Phoenix Gold Cup Could be a Grimm Fable

(from track report)
The Eric Kruljac-trained Grimm will be going for his fifth straight win in the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup Saturday at Turf Paradise.

"He's certainly earned the right to go for the Gold," said Kruljac.

The Phoenix Gold Cup is for ages 3 and up at six furlongs.

A model of consistency, the improving Grimm's fourth consecutive victory came in the $50,000 Coyote Handicap on Feb. 15. Prior to that the 4-year-old son of Hansel won the $35,000 Cactus Wren besides also collecting allowance and maiden victories. Grimm has won four of six.

"This is the next stepping stone," said Kruljac.

Purchased for $15,000 out of the 2001 Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders' Sale, Grimm has won $68,160.

"Actually I was in California at the time of the sale," said Kruljac. "Two fellow trainers – Lanny Sharp and Ira Schuman – described him to me over the phone. I told them to go as high as $15,000."

In addition to Grimm, Kruljac will also saddle R. Baggio, a Southern California campaigner.

"Grimm likes to race near the lead," said Kruljac. "R. Baggio comes from out of the clouds. His win sprinting over the Santa Anita turf in January was a monster race."

Kruljac has had a "taste" of winning a Gold Cup, last year's winner, Quinton's Gold.

"Though I didn't train the horse, I picked Quinton's Gold out of a sale," said Kruljac. "Now I'd like to win one."

Nick Canani, who shipped in to win the $75,000 Arizona Oaks with Harbor Blues on Feb. 1, will send out Simony in the Gold Cup.

Completing the California shippers are the Frank Monteleone-trained Giovannetti, who has won six of nine sprint outings, and the lightly raced Doug O'Neill-trained Smile n Wildcat, a winner of two of five races while campaigning at four different race tracks.

Giovannetti, who will be ridden by Danny Sorenson, carries high weight of 120 pounds in the evenly weighted nine-horse handicap field.

$100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap, 3 & up, six furlongs
PP Horse, Weight, Jockey
1 Expert (OK), 116, Esteban A. Gomez
2 R. Baggio (KY), 118, Kelly Bridges
3 Giovannetti (CA), 120, Danny Sorenson
4 No Cal Bread (CA), 115, Wilson O. Dieguez
5 Smile n Wildcat (KY), 117, Luis H. Jauregui
6 Simony (CA), 117, Michael G. Ziegler
7 Grimm (AZ), 119, David B. Patton
8 Flying Supercon (CA) , 118, Miguel G. Hernandez
9 Gotta Go to Work (ON), 118, Scott A. Stevens