In a spirited stretch duel, Dream of Summer came back on along on the inside to nose out heavily favored Yearly Report and win Saturday's $150,000 TOC/CTT California Cup Matron at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.Dream of Summer is by Siberian Summer out of the Skywalker mare Mary's Dream and was bred by owner James Weigel of Valencia.In a race that lived up to its exciting buildup, Dream of Summer led the field into the stretch, was passed by Yearly Report, but took the photo for her sixth consecutive win and seventh in nine starts. She raised her career earnings to $412,500.The lightly raced 5-year-old mare was coming off wins in the A Gleam (gr. II) and the Rancho Bernardo (gr. III) and making her first attempt at two turns. She is trained by Juan Garcia and was ridden by Mike Smith."She sure can go a distance," said Smith. "The whole key was getting her to relax. At about the eighth pole she took a big, deep breath and just filled herself up with a little more energy and she had enough to hold on. She loves to fight."Dream of Summer ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.36. Summer Wind Dancer, third in the race last year, closed for third again. The top three finishers are graded stakes winners."Mike Smith just out-rode everybody and gave our filly too much to do," said Bob Baffert, Yearly Report's trainer.
(Chart, Equibase)Lukewarm favorite Areyoutalkintome outfought millionaire stablemate Full Moon Madness to win Saturday's $150,000 Dodge/Donald Valpredo Cal Cup Sprint. Areyoutalkintome, ridden by Corey Nakatani, is by Smokester out of the Storm Bird mare Andrea Gail. He was bred by John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery and is owned by Manzani or O'Neill or Sarno. Doug O'Neill, who also trains Full Moon Madness, conditions the winner."We were pulling for a dead-heat there at the eighth pole, but we're just so happy they both ran good," said O'Neill.Areyoutalkintome won for the fifth time in 13 starts and raised his earnings to $277,892. He was coming off a neck loss in the California Sprint Championship to Green Team, last year's Cal Cup Sprint winner who finished third Saturday.A $10,000 Barretts purchase, Areyoutalkintome was claimed for $32,000 out of his third start, a maiden victory Dec. 20. He has not finished worse than third in 10 starts since, including a win in the Aug. 6 Real Good Deal Stakes.Sent off as the 5-2 favorite, Areyoutalkintome ran the six furlongs in 1:08.84 and won by a head.
(Chart, Equibase)Texcess took the lead turning for home and pulled away to six-length maiden win in Saturday's $125,000 Budweiser California Cup Juvenile. Texcess is by In Excess, out of the Regal Classic mare Danish Alamode, was bred by Ron Gomez and is owned by Aldabbagh & Aguirre. In his only other start, the $85,000 Barretts purchase finished second by a neck in the Barretts Juvenile Sept. 19. He is a half-brother to the stakes-placed Gimme the Willys.Co-owner Paul Aguirre trains Texcess and Rene Douglas was the jockey. "We bought him from the breeders, they're very close friends of mine, and I send all of my horses to their barns and they just begged us, 'Please buy this horse,' " said Aguirre. "They thought he was special from the day he was born."Texcess, sent off at odds of 3-1, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.02. Generalist was second and Tizmanian Devil was third. Morning-line favorite Top Money scratched. Conspirator finished last and had to be vanned off after being unsaddled.
Favored Test the Waters exploded in mid-stretch to win Saturday's $100,000 TVG California Cup Distance Handicap for fillies and mares.The lightly raced Test the Waters is by Chequer, out of the Irish River mare Tiltheriverrunsdry, was bred by Jim Vreeland and is owned by Seger & Thomas. This was the 5-year-old mare's fourth win in nine races, her first stakes win, and increased her earnings to $227,478.Off for two years between April 2002 and 2004, this was her fifth race since returning and she was coming off a second in the Sept. 5 Solana Beach Handicap. She is trained by Jeff Mullins and ridden by Victor Espinoza.Sent off at odds of 3-2, she ran the 1 ¼ miles on turf in 2:01.19 and finished two lengths in front of Shalini, who was fifth in this race last year. Tucked Away was third.
(Chart, Equibase)Longshot Our Mango nosed out favorite Western Hemisphere and posted a California Cup record win payoff of 4100.20 in Saturday's $150,000 John Deere Cal Cup Distaff.Our Mango is by Bold Badgett, out of the Caucasus mare Woodlynn. She's owned by Para Dice Acres and was bred by S L U Inc., which also bred the third-place finisher, Market Garden. She ran the about 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:12.63, third fastest time in race history.Our Mango won for the fifth time in 27 starts and raised her earnings to $245,718. It was her first race at Santa Anita, her first turf win and second stakes win after taking the Aug. 9 Elle Destruel Handicap at Santa Rosa.Steve Specht trains the 5-year-old mare. Russell Baze, who last won a Cal Cup race in 1995, rode her.Said Specht: "The only thing that makes me mad is I let her go off at 45-1 and I was too lazy to go up there and bet."
(Chart, Equibase)A to the Z set a stakes record in winning Saturday's $175,000 John C. Mabee California Cup Mile. A to the Z ran the mile on turf in 1:33.44, breaking the Cal Cup Mile record of 1:33.48 set in 1991 by Shirkee and tied in 1996 by Half Mamoon.The 4-year-old gelded son of Benchmark, out of the Replant mare Green Again, was bred by Sentinel Thoroughbred Farms and is owned by Andy or Paula Capestro. Paula Capestro is the trainer. Victor Espinoza rode the winner."At the half mile, I couldn't hold him anymore," said Espinoza. "I had so much horse that at the three-eighths pole I just let him go and in no time I opened up four or five lengths. It was so easy."This was the fourth win in 18 starts for A to the Z, who was running for a $25,000 claiming tag in 2002 and then was sidelined for 10 months. He won the Sunland Park Handicap on a sloppy track in April, was third in the Dallas Turf Cup Handicap in June and most recently was second in an Aug. 27 optional claimer.The 5-2 second choice, A to the Z finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Hemet Thought, with even-money favorite Stage Player third. A to the Z is a half-brother to previous Cal Cup Starter Handicap winner Fade to Blue. Red Warrior was pulled up after crossing the wire and was vanned off.Defending champion Lennyfromalibu scratched.
(Chart, Equibase)Lady Truffles, a maiden but the lukewarm favorite, held off Cee's Irish in a stretch duel to score by a nose in Saturday's $125,000 Robert H. Walter California Cup Juvenile Fillies. Lady Truffles, by Candi's Gold, out of the Peaks and Valleys mare Great Plains Lady, was bred by T.A. Aroney, R.A. Stolich and F.M. Stolich and is owned by Janavar Thoroughbreds.
The $3,500 Barretts purchase had finished second in each of her other three starts, most recently the Sept. 29 Cover Gal Stakes. This was her first attempt around two turns. She ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.22. Cee's Irish was second and Home Ice was third.John Sadler trains Lady Truffles, who was ridden by Victor Espinoza, who had three wins on the Cal Cup card."Cal Cup days treat me good," said Espinoza, who had four winners on last year's Cal Cup card. "When I took the lead I tried to open up and my horse kind of waited for the other one (Cee's Irish) and the outside horse came up next to me. And the last sixteenth I had to really ride her, as hard as I could."