The Cal Cup Can Have Breeders’ Cup Implications
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Although the California Cup/Sunshine Millions at Santa Anita Park is run in January, it can often end up having Breeders’ Cup implications at the end of the year. The five-race series for state-breds will take place January 18, with names like The Hunted, Baja Sur, and Been Studying Her scheduled to compete.
One of the horses slated to run who has Breeders’ Cup experience is veteran Ashleyluvssugar, a nine-year-old gelding who finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita in 2016. The son of Game Plan, who is trained by Peter Eurton and shares the shed row with 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Storm the Court, has earned $1.4 million and has won 10 of his 36 starts. After that Breeders’ Cup performance, he won the 2017 California Cup Turf Classic, which is now known as the Unusual Heat Turf Classic.
The $200,000 race drew a field of eight, with The Hunted a two-time winner on this course recently for owners Little Red Feather Racing. The John Shirreffs-trained Mobou is by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo.
California Chrome is perhaps the biggest name to make an impact on both the California Cup and the Breeders’ Cup. The famous son of Lucky Pulpit won the inaugural California Cup Derby en route to winning the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He got closer in 2016, running second in the Classic, before retiring with over $14.7 million in earnings.
Richard’s Boy, who is by 2007 TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) runner up Idiot Proof, won the California Cup Sprint in 2017. Later that year he ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar, then came back to be second in the Cal Cup again last year. The millionaire is now racing in Texas.
Also still racing is What a View, who won the Cal Cup Turf Classic in 2016. He went on to add the grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, then raced in the Breeders’ Cup Mile that year. What a View has earned just under $1 million.
Wickedly quick Big Macher won the California Cup Sprint in 2014, then reeled off a grade 1 and grade 2 win that spring and summer before contesting the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He tried twice, finishing ninth and tenth, but ultimately won eight of 20 starts and earned just under $750,000. Richard Baltas trained the sprinter; he also trains The Hunted.
Follow the campaigns of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup runners via TVG.
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February Stakes on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse is First Automatic Qualifier for 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic
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