The 9th Running of the CA Cup Derby
January 15, 2022 17:20
SA Race #8 $200.000 11/16 Dirt
CA-Bred 3YOs 121Lbs (plus penalties)
Track Record-1:38.57 (Icicle-2005)
Stakes Record-1:41.48 (The Perfect Day-2016)
Gem Of A Shark recorded the second win from four starts to begin his career with a half-length score in the 8.5 furlong $200.000 CA Cup Derby at SA. Saturday’s victory pushed the sophomore gelding’s career earnings to $132.960 and could give him an opportunity to participate in a KYD prep, if that is the path winning conditioner Arindel decides on.
A full field of 12 was released at the start; however, it would be the first three numbers posted who would decide the win, place, and show. Breaking from posts 5, 6, and 9 respectively, Suspect, White Sunsine, and Gem Of A Shark all contested the early pace. After being caught three wide on the first turn, Gem Of A Shark smartly dropped a couple lengths off of the :23.69, :47.10 pace being set by White Sunshine. This enabled Gem Of A Shark to shift-in two paths going down the backside.
Gem Of A Shark was a joint second with his stablemate, Suspect, when White Sunshine reached six furlongs in 1:10.61. The leader was two lengths clear as he approached the top of the stretch, but, while Suspect appeared stuck in neutral, Gem Of A Shark began erasing the deficit. White Sunshine was a half-length in front when he reached the sixteenth pole, but Gem Of A Shark kept coming. It was about this time in the race that a blue blur began garnering notice as Croton Road looked to be taking two strides to everyone else’s one, but he was still in seventh. Gem Of A Shark went by White Sunshine in the final 50-yards and inched clear to score by a half-length at the wire where he stopped the clock in 1:41.95. White Sunshine rewarded his trainer’s decision to try this spot off of only a maiden win and acquitted himself nicely in his first try versus winners with his runner-up effort. Suspect ran hard the whole journey and bravely held-off the hard-charging Croton Road for the show honors. It must be said that Croton Road, once he finally started running, finished the best of all 12 runners. He was followed across the wire by Starship Candlestick, Average Joe, Liberia, Loquacious Luka, One Last Punch Line, For Your Pleasure, Green River, and Punch The Fox.
This time of the year is always exciting when you have a promising sophomore and it would be no surprise if more than one of these runners turned-up at various stops on the KYD prep trail. Congratulations to Gem Of A Shark and Arindel for their victory in the CA Cup Derby at SA.