Cal Cup Stakes Series Lures 110 Runners

Information provided by Santa Anita Park

The $1.275-million Cal Cup, a series of 10 stakes for California-breds, has drawn 110 horses for its 12th running Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The day is headed by the $250,000 Wells Fargo Cal Cup Classic at 1 1/8 miles.

The Classic lured a field of nine headed by morning-line favorite Irisheyesareflying, trained by John Dolan. Irisheyesareflying won the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in his last start and finished fourth behind Tiznow in the Santa Anita Handicap in March.

Here's the field for the Classic, from the rail out:

Literal Prowler, Gary Stevens, 116 pounds, 8-1 morning line
Figlio Mio, Tyler Baze, 119, 5-2
Vixen Storm, David Flores, 105, 30-1
Irisheyesareflying, Kent Desormeaux, 122, 2-1
Romanceishope, Chris McCarron, 118, 3-1
Grey Memo, Garrett Gomez, 118, 6-1
Ben Saw San, Jose Valdivia Jr., 115, 20-1
Waingarth, Victor Espinoza, 114, 20-1
Eric Da Bomb, Brice Blanc, 113, 30-1

The $175,000 TVG Cal Cup Mile on the turf also has drawn a field of nine. One of the entrants, Flying Rudolph, is trained by Mel Stute, who helped get the Cal Cup program off the ground.

"I was in on the original, when they told us it wouldn't work," Stute said. "The first two times we tried to have it, (Jimmy Kilroe, the late Santa Anita racing secretary) said he wouldn't allow us to have it. He said he couldn't get a race to fill with eight Cal-bred horses, let alone eight Cal-bred races on the same day.

"So we finally did try it, and it worked.They didn't think it would, but it has. It's one of the most popular days we have, and it kind of gives the whole state a chance to participate and it brings the whole state together for one day, anyway."

Here's the field for the Mile:

Golden General, Kent Desormeaux, 116
Indiahoma, Martin Pedroza, 114
Rail Man, Danny Sorenson, 114
Flying Rudolph, Victor Espinoza, 115
Native Desert, Eddie Delahoussaye, 123
Ringaskiddy, Isaias Enriquez, 115
Lily's Lad, Corey Nakatani, 117
Spinelessjellyfish, Chris McCarron, 122
Wolfwithintegrity, Tyler Baze, 114

A more compact field of six is set to assemble for the $150,000 Donald Valpredo Cal Cup Sprint at six furlongs. Here's the field:

Always Game, Mike Smith, 116
Ceeband, Matt Garcia, 121
Stormy Jack, Victor Espinoza, 119
Men's Exclusive, Laffit Pincay Jr., 121
Trailthefox, Eddie Delahoussaye, 117
Gibson County, David Flores, 116

Trainer Don Warren will have two shots in the $150,000 Louis R. Rowan Cal Cup Distaff with Always The Lady and Storm Kisu. The event will be run at 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course.

Here's the field for the Distaff, which drew some also-eligibles:

Always the Lady, Corey Nakatani, 113
Dusty Heather, Victor Espinoza, 118
Fair Apache, Alex Solis, 118
Jeweled Pirate, Chris McCarron, 117
Storm Kisu, Matt Garcia, 115
Serene in Seattle, Kent Desormeaux, 113
Sea of Ice, David Flores, 115
Vida Dancer, Tyler Baze, 112
Warren's Whistle, Gary Stevens, 115
Slew's Daughter, Jose Valdivia Jr., 112
Global, Martin Pedroza, 117
Song of the Moment, Laffit Pincay Jr., 113
Sweet Defense, Mike Smith, 115

Crown Connection, Tyler Baze, 111; Proud Tammie, Danny Sorenson, 113; Shred the Excess, Joe Steiner, 110; and Apollo's Music, Goncalino Almeida, 109, are the also-eligibles.

Other Cal Cup races on the program are the Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Matron, Distaff Starter Handicap, Starter Handicap, and Sprint Starter Handicap.

This year's Cal Cup program will feature a $1-million guaranteed pick six pool. There is no mandatory payout, which means there will be a carryover to Sunday's program if no one has six winners.