Tamarando, the star of 2-year-old Cal-breds in 2013, is the top name in a field of 11 for the 1 1/16-mile California Cup Derby, but he may not be without serious challengers.
The Cal Cup Derby is part of a newly created Sunshine Millions Cal Cup Day at Santa Anita that will offer fans six stakes and 10 races overall, and the winner of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, and most recently third in the Grade I CashCall Futurity Dec. 14, will seek to improve his record for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
By Bertrando, Tamarando is a deep closer who rallied from dead last to win the open Real Quiet Stakes at the distance and track on Nov. 23. He tried to employ similar tactics in the CashCall, but Shared Belief ran off with that one.
Tamarando will again be handled by Rafael Bejarano, who has ridden him in his last two starts. With three wins, a second and three thirds, Tamarando’s earnings of $455,120 easily dwarf his competitors.
Hollendorfer, who also trains 2-year-old Champion Shared Belief, will saddle two on Saturday. In addition to Tamarando, he has the gelding Life Is a Joy, second at 9-2 to fellow entry California Chrome in the seven furlong King Glorious Stakes for state-breds on Dec. 22. Life Is a Joy is winless in his last three starts after winning his first three.
Second in the Derby money rankings is the Art Sherman-trained California Chrome, who has banked $214,850 and comes off a career-best performance in the King Glorious.
A winner of the 5 1/2-furlong Graduation Stakes, also versus Cal-breds four starts back,
California Chrome had a troubled trip when finishing sixth, beaten just two lengths by Tamarando, in the Del Mar Futurity. In his only two-turn try, California Chrome was sixth, beaten three lengths, in the one mile Golden State Juvenile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. California Chrome has three wins and a second from seven starts.
Well backed at 5-2 in the King Glorious, trainer Leonard Powell’s Aotearoa broke a bit awkwardly and was never a factor, finishing a well-beaten sixth. An upset winner of the one mile turf Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita four starts back Oct. 6, the gelding gave a good account of himself two starts back, finishing a close second in the one-mile, Grade Generous Stakes on turf Nov. 30.
Saturday will be his first dirt start on natural dirt, but the intrigue is steeped with Gary Stevens stepping in to ride Aotearoa, who has two wins and a second from six starts.
Although still a maiden, Electric Eddie rates an upset chance. Trained by Ben Cecil, he was disqualified out of a Cal-bred maiden special weight win going a mile at Santa Anita three weeks back and was second, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, by Tamarando three starts back in the Real Quiet Stakes.
Attentive to the early pace in the CashCall next out, Electric Eddie finished fifth, beaten 10 lengths in a field of 12. He has three seconds from seven starts.
Placed first via disqualification in the aforementioned maiden mile at Santa Anita Jan. 2, Bob Baffert’s Oh Billy Billy will again be handled by Martin Garcia. The colt drew the rail and should show plenty of early lick in his third career try.
Lucky Views was a first-out maiden winner going six furlongs versus Cal-breds Nov. 17, and he made the early running in the one mile turf Eddie Logan Stakes on Dec. 28, finishing a big third, beaten only a length.
Lucky Views is trained by Mike Machowsky. He'll be ridden for the first time by Kent Desormeaux, who's testing the waters in the California jockey colony after a long absence.
Trained by John Sadler, consistent Public Policy, who broke his maiden as the 8-5 favorite going six furlongs Jan. 5, will make his fifth start in the Derby. The Dixie Chatter colt has a win, a second and two thirds to his credit.
Awesome Return, Lawly's Goal and Better Bet round out the field.
Edited Santa Anita release
California Cup Derby
1 1/16 Mile
Post Time: 7:30 ET
|1||Oh Billy Billy (CA)||12-1||M. Garcia||C||117||B. Baffert|
|2||Life Is a Joy (CA)||8-1||C. Nakatani||G||119||J. Hollendorfer|
|3||Public Policy (CA)||10-1||M. Smith||C||117||J. Sadler|
|4||Tamarando (CA)||9-5||R. Bejarano||C||124||J. Hollendorfer|
|5||Lucky Views (CA)||8-1||K. Desormeaux||G||117||M. Machowsky|
|6||Aotearoa (CA)||10-1||G. Stevens||G||122||L. Powell|
|7||California Chrome (CA)||5-2||V. Espinoza||C||124||A. Sherman|
|8||Awesome Return (CA)||12-1||J. Talamo||C||117||M. Puype|
|9||Lawly's Goal (CA)||SCR||T. Baze||G||117||K. Eikleberry|
|10||Electric Eddie (CA)||8-1||M. Gutierrez||C||117||B. Cecil|
|11||Better Bet (CA)||20-1||M. Pedroza||C||122||M. Harrington|
All will run with Lasix
Owners: 1 - Kaleem Shah, Inc. ; 2 - Hollendorfer or Hollendorfer or Todaro ; 3 - Hronis Racing, LLC ; 4 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams ; 5 - Dick Barton ; 6 - Paul A. Viskovich ; 7 - Coburn or Martin ; 8 - Richard Kritzski ; 9 - Mark D. Breen ; 10 - Reddam Racing, LLC ; 11 - Mike Harrington Trustee
Breeders: 1 - Harris Farms; 2 - Jerry Hollendorfer, Janet Hollendorfer &George Todaro; 3 - Herman Sarkowsky & Martin J. Wygod; 4 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams; 5 - David Christensen & Marion Christensen; 6 - Paul Viskovich; 7 - Martin Perry & Steve Coburn; 8 - Richard Allen Kritzski; 9 - Fleming Thoroughbred Farm, LLC &Dr. Dorothee Kieckhefer; 10 - J. Paul Reddam; 11 - Revocable Trust of Dr. Mikel C.Harrington and Patricia O. Harrington