Keith Desormeaux’s Apache Princess, Peter Miller’s Kookie Gal and Doug O’Neill’s Lakerball all loom large in Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita. Restricted to 3-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, the Cal Cup Oaks, which has attracted a field of nine, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.
With two consecutive wins at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and a close second three starts back at a one mile turf maiden race at Del Mar Nov. 10, Apache Princess looks like the logical top selection as she bids for three wins in a row.
A first out maiden winner going one mile over the Santa Anita turf Oct. 18, Kookie Gal, who is owned by her breeders, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber, was an impressive winner of the state-bred Soviet Problem Stakes at one mile on dirt two starts back at Los Alamitos and comes off a nose defeat at one mile on dirt here on Jan. 11.
A winner of the one mile turf Surfer Girl Stakes in open company here three starts back on Oct. 8, Lakerball was a galloping minor stakes winner going a mile on turf at Golden Gate Fields Oct. 27 and has been freshened by O’Neill since well beaten in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 24.
Owner: KMN Racing, LLC
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux
By the late superstar California-based stallion Unusual Heat, Apache Princess, who is out of the Indian Charlie mare Puskita, was bred by her owners and is not only in sharp recent form, but she appears to possess the right “sit and pounce” style. The second leading money earner in the field with $111,960, she has two wins and as many seconds from five starts and will be ridden for the sixth consecutive time by Desormeaux’s brother, Kent.
Owner: Wachtel Stable & Gary Barber
Trainer: Peter Miller
A dark bay or brown filly by Boisterous, out of the Comic Strip mare Kukaluka, she was beaten a scant nose on Jan. 11 by talented Calf Moon Bay and is a proven commodity at the distance, as all four of her starts have been at one mile–two on dirt and two on grass. With two wins and a second from four starts, she has earnings of $103,820 and rates a huge chance with Flavien Prat riding back.
Owner: Pappas Horse Racing Corp., Purple Rein Racing & Tom Roberts
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
By the Unusual Heat stallion Lakerville, she’s out of the Capsized mare Category Ten. Following her head victory in the Surfer Girl Stakes here on Oct. 8, she was the even money favorite in the one mile turf Pikes Place Dancer Stakes at Golden Gate, a one mile turf race she took by five lengths. Freshened since a 7 ¼ length defeat in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Nov. 24, Lakerball has two wins from three tries at a mile on turf and will be making her seventh career start on Monday. With three wins from six starts, she’s the leading money earner in the field with $129,825.
THE CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
- Lippy–Mario Gutierrez–124
- Mucho Unusual–Joel Rosario–120
- Tiz a Master–Heriberto Figueroa–122
- Kookie Gal–Flavien Prat–124
- Silk From Heaven–Eswan Flores–120
- Hot On the Trail–Drayden Van Dyke–120
- Creative Instinct–Brice Blanc–124
- Lakerball–Rafael Bejarano–124
- Apache Princess–Kent Desormeaux–126
First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is at 12:30p.m. please visitsanttaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.