Four-year-old filly Romance Is Diane, a grade I stakes winner, is the 5-2 favorite among eight entrants in the $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by City National Bank, the centerpiece of Oak Tree's 10-stakes series of races exclusively for state-breds at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
Trainer Mike Mitchell says he's not worried about the unusual 1 5/8-mile distance of the first $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap June 1, and with good reason. After all, his horse, Big Booster, recently proved a convincing winner of the the even longer San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
The names of 85 of some of California's best runners passed through the
entry box for Saturday's California Cup XVII, the final Saturday program for the 2006 Oak Tree at Santa Anita fall season.
Lava Man, unbeaten in five races this year, including victories in the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup (both gr. I), has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's 16th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Giacomo and Preachinatthebar, the 1-2 finishers in Del Mar's grade II San Diego Handicap, and allowance winner Top This and That put in their final workouts Monday in preparation for Sunday's grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic.
Eleven horses have been nominated to Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 20. Lava Man, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) for trainer Doug O'Neill, is the probable favorite.
Multiple grade I winner Borrego, who missed a recent workout while attempting to make the March 4 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) without benefit of a prep race for trainer Beau Greely, has not been withdrawn from consideration for the race.
The Bobby Frankel-trained High Limit spoiled the return to the races of 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo with an authoritative win in the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Giacomo, the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, makes his first start in seven months when he faces a full field in Saturday's $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. I) for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
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