While the horse racing world focused on one particular race at Gulfstream, Santa Anita ran a 10 race card. Arrogate eventually made his way into the winner’s circle after trouncing the Pegasus field (Chrome was later found to have water on the knee), but some great horses also showed good turn of foot at The Great Race Place.
In the 1st, odds on favorite, And Then Some, with Brayan Pena aboard, got up in the end to defeat rival, True Ranger, who was a bit unruly in the walking ring prior to race time. Vodka Texted You just got edged out for the place and had to settle for the show.
The Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf, the 2nd race on the card, saw the amazingly talented Enola Gray continuing her brilliant career with a clear win. Under jockey, Tyler Baze, Enola Gray got away in mid-stretch and won over Smoove It and Mario Gutierrez, who came on late. The other gray in the field, Desert Steel, put up a good fight from the gate against Enola Gray but faded late and took the show.
In the 3rd, another odds on favorite took the win when All of a Sudden and Israel Ocampo just got up to win over Radish. Mario Gutierrez was on the Doug O’Neill trained, Radish and once again had a
place to his name (O’Neill also trained second place finisher, Smoove It in the 2nd).
The trend of favorites taking the win would continued on into the 4th, a maiden claiming for fillies. 2 to 1 choice Gypsy Ju Ju, with Stewart Elliott aboard, dueled between horses early then inched away to win over 9 to 1 shot, Ministers Curl and Tyler Baze. The addition of 33 to 1 longshot, Princess Aubrey and Chad Lindsay created a $265.40 trifecta.
The Black Type California Cup Oaks, 5th on the card, continued the trend. Sircat Sally, a talented Surf Cat filly, strutted her stuff and ran away from the field. 28 to 1 longshot, How About Zero tried to catch up but could not beat the winner. Mario Gutierrez once again found himself on the place horse, while Tyler Baze claimed another win. The winning combo of Sircat Sally and How About Zero paid exact bettors $36.20.
Richard’s Boy went off as the 2 to 1 favorite in the 6th and did not disappoint, with Flavien Prat on board for the ride, in the Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint. Three horses came to the wire together in a close finish. Well Measured and Kent Desormeaux were willing to the end but could not get the winner. Acceptance and Stewart Elliott were right there at the end as well but only managed the show.
In the California Cup Turf Classic, the amazing Ashleyluvssugar went off at even money odds and once again bettors picked correctly. The bay Game Plan gelding was ‘game’ to the wire, under rider, Flavien Prat. What a View, the second place finisher, put up a good fight through the whole race, under a ride from Tyler Baze. 70 to 1 shot, Ward ‘n Jerry and Stewart Elliott took the show, paying $11.40.
There finally was a break in the monotony of favorites, when River Echo and Norberto Arroyo Jr. beat Aldrin and Tyler Baze just before the wire. Favorite, Prime Attraction was wound up in the walking ring and bobbled at the start, finishing 6th. River Echo, who was also on his toes prior to the race, was 21 to 1 at the start, and Aldrin went off at 19 to 1. The exacta of the two paid $246.00, with the trifecta paying over $1500.00. Mario Gutierrez this time rode the show horse, Madiba.
Mario finally got his time in the winner’s circle in the 9th, when Ann Arbor Eddie took the California Cup Derby, though he had to earn it. Start-time favorite, California Diamond and Kent Desormeaux would not relent, and Ann Arbor Eddie looked to lose by a head before rallying in the stretch. Ann Arbor Eddie got his head in front in the final stride.
In the 10th and final race of the day, Bird is the Word, at odds of 6 to 1, cleared the field under jockey, Kent Desormeaux. There was a long delay to load, as multiple horses refused to enter the gate, with this Birdstone colt being one of them, but once he passed the eighth pole Bird is the Word had the stretch run in hand.
Though California Chrome did not go out a winner, his fans are legion, and they love and support him no matter what. Arrogate will hopefully continue to prove himself in his racing career, but we’ll just have to wait and see. And now I’ll leave you with some images of love and affection, because the world needs a bit more of both.