The CA Cup Turf Classic
SA Race 8 1 1/8M Turf
Purse $200.000 for Four Year
Olds and Upward Foaled in CA
1 Valparaiso Harbor, trained by Hambletonian Stable
Claimed for $40.000 in his last start which was an impressive wire to wire win at 5F. Has really found his stride since moving to the grass having won 3 of 4 while finishing 2nd in a similar state bred stake to this. Has never won at today’s distance so will have to prove he can go this far. Should be able to work out a ground saving stalking trip from the rail and is a player in this field.
2 Controlled Power, trained by Spankys Barn
Claimed back in May for $35.000 has raced well for his new connections winning 2 of 5 while also finishing a good second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic. Broke his maiden at this distance so we know that will not be an issue. Speed ratings indicate he should fit ok in here as he looks to get his trainer his first win of 2018.
3 Sleet, trained by Fractious
Acquired for $20.000 ten days ago which seems like a bargain for this 4 year old gelding that has earned close to $450.000. Did not run all too well in his most recent outing the Grade 1 Hollywood Cup but prior to that won a Grade 3 and finished a game 2nd in a Grade 2. The majority of his races are run at today’s distance and he seems to do his best running on the front end. The major drawback today is he is carrying a massive 129 pounds spotting everyone in the field 6 pounds.
4 Justin Credible, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Comes into this race after a big win over a soft turf in an optional claimer going a mile and a half. That was his lone win for 2017 though and his speed ratings are a notch below several in here. Trainer is off to a good start in 2018 and usually has his ready to go in these turf routes so could surprise at a big price.
5 Going Gone, trained by Team 7 Illusions
Made an add change in his last race and finished a good second in a starter allowance. Speed rating was not on par with others in here so hard to say if improved performance was due to the change or drop in class. Stretching back out here and has never won a route so would be surprised if he was able to emerge victorious.
6 Kenny Wisconsin, trained by D J C Stables
Purchased for $100.000 in September so that the owner could enter him into the BC Mile where he finished near the back of the pack. Was only able to win 1 of 10 in 2017 but the vast majority of those were Grade 1 and 2 races so this is a significant drop in class. His best races usually have him close to the pace so will have to work to get good position. May have enough back class to be a contender.
7 Profound Approach, trained by Chili King Stables
Purchased for $200.000 in July has been unable to find the winner’s circle for his new owner. Was only 1 for 12 overall in 2017 some of which was spent trying to qualify for the Derby. Distance should not be an issue and his speed ratings are competitive but I think a minor share is the ceiling here.
8 Its Geek To Me, trained by Nakamura Stables
Has been running in open allowances most recently which we know can have some very tough fields. Has managed to win a couple of them down at Lone Star getting 99 SRF ratings in each of them. Does his best racing just off the lead so this wide post may present some issues as he tries to get a spot. Would not be a major surprise but I think his stablemate has a better chance.
9 Mean Street, trained by Nakamura Stables
The second entry from this trainer seems to be the one with a better chance. While winless in 6 attempts in 2017 he was very competitive in graded stakes races. He will be racing as an 8 year old so there is a chance his form will drop off but the works are still very good. If he can work out a midpack trip from the post I think he has a good shot to bring home the prize.
Should be enough speed in the race to ensure an honest pace and let the closers have a shot. I think Mean Street will break out of his drought and score the win.