The Gold Cup (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
May 26, 2018
Earlier in the day, we saw Commanding Faith win the Gamely at long odds. She was truly a horse for the course. One race later, it happened again. Range Of The Sun was not as big a of a longshot as Commanding Faith, but she also boasted a fantastic history at SA. Though she did not have quite as many races, the ones she did have were successful, with two wins in three starts, including her first graded win. The gelding by the great Cherokee Sunset just needed a little more distance this time then his last race here, where he finished third. The result would be his biggest career victory, topping a very strong field. Congratulations to long time owner Team 7 Illusions, who is always happy to see his Cherokee Sunset foals get the job done. It happens quite a bit, after all! It is his first win in the stake, and that same holds true for winning jockey Mario Gutierrez. The time of the win was 2:01.22, not one of the quickest winning times, but it was all that was needed. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :47.20)- No one was particularly fired out of the gate, but as the field moved down the front stretch, it would be Steel Will (Defoe) and How To Laff (Serenity Stables) taking the early advantage, and they would lead going into the opening turn. Meanwhile, In Captivity (Mb Stables), who looked to be off to a midpack start early on, used an outside lane to push himself to the front, and he would be the one to eventually take the lead after half a mile. Steel Will and How To Laff were fine with stalking him. Right behind the stalkers, was our eventual winner, Range Of The Sun, running in the third lane, and only three lengths from the lead for trainer Team 7 Illusions. Chrystal Pip (Mb Stables) and Bronx Bomber (Aer Stables) were within a half length of him, running to his inside. Black Mojo (Mb Stables), the post time favorite, ran a length and half directly behind Range Of The Sun. Further back, Hidden Slew Laff (Gdp Inc), Sporty Greyjoy (Saratoga Stud), and Laffin Parrot (Mo Mentum Farm) were three wide. Turn Ninnie (TwinTowersRacing) and Tekkers (Maxmillion) were the early trailers, with seven lengths to make up.
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.62)- In Captivity would stretch out his advantage by about three lengths, but this was more of a product of Steel Will and How To Laff seeming to struggle then In Captivity pouring it on. Range Of The Sun calmly passed those two, and moved into the second position, and maintained his two and a half length deficit to the leader. The dropping back of Steel Will and How To Laff meant that both Chrystal Pip and Bronx Bomber had to alter their path to avoid running into the back of them. Black Mojo’s lane was clear, meanwhile, and he moved up a bit, though still was nearly five lengths from the leader. Those further back had to alter their paths a little as well based on the shuffling going on ahead of them.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- As the field hits the top of the turn, Range Of The Sun is gradually reeling in In Captivity with every stride. It was not an emphatic pass, and Black Mojo, as well as Chrystal Pip, were looking like they might have more for the stretch. At the top of the stretch, Range Of The Sun and In Captivity were side by side, and the pass inevitable. However, Black Mojo was now within a length, and bearing down on them quickly. Chrystal Pip could not quite match the stride of his stablemate, and now Bronx Bomber was coming into play with a run, and was just two lengths off the lead. Along the rail, Turn Ninnie was quietly making up ground and looked to be in a good position. Sporty Greyjoy and Laffin Parrot were hoping to succeed with wide trips as traffic trouble possibly loomed for Hidden Laff and Tekkers. Steel Will had dropped to the back, and while How To Laff was not there yet, it seemed to be coming.
(Finish- 2:01.22)- In the stretch, Range Of The Sun didn’t blow people away, but dug down to hold off all of his challengers. It was a gritty effort as he picked up the big win. Black Mojo is second, and his run seemed to die off in the stretch. More then likely, if he ran like he did while in the turn, the race was his, but he will settle for second. Bronx Bomber was quite strong in the stretch, and ends up being third. On the far outside, Laffin Parrot catches pace setter In Capitivity, who hung tough, to dead heat for the fourth place check. Slightly behind was another dead heat, this for sixth between Chrystal Pip and Sporty Greyjoy. Rounding out the running order is Turn Ninnie, who really had no excuses for not getting a better finish based on where she was at the top of the stretch, and then Hidden Slew Laff, Tekkers, How To Laff, and Steel Will.
About The Winner- Range Of The Sun, trained by Team 7 Illusions, and ridden to victory by Mario Gutierrez, is a three old gelding by Cherokee Sunset, and out of Busted Range Rover. He was bred in California as a third quarter two year old by Team 7 Illusions, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his 7th in sixteen starts, and his fourth stake win, all of which are graded. It’s his first Grade 1 win! His career earnings are now $704.600.
Time: :471 1:103 1:352 2:011
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 5 – 6 Paid 271.40
$1 Trifecta: 5 – 6 – 1 Paid 1,692.30
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES