11/04/2011 2:05PM

Santa Anita: California Cup winners set bigger targets


ARCADIA, Calif. – Norvsky’s win in the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 29 will lead to a start in a graded stakes at Hollywood Park later this month. He will not be alone as a Cal Cup stakes winner bound for a major race in coming weeks.

Norvsky won the richest race of his career in the $175,000 Cal Cup Classic over 1 1/8 miles on turf, prevailing by a neck over Lucky Primo in the richest race of the day.

How quickly Norvsky recovers will determine whether he starts in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup over 1 1/2 miles on Nov. 19 or the $250,000 Citation Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 26. The Turf Cup is a Grade 1, while the Citation is a Grade 2.

“We’re considering the Citation, but if he bounces back real fast we haven’t ruled out the Hollywood Turf Cup,” majority owner Bud Johnston said Thursday. “It will be 21 days since he ran. He came out of the race just beautiful.”

Trained by Don Warren, Norvsky has won 5 of 16 starts and $392,844. His last appearance in a graded stakes was a fourth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita in April. He later won the California Dreamin Handicap at Del Mar.

The Cal Cup had a different structure this year, with five stakes run on a nine-race program, compared to eight stakes in past years. The other four winners of stakes on Oct. 29 are being considered for graded stakes at Hollywood Park and at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Courtside, the front-running winner of the Cal Cup Sprint, is a candidate for winter-time stakes such as the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes over six furlongs in January.

“We’ll keep him going short,” trainer John Sadler said after the Cal Cup Sprint.

Owned by breeders Lee and Susan Searing, Courtside is the first stakes winner for his stallion, Cindago. The Searings raced Cindago, who stands at Legacy Ranch in Clements, Calif.

Starlight Magic won her first stakes in the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies. Her condition in coming weeks could lead to a start in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 10, trainer Mark Glatt said.

Another option that Glatt is considering is to give Starlight Magic a break until the end of the year and focus on graded stakes and the lucrative stakes for statebreds in 2012. Stakes purses for 3-year-old statebred fillies have been raised for 2012 as part of the newly created Golden State Series.

“We’re hoping she can handle the next step against open company,” Glatt said. “It would be nice to keep options open and have several different races to choose from. Over the next week, we’ll evaluate what will be around for the Starlet. If it looks like it will come up tough, now might be the chance to give her a break and we can take advantage of her 3-year-old season, or most of her 3-year-old season.”

Owned by Cory Wagner, Starlight Magic is by Marino Marini.

Cal Cup Juvenile winner Rousing Sermon may make a quick turnaround for the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 12, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. The long-term goal is the $750,000 CashCall Futurity, a Grade 1 over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 17.

“If we could run well in there, or win that, we could wait for the CashCall,” Hollendorfer said of the Real Quiet.

Owned by breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, Rousing Sermon, by Lucky Pulpit, made his first start over 1 1/16 miles in the Cal Cup Juvenile.

“We thought he would stretch out and be a nice horse that way,” Hollendorfer said.

A trip across the Pacific could await Unzip Me, who won her ninth stakes in a turf sprint in the Cal Cup Distaff. Trainer Marty Jones said the partners who own Unzip Me have considered a trip to Hong Kong for the $1.8 million Hong Kong Sprint on Dec. 11.

“That’s not for sure,” he said. “We just bounced that around a little bit. I know they are planning on racing her next year.”

If Unzip Me stays in California, she could start in the Monrovia Stakes on the hillside turf course, a race she won earlier this year.