10/11/2012 2:41PM

Santa Anita: California Cup Juvenile riches have The Humancomplaint stretching out

Shigeki Kikkawa
The California Cup Juvenile will be The Humancomplaint’s first start beyond six furlongs.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The Humancomplaint is far from a finished project.

“He’s big and backward,” trainer Ben Cecil said. “He’s getting there.”

The Humancomplaint has shown enough progress for Cecil and owner Paul Reddam to enter the colt in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Juvenile over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. They were encouraged by his second-place finish in the I’m Smokin Stakes over six furlongs at Del Mar on Sept. 3.

[CALIFORNIA CUP: Get Santa Anita PPs, watch Saturday's full card live]

Saturday’s race will be the richest running of the Cal Cup Juvenile, which was worth $100,000 last year. The race is part of the Golden State Series, which was launched earlier this year and has greatly enhanced purses for 2- and 3-year-old California-bred races.

The Cal Cup Juvenile will be The Humancomplaint’s first start beyond six furlongs. In his first start, he was a fast-closing second in a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 4. Cecil is optimistic that The Humancomplaint can be a factor in a longer race, considering the way he has closed ground in both of his starts.

“It looks like he will stretch out without a problem,” Cecil said. “We don’t know until we try it. He’s still immature.

“He’s definitely going the right way. He’s more focused in his training.”

Rafael Bejarano, second to Joe Talamo in the jockey standings at the Santa Anita autumn meeting through Sunday, has the mount on The Humancomplaint, who is part of a field of 10. Four of the entrants are still maidens.

The only stakes winner in the field is Strong Wind, who won the Graduation Stakes for California-breds over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 1. Trained by Steve Knapp, Strong Wind was third in the I’m Smokin Stakes, beaten 2 1/4 lengths. He finished a half-length behind The Humancomplaint.

Knapp was encouraged when Strong Wind drew post 2 for the Cal Cup Juvenile, which will aid the colt’s forward style.

“This is a good post,” Knapp said. “We can do what we want. We can be on the lead or just behind.”

Ballard Ruler, Lovmeister, and Life a Riley, who were fourth through sixth in the I’m Smokin, are also entered in the Cal Cup Juvenile.

Ballard Ruler and Life a Riley are trained by John Sadler, whose best chance is arguably with Monument, who was second in the C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes over seven furlongs at Fairplex Park on Sept. 1 in his stakes debut.

Monument won his first two starts – a $40,000 claiming race for California-bred maidens and a starter allowance – at Del Mar in August. In both races, he closed from off the pace.

Monument was beaten by Carving in the Afflerbaugh Stakes. Carving later finished fourth in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes here on Sept. 29.

“He ran second to Carving and was a little green,” Sadler said of Monument. “He can close.”

Sadler was encouraged by Monument’s seven-furlong workout in 1:29 here last Saturday.

“I got a seven-eighths work in him and I liked it,” he said.