Don’t Be Swayed By Big Names in CA Cup Sprint

CA Cup Sprint- $150.000 Purse
SA- For Four Year Olds and Upward Foaled in CA
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
January 18, 2020

The CA Cup Sprint takes place this weekend at SA for the 15th time, and first debuted on the stakes calendar in 2003. It has not always been run, but has done so every year since 2014. There has been one dead heat, with a very recognizable name being a part of that. In 2018, State Police shared the win with the late Inimical, and they definitely did go their separate ways. Although in fairness, Inimical did pick up more wins, just not at the stake level. Last year, it was Freak Storm with the win. We’ll have seven going to post for this race, so let’s have a run through the field!

#1- Made To Sin (John Henry, ridden by D Van Dyke)- After a winless 2019, the six year old drops out of the graded ranks for the first time since June 2016, which was the race in which he broke his maiden. Credit the trainer for continuing to plug away at graded stakes, and for a while Made To Sin was very successful. Now, he takes on his in-state rivals, and has the most name recognition out of anyone here. That may not necessarily mean he is the one to beat here, though. He has not done much sprinting in his career.

#2- Global Strike (Fractious, ridden by N Arroyo Jr)- Picked up by the trainer from Our Athletes in private sales for $75.000 in November. He had a lot of experience running in statebreds for that barn, with varying degrees on success. He’s run in Fractious colors once, placing fourth in a N1X allowance at CD. His works jump around in the 1:10’s, so he must be at his best here to have a chance. Looks like he could be a mildly inconsistent type.

#3- Audioslave (Alydar Stables, ridden by M E Smith)- This is the only horse in the field that has had anywhere near the success of Made To Sin, but like his rival, he was also winless in 2019. Since the spring, he has really only been close once, and it was in a race with similar conditions. He’s struggled in graded stakes of late and needs this drop down. I’m looking elsewhere, outside of the two big names.

#4- Crimson Pirate (Chili King Stables, ridden by T C Baze)- The five year old gelding makes his 28th career start and hopes that it will result in his first stake win. There have been plenty of opportunities for him to do so, and his last start represents the closest he has been, placing second in the $120.000 Bet Of Sunshine at CD against four others. He’s a natural sprinter and his speed figures are improving, so this may be the race.

#5- Geeky Pleasure (Night Rider Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- We certainly have a lot of experienced horses in this field and Geeky Pleasure, at eight years old, is the oldest. He’ll make his 32nd start here in search of win number nine. He’s made his name running in allowances and claimers, but has been consistently running this distance. Since being claimed by Night Rider, we have seen him take on tougher company, and he narrowly missed out in the CC Express, placing second by a nose. Repeating that effort can get it done here.

#6- A Star Is Born (Mb Stables, ridden by G Franco)- He will make his debut for Mb Stables here, which in itself is something that always needs to be looked out for. The trainer picked him for $50.000 in private sales just last week after two free tracks wins. He does have a lot of experience on the pay side, though, but has never run at the stake level for. Put out a bullet work for Mb the day after he was acquired, but that was consistent with what he was working before, too.

#7- Chai Laffin (Gdp Inc, ridden by F Prat)- Spent much of his career running on the grass, but the tide may be turning for him to be a regular on the main track. He has won his last two races, each coming on the dirt, and that has earned him this chance. He’s no stranger to the stake level, and has hit the board in eight consecutive races, while also earning a piece of the purse in 16 of his last 17 races. That trend should continue.

#8- Sharp And Ready- Scratched, was either not sharp, or not ready.

Prediction: 5-4-7-6

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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