Cetawayo, Rochester Expected for Turf Cup
Updated: Thursday, November 21, 2002 11:24 AM
(from track report)
Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 5:43 PM
Cetewayo and Rochester, a pair of proven distance turf veterans from the East, will be flown to California Thursday morning to join a large field expected for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT), at 1 1/2 mile on Saturday.
Cetewayo, an 8-year-old horse trained at Michael Dickinson's farm in Maryland, and Rochester, a 6-year-old gelding in the care of Jonathan Sheppard's farm in West Grove, Pa., are scheduled to arrive in California at 7 a.m.
The leading money-winner in the field, Cetewayo has won 11 of 29 starts and earned $1,113,918 for owner-breeder John Chandler. He will be ridden for the first time by meet leader Mike Smith.
Augustin Stable's Rochester has won his last two starts, including a victory over Cetewayo in the Kentucky Cup Handicap Sept. 21. Eddie Martin Jr., who rode him in the Kentucky Cup, has the call. Rochester has won nine of 21 starts and earned $636,133.
Travel should not bother either veteran. Cetewayo will be making his eighth start on eight different courses. Rochester has started eight times this year over six different layouts.
A field of 11 to 14 is shaping up in the weight-for-age test in which older horses will carry 126 pounds and 3-year-olds 122.
Considered definite are Cetewayo (Smith), Rochester (Martin), the Jenine Sahadi-trained duo of Delta Form (Goncalino Almeida) and Williams News (Alex Solis), Grammarian (Jose Valdivia, Jr.), Nazirali (Brice Blanc), Sligo Bay (Laffit Pincay, Jr.), Special Matter (Tyler Baze), Alyzig (no rider), Hannibal Lad (no rider) and Lasting Tribute (no rider).
Trainer Bobby Frankel said he had not reached a decision on whether to run Chiselling and/or Blue Steller. Ian Jory remained on the fence with Continental Red.
Special Matter and Alyzig will be vanned across town from Santa Anita after finishing one-two, respectively, in the Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 12 furlongs on the Santa Anita grass Oct. 27.
Special Matter, a 4-year-old gelding, has proved to be one of the best claims of the year since being haltered here on May 31 for $12,500 by trainer Rafael Becerra. The horse has won three of six starts since and earned about $150,000.
"He worked an easy half in 49 and one-fifth Monday and deserves a chance to run in the Turf Cup," said Becerra Wednesday from Santa Anita.
Alyzig, a 5-year-old horse owned by Steve Taub, finished second in the Burke in his third start for Kristin Mulhall, a 20-year-old trainer who took out her license here this summer.
Alyzig had sprinted earlier in the year for Tim Pinfield after he was imported from Europe. "When he was in Europe, he was a distance horse," said Mulhall. "He bled when he sprinted. I stretched him out again and got him to relax."
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