Straight Up G Could Try Derby Trail After Cal Cup Derby

A lights-out winner of his last two starts, Jungle Racing LLC’s homebred Straight Up G appears a standout versus five sophomores going a mile and one sixteenth in Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Derby at Santa Anita.

One of five California Cup Day races on a 10-race program, the Cal Cup Derby will be center stage as Straight Up G and his rivals attempt to follow in the footsteps of the Art Sherman-trained California Chrome, who used the 2014 Cal Cup Derby as a springboard to glory in the Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies as well as the 2014 Preakness Stakes.

Like California Chrome, the Richard Baltas-trained Straight Up G, a bay colt by red hot sire Straight Fire, out of the Sky Mesa mare Gidget Girl, comes off a big win versus statebreds in the one mile King Glorious Stakes run at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12.

“He’s doing everything really easily,” said Baltas on Friday morning. “Last time, he handled the two turns with no problem. He’s still growing, he big, he’s good looking and he’s got a good mind. Hopefully he can get this done tomorrow and then maybe we can tackle open company. He’s got size, he’s got length. The other day, he went five eighths, I got him in 59 and four (fifths), they gave him a minute and one and he galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:13 and one. He did that all on his own, he was by himself.

“I think he wants to go farther. I really don’t think he’s a sprinter. He’s got a lot of natural speed and he looks like a good, solid route horse. The sire’s had nothing but runners, so we’ll see how far this horse can go.”

Owned and bred by sports talk icon Jim Rome and his wife Janet’s Jungle Racing, Straight Up G debuted as an even money favorite going 5 ½ furlongs here on Oct. 9, but finished a disappointing fourth. Subsequently off at 4-5 in a six furlong maiden special versus Cal-breds on Nov. 21 at Del Mar, he aired by 5 ¼ lengths, earning a lofty 80 Beyer Speed Figure.

Off at 2-1 in the King Glorious, he led throughout in a thoroughly dominant performance, winning by 3 ½ lengths over Finneus, who he will again face on Saturday while earning a 75 Beyer.

With Ricky Gonzalez back to ride for a third consecutive time, Straight Up G appears headed for the deep waters of the Kentucky Derby Trail should he replicate his performance in the King Glorious on Saturday.

Like California Chrome, Straight Up G has to be considered a bit “light” in terms of his maternal pedigree, as his first dam, the Sky Mesa mare Gidget Girl, who although she has produced a talented half sister to Straight Up G, the Baltas-trained Gidgetta (three wins from 11 starts, earnings of $154,309) was unraced and his second dam, Rome’s Brazilian-bred Surfer Girl, finished her career 11-1-5-1, with her lone win coming in her native Brazil.

As for his sire, Straight Fire, he was a highly regarded juvenile who sold for $250,000 as a yearling and finished second as the 4-5 favorite in the 2016 Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. Subsequently third in Santa Anita’s G1 FrontRunner Stakes, he retired with one win from four starts and earnings of $146,400.

With the Cal Cup Derby carded early as race three on Saturday, Straight Up G will hope to issue an emphatic keynote speech on a day dedicated to California-breds. Drawn in post position four and installed as the 4-5 morning line favorite by Line Maker Jon White, Straight Up G will no doubt have the attention of all those eyeing the Derby Trail.

The post Straight Up G Could Try Derby Trail After Cal Cup Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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