ARCADIA, Calif. – Ann Arbor Eddie wore down 9-5 favorite California Diamond to win the $250,000 California Cup Derby by a half-length Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Ann Arbor Eddie ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.65 and paid $7.20, $3.20 and $2.80 as the 5-2 third choice.
California Diamond returned $2.80 and $2.20, while Tribal Storm was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $4.60 to show.
Ann Arbor Eddie sat a close second throughout behind pacesetter California Diamond.
“When we turned for home, we were in trouble and he just keeps trying and trying and trying,” said Dennis O’Neill, assistant to his brother-trainer Doug, who was at Gulfstream Park in Florida. “We prayed that the wire wouldn’t come too soon.”
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Ann Arbor Eddie’s career earnings to $238,700, with three wins in four starts.
“Everything went really well until the three-eighths (pole),” said Gutierrez, who earned his 999th career win. “I started asking him a little bit. He didn’t want to pick up the bit. I was worried a little bit turning for home because I really had to ask him. He has so much more ability than that. He’s still a little green.”
Ashleyluvssugar overhauled What a View in the final 50 yards to win by a half-length in the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Ashleyluvssugar ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.63 and paid $4, $2.60 and $2.20 as the even-money favorite in a field of nine older horses bred or sired in California.
“He got a perfect ride,” winning trainer Peter Eurton said. “I think Flavvy was just a little bit nervous in the paddock, but the kid is so good, so good. Other than telling him the horse likes to be outside, I didn’t say anything. That was a nice, easy lead that What a View got. I didn’t think we’d get by him for a minute there, but Ashley’s got a lot of class.”
What a View returned $3.80 and $3.40, while 60-1 longshot Ward `n Jerry was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $11.40 to show.
The victory, worth $150,000, increased Ashleyluvssugar’s career earnings to $1,157,504, with nine wins in 20 starts. The 6-year-old gelding had been idle since finishing second in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar on Nov. 25.
“I had a good trip,” Prat said. “It came really easy. Once he gets the lead he doesn’t want to open up, but he knows he has to keep at least a head in front.”
In the $200,000 California Cup Oaks, Sircat Sally won by 2 1/4 lengths.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Sircat Sally ran a mile in 1:35.08 in her first start on turf after winning her first two dirt tract starts by a combined 17 lengths. She paid $3.80, $3.40 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies.
How About Zero returned $16.60 and $8.40, while Princess Roi was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
The victory, worth $110,000, increased Sircat Sally’s career earnings to $198,200 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
In the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint, Enola Gray won by 3 1/4 lengths in one of five stakes races restricted to horses bred or sired in California.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Enola Gray ran 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course in 1:12.10 and paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10.
Smoove It returned $4.20 and $3, while Desert Steel was another head back in third and paid $2.60 to show.
The victory, worth $90,000, increased Enola Gray’s career earnings to $449,100, with five wins in eight starts.
“I really, truly believe the sky’s the limit with this filly,” trainer Phil D’Amato said.
In the $150,000 California Cup Sprint, Richard’s Boy won by a nose over Well Measured.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Richard’s Boy ran six furlongs in 1:08.71 and paid $6, $3.60 and $2.60 for trainer Peter Miller.
Well Measured returned $5.60 and $3.80, while Acceptance was another half-length back in third and paid $3.80 to show.
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