06/07/2013 12:49PM

Golden Gate: Surfcup the 'now' horse in Silky Sullivan

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Surfcup switches back to turf for the Silky Sullivan after winning the Snow Chief over Hollywood's synthetic surface (above).

The timing of Sunday’s $100,000 Silky Sullivan for California-bred 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf at Golden Gate Fields couldn’t be better for Surfcup, who enters the race at the top of his game.

A son of Unusual Heat, Surfcup will try to match the effort of Unusual Way, a daughter of Unusual Heat who won last week’s Campanile, a California-bred turf stakes race for 3-year-old fillies.

Surfcup won his debut last year, which came on turf, and in his only other try on turf won an allowance race at Santa Anita in March. He’s coming off a solid victory in the $300,000 Snow Chief for California-bred 3-year-olds on the Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park on April 27.

Owned by Donald Dizney and trained by Bob Baffert, Surfcup is making his fifth appearance in a stakes race, and each has been a California-bred event.

“If you have a horse that’s talented, you can pick up good money in Cal-bred races,” Baffert said. “It’s worth having one.

“It seems like a good spot, and he’s coming off a big win.”

Surfcup’s main rival may be another son of Unusual Heat, Gervinho.

Last year, Gervinho won his debut sprinting at Del Mar and then won the $100,000 Zuma Beach, an open turf stakes at Santa Anita. In his third career start, he ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He got a good stalking trip, moved to second heading into the lane, but ran out of gas and had to settle for fifth.

Trained by Carla Gaines, he’ll be making his 2013 debut in the Silky Sullivan.

Each of the other five runners actually is eligible for the first-level allowance condition, and Unusual Meeting, the third Unusual Heat runner in the field, is still a maiden.

If Surfcup is the “now” horse, Tebows Big Play could be the “soon” horse. A Ministers Wild Cat gelding, he has shown improvement in each of his three starts.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tebows Big Play graduated last month in his third start when shifted to the turf and stretched out for the first time. He stalked the pace and pulled away to win the one-mile maiden special weight by 1 1/4 lengths.

Havoc, who was claimed in his debut, will make his turf and route debut but does have three victories.

Heat Streak’s only victory came on the turf.

Alydidit, who like Surfcup and Gervinho comes in from Southern California, graduated in a $50,000 maiden claimer and has chased Surfcup in five starts.