If you didn’t already know, it pays to own a Cal-bred, especially a juvenile, with $250,000 up for grabs as both the males and females try two turns for the first time on Cal Cup Day. That purse structure is on par with Grade I events for the best horses on the circuit pointing towards the Breeders’ Cup, and eclipses the $175,000 offered for today’s featured Cal Cup Classic.
Back on the main track after being contested on turf last year, the Classic field is lead by 9-to-5 favorite John Scott, a 5-year-old gelded son of Bertrando that has won 3-of-5 starts this year against open company, while also finishing as the runner-up in the San Diego Handicap (Grade II) on July 28 at Del Mar. He began his career with a pair of wins in his only tries against Cal-breds back in 2009 and has remarkably returned three years later as one classy dude.
Lucky Primo is one of a pair of runners back from last year’s Classic, where he missed by just a neck as the runner-up at 8-to-1. The 6-year-old gelded son of Atticus is listed at 7-to-2 on the revised morning line moving back to the dirt, where he has a pair of underneath finishes in two tries, after notching a pair of wins over his last five starts on turf.
Hitting the wire with Lucky Primo last year was Holladay Road, who settled for third in that blanket finish and is the 5-to-2 second choice today after winning 3-of-7 starts since. The 7-year-old gelded son of Street Cry has also been successful over different surfaces and ran the best race of his career over this main track in January when winning the Crystal Water by 2 ½-lengths and earning a 98 Beyer.
Since winning last year’s Cal Cup Juvenile, which at the time only had a purse of $100,000, 3-to-1 third choice Rousing Sermon has failed to cross the wire first in nine starts, seven of those coming in graded stakes competition. The 3-year-old Lucky Pulpit colt will race without blinkers for the first time since his first two starts and reunites with Rafael Bejarano, who was on board for the only time in the Juvenile score.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 7 (1,3,7,8,9) – Baffert only sends a pair on Cal Cup Day, with No. 9 Derby Gold his only main track starter and likely to make an impact as the only 3-year-old in the Sprint.
Spread with No. 1 Maui Mark, No. 3 Mensa Heat, No. 7 Ain’t No Other and No. 9 Shudacudawudya.
Leg 2 – Race 8 (1,5,10) – The second half of the split Cal Cup Distaff coming down the hill and we narrow it down to the trio of No. 1 Bella Viaggia, No. 5 Sparkling Style and No. 10 Sugarinthemorning.
Leg 3 – Race 9 (1,3,5,7) – Use the four discussed above with No. 1 Holladay Road, No. 3 Rousing Sermon, No. 5 Lucky Primo and No. 7 John Scott.
Leg 4 – Race 10 (4,6,7,9) – Probably the first time we’ve ever seen a race worth a quarter of a million dollars close a card, Cal-bred Juvenile Fillies also get a crack at that massive pot for the first time and we’ll use the quartet of No. 4 Bert’s Altercation, No. 6 Qiaona, No. 7 Sacred Delight and No. 9 Tilde.
Recap – (1,3,7,8,9) w (1,5,10) w (1,3,5,7) w (4,6,7,9) – Total cost of ticket = $120
Yesterday’s Result – (-$16)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (-$327.70)
Total from 12/26/10 – 9/5/12 – (-$2,966.60)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2) – After a pair of wins against open claiming company, No. 2 Roses for Joni lost all chance at the start last time, but returned with a trio of solid a.m. spins. Without much early zip in this field she should be comfortable on the front end, only joined by stretch out sprinter No. 10 Mary Contrary. Bejarano sticks around.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (2,3,7,9) – Use a quartet of runners with experience in the maiden allowance sprint with No. 2 Back to Bako, No. 3 He’s Not too Shaby, No. 7 Gallant Charm and No. 9 Little Jack.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (3,4,6,7,9) – No. 7 Excessive Assault is intriguing in his customary spot on the front end with Brice Blanc aboard for the first time.
Spread with No. 3 Our Boy Benjamin, No. 4 Alley Hondro, No. 6 Cat Meeting and No. 9 Mr. Ornery.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,5,8) – In the only other maiden heat of the afternoon, we’ll use a pair with experience, with No. 3 Another Flashback and No. 8 Sophie’s Secret, along with debut runners No. 2 Jeanne Marini and No. 5 Tiz a Kiss.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (2,3,4,6,9,10) – Six deep in the Juvenile with No. 2 Strong Wind, No. 3 The Humancomplaint, No. 4 Monument, No. 6 Ballard Ruler, No. 9 Life a Reily and No. 10 Lovmeister.
Recap – (2) w (2,3,7,9) w (3,4,6,7,9) w (2,3,5,8) w (2,3,4,6,9,10) – Total cost of ticket = $240
Yesterday’s Result – (-$20)
Total for current Santa Anita meet – (+$673.75)
Total from 7/20/11 – 9/5/12 – (+$17,380.65)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the free analysis section at www.theracingedition.com along with an early Pick-4 ticket and a consensus box for the entire card.
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