01/28/2016 2:20PM

Pacific Heat regains health for California Cup Oaks

Barbara D. Livingston
Pacific Heat has recovered from a throat ulcer in time to make the California Cup Oaks.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Pacific Heat left trainer Peter Eurton puzzled by her eighth-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos last month – until she underwent a post-race veterinary exam.

Pacific Heat was found to have a throat ulcer.

Seven weeks later, the ulcer is gone, and Pacific Heat is again a leading contender in a rich stakes – Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks for statebred 3-year-old fillies at a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

“We didn’t breeze her for three weeks,” Eurton said of the filly’s condition. “We throat-flushed it five, six, or seven times a day.”

Pacific Heat, who won the Golden State Juvenile Fillies on dirt at Del Mar on Oct. 29, will have her turf debut in the Cal Cup Oaks, which drew a field of eight, including three other stakes winners – Just Google Me, Patriotic Diamond, and Roo’s Valentine.

Cal Cup Oaks, Race 4


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Pacific Heat, by Unusual Heat

(Last 3 Beyers: 63-73-78)

◗ Pacific Heat won her first two starts on dirt in sprints. She was third with a furlong remaining in the Starlet Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt but faded late in her first start in a route.

“I think she’ll like the turf,” Eurton said. “The big question is two turns. We haven’t proven that yet.”

Roo’s Valentine, by Vronsky

(Last 3 Beyers: 64-61-59)

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◗ Roo’s Valentine has improved rapidly in recent starts, winning a maiden race for California-bred fillies on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 5 and the Soviet Problem Stakes at a mile on dirt at Los Alamitos on Dec. 5. She led throughout those races but is likely to stalk the quick maiden-race winner Hurricaine Callie in the Oaks.

◗ Roo’s Valentine has developed physically since her last start, trainer Kristin Mulhall said.

“She’s really catching on,” Mulhall said. “She’s turned into a racehorse and getting strong in her gallops. She got nervous in the paddock at Los Alamitos after shipping the day of the race. Hopefully, she’ll be more settled racing from home.”

Mulhall is based at Santa Anita.

Patriotic Diamond, by Hat Trick

(Last 3 Beyers: 64-65-62)

◗ Patriotic Diamond, the winner of the Generous Portion Stakes for statebred fillies at six furlongs at Del Mar in August, has never run on turf, which is not a concern for trainer Patrick Biancone.

“She should handle it, hopefully,” Biancone said. “Hat Tricks do well on the turf. She’s one of the few that do well on the dirt. Hopefully, she can show a turn of foot on the turf.”

Just Google Me, by Stormin Fever

◗ Just Google Me joined trainer Ron Ellis’s stable after a second in the Soviet Problem as the 6-5 favorite. Ellis said that previous trainer Scott Rollins has returned to his winter base at Turf Paradise.

An easy winner of the Barretts Debutante at Los Alamitos in September, Just Google Me will have her turf debut Saturday.

“She acts like a hard-trying filly, but I don’t know about the grass,” Ellis said. “The course seems as if some like it and some don’t.”