CA Cup Derby Could Springboard Runners to the TC Trail

The CA Cup Derby – NG
SA Race 6 1 1/16 – Dirt
Purse $200.000
Three Year Olds CA Breds

A field of ten California bred three year olds have been entered up for this years running of the California Cup Derby here at Santa Anita. This is a very nice field and some of these runners could use this race as a stepping stone towards the triple crown trail. Let’s take a look at the field.
1. Patriot Return (4-3-0-0 $64.680), trained by Nakamura Stables

First runner in the field here and this horse is coming into this race off of three wins in a row. He has answered every question since his first start and he seems to be improving with every start. This is his first time with stakes company though so he will have to improve yet again to win here.

2. Aussie Steel (10-3-2-1 $158.100), trained by Arindel

Next runner in the group here and this horse is returned to ungraded stakes company after two disappointing finishes in a row. He did win the grade three Hope Stakes three races back and that makes him carry 127lbs in here. That’s too much weight for him to overcome against these.

3. Zafonic Way (3-1-2-0 $34.700), trained by The Freakshow

Now to this horse who made his first start since he was gelded a very impressive three length win in a maiden special weight at Golden Gate. He crushed the field that day and showed significant improvement with that win. I think he could have quite a bit of a longshot chance in here.

4. Tornado Force (6-1-1-0 $53.000), trained by Waldo

Next one we take a look at here and he has been winless since his maiden win in his first career start. He has not been running well at all at the stakes level no matter where or how far the race has been. I just don’t see him getting a win in here at all.

5. Silent Commander (4-3-1-0 $164.840), trained by Serenity Stables

Looking at this runner now and he is coming into this race off of a very nice second in the RP Springboard Mile which offered Kentucky Derby points. This is definitely a step down in class and if he runs that same race in here he will be very tough to beat.

6. Geronimo (6-1-1-1 $95.000), trained by Nakamura Stables

Second runner for Nakamura Stables here and this horse is coming into this race off of a second place finish in the King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos which is pretty much a prep for this race. He was narrowly beaten that day but this is a little bit tougher field so he will have to improve a bit.

7. Obeah Mon (4-1-1-0 $43.800), trained by Night Rider Stables

Next runner here and this horse broke his maiden in his last start by three lengths at Santa Anita but it was only a four horse field. He did win nicely and ran a good time but this is his first time against winners and it is a tough field. He could have a shot in here if he improves off the win.

8. Full Life (5-2-0-1 $70.000), trained by Rampage Stable

Now on to this horse and he is going to try stakes company for the third time in his career. He did run third in a stakes race up at Woodbine in his last start in the mud. The move to statebred company should help him out for sure. I think he could have a shot in here.

9. King Que Niagra (2-1-0-0 $24.000), trained by Aer Stables

Next to last runner we look at in the field and this runner broke his maiden last out against California bred maiden special weights. He is stretching out for the first time and he has a very tough post to overcome so it is a tough task for this horse. He’ll have to run big to have a shot.

10. Strong Kommand (4-0-0-0 $16.000), trained by Maxmillion Farm

Final runner in the field and also the only maiden in the field here and based off of his past races I just do not see him standing a chance. Maxmillion Farm doesn’t just enter to run though and that is the only hope I can even see with this horse. Outside post and not much to show racing yet so just don’t see him winning.


A very good field has been entered up for this race here and there is some very live chances in this field. My top pick is Silent Commander as I just think that he is the class of this field and stands above the rest of them. Good luck to all in the race.


Categories: NG Stakes, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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