January 22, 2022

Horse racing notes: Jim Rome’s Straight Up G heads Cal Cup Derby field

View Original Notice ? Horse racing notes: Jim Rome’s Straight Up G heads Cal Cup Derby field

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(Through Thursday)


Flavien Prat / 21

John Velazquez / 17

Juan Hernandez / 8

Abel Cedillo / 5

Edwin Maldonado / 4


Bob Baffert / 11

Ruben Alvarado / 6

Philip D’Amato / 6

Doug O’Neill / 6

Two tied / 4



• $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, 4-year-olds and up bred in CA, 1 1/8 miles (turf)

• $200,000 Cal Cup Derby, 3-year-olds bred in CA, 1 1/16 miles

• $200,000 Cal Cup Oaks, 3-year-old fillies bred in CA, 1 mile (turf)

• $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Sprint, fillies and mares bred in CA, 4-year-olds and up, 6 1/2 furlongs downhill turf course

• $150,000 Cal Cup Sprint, 4-year-olds and up bred in CA, 6 furlongs


• $125,000 Grade III Astra Stakes, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)


• Santa Anita’s annual Cal Cup Day on Saturday includes five stakes races restricted to Cal-breds worth a total of $900,000. There are three $200,000 races on a 10-race card that begins at noon – the Cal Cup Derby, the Cal Cup Oaks and the Unusual Heat Turf Classic, named for the late prolific sire. The latter race drew a field of eight, including Indian Peak, who has won two of five lifetime and finished third in the Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar on Nov. 27. He’ll be ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Ruben Alvarado.

• Trainer Doug O’Neill is an ardent supporter of Cal Cup Day. Tied for second in the Santa Anita trainer standings, O’Neill is scheduled to run Positivity, a $50,000 claim during Del Mar’s summer meet, in the Cal Cup Sprint. “It’s a wonderful opportunity,” O’Neill told Ed Golden of Santa Anita publicity. “You get to run against state-breds and it’s an incredible day of racing. There’s nothing better from a trainer’s standpoint than having horses worthy of races like these. We’re grateful, excited and optimistic that Positivity can bring us home some Cal-bred hardware.”

• The Richard Baltas-trained Straight Up G heads a field of six 3-year-olds in the Cal Cup Derby. The son of Straight Fire, who will be ridden again by Ricky Gonzalez, goes into the race off an impressive 3 1/2-length victory against state-breds in the King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 12. Straight Up G is owned by sports talk radio’s Jim Rome and his wife Janet’s Jungle Racing. Finneus, second behind Straight Up G in the King Glorious, is also entered and will be ridden by Velazquez.

— Art Wilson

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