Norvsky wins California Cup Classic at Santa Anita

Horse racing’s world championships take place next weekend in Kentucky, and trainer Donald Warren and owner Buddy Johnston wish their top handicap horse, Acclamation, could be running, but a foot issue has sent Acclamation to the sideline, so Saturday’s $175,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita let them have some fun with their “B” team.

Norvsky, a late-developing 5-year-old gelding who has been making steady improvement since being treated for ulcers, rallied for a neck victory over Lucky Primo under hot jockey Rafael Bejarano. Holladay Road finished a nose behind in third in the 11/8 -mile turf race.

“It’s bittersweet,” Warren said about missing the Breeders’ Cup. “This is a nice horse, too.”

Bejarano, 29, had five victories on the nine-race card, including wins in four of the five stakes for California-bred horses.

In the $100,000 Juvenile Fillies, Starlight Magic, under Bejarano, won by 13/4 lengths over Willa B Awesome in the 11/16 -mile race for trainer Mark Glatt.


In the $100,000 Juvenile, Bejarano rallied Rousing Sermon in the stretch for a 21/4 -length triumph over Motown Men for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and long-time California breeder Larry D. Williams.

In the $125,000 Distaff at 61/2 furlongs on the turf, Unzip Me delivered the fifth victory for Bejarano by 11/4 lengths over West Ruler. It was the third win of the day for trainer Marty Jones.

In the $100,000 Sprint, Courtside cruised to a 21/4-length victory over Bob Black Jack in 1:07.97 for jockey Joel Rosario over six furlongs.

Baze suspended

Jockey Tyler Baze has been suspended for 90 days, retroactive to Sept. 1, after he failed to take a Breathalyzer test at Del Mar. The ruling was made Friday by three stewards at Los Alamitos. He could return to riding by early December.

As a condition to Baze’s return, he must enter a rehabilitation program of at least 30 days and comply with testing requirements previously agreed to with the racing board.