, giving three riders six of the seven such
events for California
breds. Joel Rosario won the other, taking the $100,000 California Cup TOC/CTT
Matron aboard Ultra Blend.
victories with La Nez in the $100,000 John Deere California Cup Distaff and
Swiss Wild Cat in the $75,000 Robert H. Walter California Cup Juvenile Fillies
moved him into a tie with Corey Nakatani as the all time winningest Cal Cup
rider. Both have 17 stakes wins.
to ride in two of the Saturday stakes, Nakatani was excused from his mounts. He
was suffering from “flu like symptoms’’ according to Oak Tree/Hollywood Park
steward Tom Ward.
who was without a stakes success the first 20 days of the meet, won the
$100,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint with favored Cost of Freedom and
the $100,000 John C. Mabee California Cup Mile Presented by TVG with 8-5 choice
young rider also won two maiden races to move into fourth place in the jockey
standings with 17 victories.
to stay home rather than try the Breeders’ Cup Sprint a week later at Churchill
Downs, Cost of Freedom ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet while rolling
to an easy victory in the Sprint.
7-year-old Cee’s Tizzy gelding out of the Moscow Ballet mare Freedom Dance
quickly took charge from his inside post and was never threatened.
victory margin was 6 ¼ lengths - most decisive in Sprint history – and Cost of
Freedom completed the distance over Cushion Track in 1:08.58. This bettered the
1:08.63 recorded two days earlier by Square Deal.
of Freedom has won nine of 19. The $60,000 payday increased his earnings to
of the victories have come in 11 races since he was claimed for $50,000 by
trainer John Sadler for owners Gary and Cecil Barber in July, 2008.
leads all trainers with three Sprint victories. The win was Talamo’s second in
four years. He also won with Bilo in 2007.
of Freedom paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10. Runaway Bandido, the longest shot in
the field at 20-1, paid $9.20 and $4.20. A Lil Dumaani, who finished a head
back in third and also owned by the Barbers, returned $2.80.
by breeder Bruce Corwin and trained by Mike Puype, Bruce’s Dream had only one
rival beat for most of the trip, but rallied strongly in the middle of the
course to edge Colgan’s Chip by a neck in the Mile.
victory was the sixth in eight outings for Bruce’s Dream, a 4-year-old Atticus
gelding out of the Smokester mare Remember Dorothy. The final time was 1:34.37.
Dream, who has earned $293,940, paid $5.20, $3 and $2.20. Colgan’s Chip, who
was defeated by a head by Bruce’s Dream in their last encounter in the
California Dreamin Handicap July 25 at Del Mar, returned $3 and $2.40. Oak Tree
Mile upsetter Liberian Freighter was a distant third. He paid $2.60 to show
while finishing 4 ½ lengths behind Colgan’s Chip.
her first sprint start on turf, La Nez responded with a 1 ¾ length victory in
by Class Racing Stable and and trained by Eric Kruljac, the Storm Creek filly
out of the Iz a Saros mare Iza Bay stalked the pace from the outside, then drew
clear in the final eighth of a mile. She is the fourth 3-year-old to win the
Distaff, joining Miss L Attack (1993), Tempting Date (2005) and River’s Prayer
was the second Cal Cup victory for La Nez. She won the 2009 Juvenile Fillies.
for the fourth time in 12 starts, La Nez padded her bankroll to $321,000. She
ran the six furlongs in 1:09.47 over a course labeled good.
3-1 second choice, La Nez paid $8, $4.40 and $2.80. Perfect Vintage paid $8.40
and $4.20. The show price on 7-5 favorite U R All That I Am was $2.40. She
finished a half-length behind Perfect Vintage.
by breeder Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington, Swiss Wild Cat,
stymied in tight along the rail throughout most of the stretch run, finally
found a seam and was able to edge favored California Nectar by a nose in
the Juvenile Fillies.
her first start beyond seven furlongs, the 2-year-old Ministers Wild Cat filly
out of the Swiss Yodeler mare I Can Yodele won by a nose as the 4-1 third
choice. She ran the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:45.49.
win was Swiss Wild Cat’s third in 10 tries and she’s earned $189,552. She paid
$10.60, $4.40 and $2.80. California Nectar, who was 11-10, paid $3 and $2.40. Warren’s Flyer was a head
back in third. The show price on Warren’s
Flyer, who had a clear lead in the stretch, was $2.20.
Blend provided trainer Art Sherman with his first Cal Cup victory, outfinishing
favored Lady Railrider by a half-length in the Matron.
4-year-old daughter of Richly Blended and the Desert Classic mare Ankha, Ultra
Blend won for the sixth time in 16 starts and increased her earnings to
$327,246 for owner Nels Erickson.
5-for-9 over synthetic surfaces, Ultra Blend, the 2-1 second choice, ran the 1
1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:43.06. She paid $6.80, $3.20 and $2.80.
Railrider, seeking to become the second repeater in Matron history – Dream of
Summer won in 2004 and 2005 – returned $2.80 and $2.20 as the 17-10 choice. She
finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of 7-1 shot Warren’s
Jitterbug. The latter’s show payoff was $3.60.