Updated on 09/16/2011 8:37AM

Calkins Road upsets Cal Cup Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. - All year, Calkins Road picked the perfect days to shine.

In April, he won the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-old statebreds on Gold Rush Day at Hollywood Park. On Saturday at Santa Anita, he was an upset winner of the $250,000 , the top race on the California Cup program.

The Cal Cup win came in Calkins Road's debut against older horses, and was very nearly a loss.

After taking the lead in the final furlong, Calkins Road was passed by Continental Red only to rally along the inside and win by a head. Ridden by Laffit Pincay, Jr., Calkins Road ($22.80) ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:49.61.

"I think he pulled himself up," Pincay said. "He started waiting. Little by little, he came back and got the job done."

There was drama from start to finish in the Classic. Hot Market, a top contender, reared at the start and never recovered, finishing fifth. Grey Memo, the 5-2 favorite, was blocked in upper stretch and may have been best.

He finished fourth.

Eric da Bomb was expected to be challenged for the lead by Hot Market, but found himself alone in front through fractions of 22.63 and 46.17 seconds. On the second turn, Calkins Road was racing on the rail when Pincay guided him to the outside to find a clear path. Grey Memo was not as fortunate. Jockey Alex Solis tried to rally along the inside, but could not find a clear path.

By then, Calkins Road and Continental Red had taken over from Eric Da Bomb.

Continental Red, who carried 121 pounds, led in deep stretch, but could not hold off Calkins Road, who carried 117 pounds.

"It was a tough beat," said Ian Jory, the trainer of Continental Red. "He tried his eyeballs out. I thought he ran well."

Slippery When Bet, a 25-1 shot, finished third in the field of nine.

Calkins Road races for Tom and Deborah Shapiro and is trained by John Shirreffs. In between the Snow Chief Stakes and the California Cup Classic, Calkins Road finished third in the Affirmed Handicap and fifth in the West Virginia Derby. He has won 3 of 8 starts and $388,880.