The Gold Cup which attracted a field of nine including a filly, will be celebrating its 59th renewal, and is one of a trio of stakes comprising Super Saturday. Complementing the marquee stakes will be the $35,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf and the $35,000 Sun City Handicap at one mile, also on the grass.
Super Saturday will also feature a free T-shirt giveaway to the first 4,000 fans; a Kids’ Fun Park with multiple bounce inflatables, pony rides and face painters; live music and $2 draft beer.
Ankeny Hill has been keeping company with tough California sprinters like Goldencents, Secret Circle and Rich Tapestry. Trained by Mark Glatt, the 5-year-old horse has won five of 17 lifetime efforts for $240,805 in earnings. Ankeny Hill’s most recent win came in the Pirates’ Bounty Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 3 of last year.
In addition to the two west coast-based colts, a California-based filly, Unforgettable U, will make her first start against boys. The 4-year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat has turned in a bullet work here locally of :46.3 (4 furlongs, best of 25) for trainer Carl O’Callaghan.
Despite the resumes of the California contingent, the locals will not be running for cover. Local leading trainer Robertino Diodoro has two entered, Castletown, who won the traditional Gold Cup prep, the Swift Stakes, here Jan. 24 and stablemate Omar, who finished third in that stakes. Castletown, a winner of eight of 17 efforts, leads all entrants in earnings with $263,761.
Given the pace to be quick, last year’s Gold Cup winner Absolutely Cool, is sure to benefit. Trained by Valorie Lund, Absolutely Cool tracked a furious speed duel last year to come late but well and claim his Gold Cup victory. He has won seven of 32 starts for $224,698 in earnings.
The Sun City Handicap
The one mile turf event drew nine fillies and mares, including multiple stakes winners Be Proud from California and locally, Rock and Glory, Ricspretentiousgal,, Lady Rosberg and Justcallheraggie.
Turf Paradise Handicap
Also a field of nine scheduled for this 1 1/16 mile test of the lawn. There are no throw-outs in here which makes for a good betting race. Among the nine are Canadian Derby winner Edison, and local stakes winners Red Zeus, Az Ridge and Twelve Tribes. Plus two ship=in from California Stoney Fleece and the French bred Snowday.