In an exhausting stretch run, Reddam Racing’s homebred Ann Arbor Eddie was the last man standing in Saturday’s $ 250,000 California Cup Derby, as the 3-year-old Square Eddie gelding wore down California Diamond to win by a half length. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neill, he got 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.65.
Breaking from post position two in a field of seven California-bred or sired sophomores, Ann Arbor Eddie sat a close second throughout, but trailed the pacesetter by about two lengths with a furlong to run.
“When we turned for home, we were in trouble and he just keeps trying and trying and trying,” said Dennis O’Neill, who serves as an assistant to his brother, Doug, who was away on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. “We prayed that the wire wouldn’t come too soon. We had a good day. We had three seconds. It’s great for Paul (Reddam). Paul puts a lot into the Cal-breds. It was a fitting end to the day.”
A winner versus state-breds of the one mile King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 18, Ann Arbor Eddie was the third choice in the wagering at 5-2 and paid $ 7.20, $ 3.20 and $ 2.80.
Out of the In Excess mare, Repo, Ann Arbor Eddie got his third win from four starts and with the winner’s share of $ 120,000, increased his earnings to $ 238,700.
“Everything went really well until the three eighths (pole),” said Gutierrez, who also registered 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.”
Although second to Ann Arbor Eddie in the King Glorious, the highly accomplished California Diamond was off as the 9-5 Derby favorite and paid $ 2.80 and $ 2.20. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, he tired badly in the late stages, but still finished 4 ¼ lengths in front of Tribal Storm.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tribal Storm broke from the rail and was attentive to the early pace, but couldn’t go with the top two the final quarter mile. Off at 19-1, he paid $ 4.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.69, 47.70, 1:12.31 and 1:37.82.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2017 Paulick Report.