01/29/2017 4:33PM

California Cup winners likely to scatter for next races

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Richard's Boy, center, may next run in the Al Quoz Sprint in the United Arab Emirates on March 25.

ARCADIA, Calif. - From staying at Santa Anita, to starts around the country, or a potential trip to Dubai, the five winners of Saturday’s California Cup stakes may scatter for their next starts.

The 3-year-olds Ann Arbor Eddie, who won the $250,000 California Cup Derby, and Sircat Sally, the winner of the $200,000 California Cup Oaks, are likely to run in graded stakes to test their ability before major stakes in the spring.

Ashleyluvssugar, who won his third stakes in his last five starts in the $250,000 Cal Cup Turf Classic, is expected to run in the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf March 25.

Enola Gray is possible for the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at a mile on turf April 8 after winning her fourth stakes in the $151,035 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint on the hillside turf course.

Richard’s Boy is being considered for the $1 million Al Quoz Sprint on turf at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates on March 25 following his win in the $150,345 California Cup Sprint on dirt.

Ann Arbor Eddie won the California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles by a half-length over California Diamond, closing steadily through the last furlong. Trainer Doug O’Neill said Sunday that owners Paul and Zillah Reddam are likely to point Ann Arbor Eddie to a graded stakes.

“When they show talent, the (Reddams) want to see where they’re at,” O’Neill said. “We were so excited about the way he gutted it out.”

The $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles is an option. The Grade 2 San Felipe is a key prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 8.

By Square Eddie, Ann Arbor Eddie was bred by the Reddams and has won three of four starts.

Sircat Sally is part of a deep group of 3-year-old fillies trained by Jerry Hollendorfer that includes Unique Bella and It Tiz Well, the first two finishers of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 8, and the recent maiden race winners Spooky Woods and Tapped.

Sircat Sally is the lone Cal-bred in the group. Unbeaten in three starts for owner and breeder Joe Turner, Sircat Sally could run in a graded stakes on any circuit, Hollendorfer said.

“I haven’t decided what direction we’ll go, but there are a lot of races all over the place,” Hollendorfer said. “She’s done everything asked of her and done it easy so far.”

In the California Cup Oaks, Sircat Sally had her turf debut in the one-mile race, stalking the pace before winning by 2 1/4 lengths.

Ashleyluvssugar won two Grade 2 stakes for turf distance runners in August and October. He was later fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf here Nov. 5 and second at 4-5 to Texas Ryano in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar on Nov. 25.

A two-month break between races helped Ashleyluvssugar, trainer Peter Eurton said. He described the 6-year-old Ashleyluvssugar as “tired” after the Hollywood Turf Cup.

Eurton has the BC Turf at Del Mar on Nov. 4 as a long-term goal, with stakes in Southern California likely to remain a focus. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Joe Ciaglia, and Bran Jam Racing, Ashleyluvssugar won the San Luis Rey Stakes in 2015, giving this year’s race greater appeal.

“He’s happy right now,” Eurton said. “It gives me time to elevate him mentally. It allows him to stay fresh.”

Enola Gray has raced primarily in sprints in her eight-race career, but owner and breeder Nick Alexander and trainer Phil D’Amato would like to emphasize longer races in coming months.

“We want to stretch her out on the grass,” Alexander said in the winner’s circle Saturday. He said there was a chance the 4-year-old Enola Gray could go to his farm in Santa Ynez for a brief break in coming weeks.

The Cal Cup Sprint was Richard’s Boy’s third stakes win and first on dirt. He won two sprint stakes on turf in 2015.

The Al Quoz Sprint is “something we’re considering,” trainer Peter Miller said. “We’re talking about the possibility of going there, if they’d have him.

“I still think he’s better on the grass. He’s just a good horse.”

Gary Hartunian owns Richard’s Boy, a 5-year-old gelding who has won 8 of 19 starts and has earned $536,080. Hartunian races as Rockingham Ranch.