Neon Wolf Puts Holy Bull Behind Him in CA Cup Derby

CA Cup Derby ($200.000 Purse)
SA- For Three Year Olds Foaled in CA
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
February 19, 2018

Heading into this race, I certainly liked the chances of Neon Wolf, and included him with my picks, but I was also wondering about why he was here. This race is usually for up and comers and puts them on the KYD trail. Neon Wolf had already been there, running in the Holy Bull, and finishing in the middle of the field, and that was following a win in the Mucho Macho Man. With just two weeks of rest, Neon Wolf ended up here, instead of preparing for a March prep as the trainer and horse may have just needed a confidence reboot. Hopefully, they got that with this win, and it may be another short turnaround for this one. Congratulations go out to Smokey Stover, the winning trainer for the first time in the race. The same holds true for K J Desormeaux, and the race went in a time of 1:41.66, on the slower side with past winners, but it was all that was needed. Here’s a brief look at it. Due to the writer being under the weather today, this and the Southwest recap will be somewhat abbreviated.

(1/4 Mile- :23.40)- From the outside, Platinum Square is aggressive out of the gate early and takes the early lead for Mb Stables. Need A Snickers (Jader Stable) started better then he would finish and would battle for second a length or so back with Don’t Look Good (Estero Farms), and then Westward Showdown was another length back, for Nakamura Stables. The maiden Rene Levesque was next for Hawaiian Shirt Guy, and near the back we had three wide between Smoking Makes You Il (Pan Farms), Listen To Him (Mb Stables), and the eventual winner Neon Wolf, for Smokey Stover. They were five lengths behind the leader. At the back, Maxmillion Farms’ Bad English was sluggish out of the gate, and seven lengths out.

(½ Mile- :47.15)- Just after they hit the quarter mark, K J Desormeaux flipped the switch on Neon Wolf and sent him running to be closer to the front. He’d now be in a better position on the backstretch, running fourth, and about two and a half lengths out. Listen To Him looked as though he wanted to follow him, but not as aggressively. At the front, it was still Platinum Square, leading Don’t Look Good and Need A Snickers by a length. Rene Levesque simply maintained a steady stride, though Westward Showdown lost about a length.

(Top Of Stretch- 1.5 To Go)- At the end of the backstretch and into the turn, Neon Wolf looked ready to run, but was going to do so methodically. He would accomplish this task, and by the top of the stretch, he was pretty much even with Don’t Look Good for the lead. Over the course of the turn, Don’t Look Good had taken the advantage from Platinum Square, though Platinum Square still seemed to be a threat. Rene Levesque had not made a move, but a steady stride had him fourth, though about to fall into the clutches of Listen To Him. As Need A Snickers decided it was time for a candy break at this point, Bad English was full of run to the outside. Smoking Makes You Il still trailed by about four and did not look as though he was about to finish second. Westward Showdown was coming up empty.

(Finish- 1:41.66)- Neon Wolf gracefully runs in the stretch, and makes the pass of Don’t Look Good about midway through the run. Once clear, he has no one to worry about, and picks up the victory! Coming flying along the rail, especially in the final furlong, would be Smoking Makes You Il, and he would unbelievably catch Don’t Look Good for second, as the two end up in a dead heat. Definitely be watching him at a longer distance. After these three, there was no one else that was really a factor. Listen To Him picks up the final check earning position in a photo over Platinum Square and Bad English. Weekend Showdown would finish even with the latest maiden unable to make a drastic jump, Rene Levesque, and Needs A Snickers did not have a satisfying finish for his trainer.

About The Winner- Neon Wolf, trained by Smokey Stover, and ridden by K J Desormeaux, is a three year old colt by Condottieri and out of Sara Moons. He was bred in California by Kopites, and acquired by Smokey Stover in private sales after just one race, in June 2017, for $75.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is Neon Wolf’s third in seven starts, his second stake win, and first graded win. His career earnings now stand at $200.280.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Neon Wolf Smokey Stover Desormeaux K J 3.10   11 1:41.66  
  Smoking Makes You Il Pan Farms Nakatani C S 20.65   2no 1:41.92  
  Dont Look Good Estero Farms Gutierrez Mario 4.65   32 1:41.93  
  Listen To Him Mb Stables Smith M E 4.10   4hd 1:42.33  
  Platinum Square Mb Stables Da Silva E R 4.50   5nk 1:42.36  
  Bad English Maxmillion Farm Baze T C 27.85   61 1:42.41  
  Rene Levesque Hawaiian Shirt Guy Franco G 29.80   73 1:42.73  
  Westward Showdown Nakamura Stables Arroyo N Jr 15.10   73 1:42.73  
  Need A Snickers Jader Stable Roman E A 3.80   9 1:43.49  

Track: Fast

Time: :232  :47   1:104  1:413

$2 Mutuel Prices:

8 – Neon Wolf 8.20 4.80 3.30
1 – Smoking Makes You Il   17.90 13.60
2 – Dont Look Good     3.60

$1 Exacta: 8 – 1 Paid 193.00

$1 Trifecta: 8 – 1 – 2 Paid 448.50

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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