Budroyale Leads From the Start
A bit player in 1997, Budroyale was the biggest winner in this year’s California Cup.
A distant second to Ready Eddie in the $50,000 Starter Handicap a little more than 12 months ago, the 5-year-old Cee’s Tizzy gelding took the lead immediately under jockey Garrett Gomez and went on to beat Bagshot and four others in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Classic.
Claimed by trainer Ted West for owner Jeffrey Sengara for $50,000 on Feb. 15, Budroyale, the 11-10 favorite, won for the fourth time in seven starts for Sengara and increased his earnings for the year to nearly $450,000.
In winning for the eight time in 13 starts on the Santa Anita main track, Budroyale completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 1/5 in defeating Bagshot, the 3-1 second choice, by a length.
“I thought he came into this race better than I’ve ever seen him come into a race,” said West, who also won the $50,000 Starter Sprint Handicap with Slews Royal Son. “His last three works were the best I’ve ever seen him do. He’s not a great work horse, so I thought that was a pretty good indication that he was as good as he could be.”
Without a mount in the Classic, jockey Corey Nakatani still had a profitable afternoon, winning three times. He has 11 career victories in the Cal Cup, tying him with Gary Stevens for most by a rider.
After losing with his first mount, Nakatani won the $125,000 Matron by a head on second-choice Belle’s Flag, defeating 2-5 favorite Magical Allure, which had been unbeaten in six starts.
A race later, Nakatani scored a $23 upset on Bountiful Dreamer in the $125,000 Distaff and completed his hat trick with 3-1 shot Indiahoma in the $175,000 Mile.
Making her first start since stumbling at the start of the Milady Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 30, Belle’s Flag, who suffered leg injuries and a broken nose as a result of the incident, has won five of her six races in Arcadia.
“We were concerned if she would ever come back,” trainer Darrell Vienna said. “When she ran loose on the track, she ran into the gate in the [chute] lengthwise and fractured her nose and she also bruised her tendon.
“In light of what happened to her, it’s especially satisfying for her to win.”
Overcoming severe traffic problems in the stretch, Big Jag, the 19-10 favorite, rallied to win the $125,000 Sprint, beating 23-1 shot Crimson Look by a length in 1:08 4/5 for the six furlongs.
Owned by Julius Zolezzi and trained by Tim Pinfield, Big Jag has won four in a row.
Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. provided the day’s biggest upset, directing Sunday Stroll to a $48 surprise in the Juvenile. Seventeen days earlier, the 2-year-old General Meeting gelding had beaten $40,000 maidens by a half-length as the 11-10 favorite.
A daughter of Bertrando, Lacquaria, a 9-2 shot, was far more impressive in the $125,000 Juvenile Fillies, leading all the way under Chris McCarron. She is unbeaten in two starts and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 3/5, compared to 1:44 3/5 for Sunday Stroll.
Horse Racing Notes
Ladies Din, who swept a division of the Oceanside Stakes, the La Jolla Handicap and the Del Mar Derby at Del Mar, is the 9-5 favorite to extend his win streak in the $250,000 Oak Tree Derby today at Santa Anita. Dr. Fong, a talented import from Europe, is the 2-1 second choice in the 1 1/8-mile turf race. . . . Count Con rallied to beat favored Provide to win the $50,000 Cal Cup Starter Handicap, and Social Noel, who was claimed for $18,000 a little more than a year ago, led all the way to win the $50,000 Cal Cup Distaff Starter Handicap. . . . The on-track crowd at Santa Anita on Saturday was 29,052 and the total handle was $17,469.759.50, a record for California Cup Day and the highest handle at Oak Tree on a non-Breeders’ Cup day.