With back to back victories after making the switch to the grass to close the 2019 season, Sweet Tip Toe ( Estero Farms ) will be looking to be in full stride down the stretch and put away her four other competitors at the wire for win number three.
- CA Cup Oaks- Purse $200.000
- Santa Anita Park- For Fillies Three Years Old, Foal in CA
- One Mile in Distance- Turf Course
- January 18th, 2020
Trainer Estero Farms is all to familiar with this event and the platform it allows a horse to pursue for its sophomore season. Two years ago he sent out Broken Chat to do battle in this event and that runner walked away with a two length victory at the line. She would go on to victories in the Gr. III Providencia Stakes, and then capture the prestigious Gr. I Diana at SAR. Now he will be sending out Sweet Tip Toe, a thoroughbred with a very similar running style as Broken Chat, one who likes to turn for home and then let the dirt fly as she charges to the wire. The switch to sod was definitely the right move by this trainer and I doubt we will see her be removed from this footing anytime in her near future. He has acquired the services of jockey Maldonado for this event, a rider who is already winning at a 39% clip, and this combination should have this event all their own way.
So who out of the remaining four should be her main threat? I tend to lean towards High Voltage’s Sweetness to her inside coming out of the rail position. The only runner in this group to already have posted two 90 plus SRF figures in her career, as well as a blistering 1:08 and two handily work going six panels in the morning over this track. Her last event being the Grade III Durante Stakes over at Del Mar was a big step up for her, and the drop back to this level should be much to her liking. The race seems to be shaping up to be a very “Sweet” deal indeed.
Next I like Nakamura Stables Time Lady who stuck it out at Golden Gate for three events to close out her juvenile career. Her last Alw31 affair found her making the switch to the grass which came up soft that day, but that didn’t hamper her efforts as she stalked the pace throughout, then managed to close late to win by a half a length. While the final fractions in that event were a slower 25 and three, I think the footing should agree with her once more this weekend.
I shied away from Fractious and Take The Fifth, mainly because of her drop off after racing in the Gr. II Jessamine Stakes. Yes the pace was three fifths of a second faster when she ran against OpClm40 company to close out the season, but I thought she could have provided a little more and at least placed in the top three of that race. Note, she posted a 1:08 and four fifths workout on the morning of the 5th of January, so perhaps her trainer found the answer to switch her up.
Finally we turn to Nakamura Stables other entry of Shake The Stick. A three time winner out of five starts last season on the dirt and I guess I question the move to the grass here with success on the main track. She does seem to follow a pattern of winning every other event she races in, and she won her last race, so this may be her off cycle. Turf work of 58 and three January 9th may have been intentional, or it may have swayed her trainers decision to enter in this event. Either way, she will have her work cut out for her today.