McCarthy Hoping To Feast On Stakes Diet On Santa Anita Derby Day

Santa Anita has hosted the Breeders’ Cup a record 10 times.

On Saturday, June 6, the Arcadia, Calif., racetrack presents what might be termed a Breeders’ Cup in miniature, showcasing seven lucrative stakes races highlighted by the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup and the G2 Santa Anita Oaks.

For added pleasure, there’s the $150,000 Cinema Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile and one eighth on turf; the $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes for California-breds three and up at a mile on turf; the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes for Cal-bred fillies and mares at a mile on turf; and the $75,000 Desert Code Stakes for three-year-olds at 5 ½ furlongs on turf.

There will be 11 races June 6 with a first post time of 12:30 p.m.

With horses scheduled to run in the Big Three plus one, Michael McCarthy will have more than a passing interest on the prominent program.

The trainer expects to enter Rushie in the Santa Anita Derby; possibly Brown Storm in the Gold Cup; Speech in the Oaks; and Cono in the Crystal Water.

Rushie will be making his stakes debut in the Derby. The gray Florida-bred son of Liam’s Map broke his maiden at Santa Anita going a mile on Feb. 1 and most recently won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race as the 3-1 favorite at Oaklawn Park on May 2.

He worked five furlongs Saturday in a snappy 59.80, a few ticks slower than the bullet 59 flat fired by the George Papaprodromou-trained So Much Happy.

“He won an allowance race at Oaklawn Park, the spacing is nice for the Derby with a potentially small field, the horse seems like he’s going the right way and there’s nowhere else to run,” McCarthy said succinctly in explaining his reasons for elevating to a Grade I.

Leading rider Flavien Prat has the mount.

Brown Storm, a five-year-old Chilean-bred full horse by Scat Daddy, set the pace in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 7 before weakening to fourth, but was beaten only three lengths in the mile and a quarter classic.

It was only his third race on the main track,14 of his 17 starts having come on turf. Brown Storm won a stake by six lengths under 126 pounds going a mile and a quarter in his native country on Nov. 10, 2018. The Gold Cup will be decided at the same distance.

He worked five furlongs this morning in 1:00.20.

Speech, never out of the money in five races including a second in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes on March 8, worked five furlongs Saturday in 1:01.80.

“I thought she worked very well,” McCarthy said of the Florida-bred daughter of Mr Speaker owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “She is on target for the Oaks.” Prat also has the mount.

Cono, a durable five-year-old gelded son of Lucky Pulpit, makes start number 21 in the Crystal Water and is seeking his first stakes victory. He is coming off a handy allowance win as the 3-10 favorite at Golden Gate Fields on March 7 under Kent Desormeaux. “He’s trained well since winning at Golden Gate,” McCarthy said of the chestnut owned and bred in Kentucky by John and Diane Fradkin.

Cono worked five furlongs this morning in 1:00.40.

With 13 victories from 60 starters, McCarthy is winning at a noteworthy 22 percent clip this meet. He also has eight seconds and seven thirds for purse earnings of $815,225.

The post McCarthy Hoping To Feast On Stakes Diet On Santa Anita Derby Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.