Santa Anita: Ashleyluvssugar, Ralis Headline Cal Cup Turf Classic

Ashleyluvssugar and jockey Gary Stevens win the Grade II, $ 250,000 Del Mar Handicap, Saturday, August 20, 2016 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

Millionaire Ashleyluvssugar and Grade I winning Ralis head a field of 10 veterans in Saturday’s $ 250,000 California Cup Turf Classic, to be contested at a mile and one eighth over the Santa Anita turf. For older horses bred or sired in California, the Turf Classic will be run for the 28th time.

ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR: Handled deftly by trainer Peter Eurton throughout his 19-race career, this 6-year-old Game Plan gelding has been idle since running second, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup at a mile and half on Nov. 25 at Del Mar. A winner of the Grade II, 1 ¼ miles turf John Henry Turf Cup three starts back here on Oct. 2, he was subsequently fifth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 5. A four-time graded stakes winner, Ashleyluvssugar has proven effective on the lead or coming from behind. Owned and bred by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, he is 19-8-3-3 with earnings of $ 1,007,504. With regular rider Gary Stevens on the mend due to hip replacement surgery, he’ll be ridden by Flavien Prat for the first time on Saturday.

RALIS: Owned and bred by J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing, LLC, he was listed as a probable starter in the $ 12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Saturday as recently as a week ago, but his connections decided to stay home and run against state-bred in the Turf Classic. Trained by Doug O’Neill and a winner of the Grade I Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga as a 2-year-old, Ralis made little impact from off the pace here in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf at a mile and one half on Nov. 5. A 4-year-old colt by top California-based stallion Square Eddie, Ralis is winless in his 11 starts since winning the Hopeful in September, 2015. He may be best suited as a deep closer on turf and would therefore appreciate a fast pace on Saturday. He has three seconds from as many tries at the Classic distance of a 1 1/8 miles on turf and is 16-2-4-0 overall with earnings of $ 424,428.

THE $ 250,000 CALIFORNIA CUP TURF CLASSIC WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 7 of 10 Approximate post time 3:12 p.m. PST

1. Ashleyluvssugar—Flavien Prat—126
2. Ward ‘n Jerry—Stewart Elliott—122
3. Ralis—Mario Gutierrez—120
4. Temple Keys—Santiago Gonzalez—120
5. Cardiac—Corey Nakatani—120
6. What a View—Tyler Baze—126
7. He Will—Rafael Bejarano—122
8. Patriots Rule—Joe Talamo—124
9. Tamarando—Martin Garcia—122
10. Poshky—Jamie Theriot–124

Racing – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

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