01/23/2017 1:30PM

Six Point Rack hits stride in time for California Cup Derby

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Six Point Rack beat maidens in a one-mile race for California-breds at Santa Anita on Dec. 29 and will get an immediate test of ability and stamina in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.

Six Point Rack, owned by breeders Larry and Marianne Williams and trained by Mike Puype, needed four races to beat maidens.

“He was getting better with each race,” Puype said. “It wasn’t a surprise he fired the other day. His lights just hadn’t turned on.

“The whole family starts to warm up as they start running.”

By Lucky Pulpit, Six Point Rack will need stakes success to keep up with his older siblings. The colt is a full brother to the active four-time stakes winner Luckarack, who has earned $608,387, and is a half-brother to Tamarando, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in 2013 who earned $715,078, and to the stakes winner U’narack, who earned $194,080.

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Six Point Rack is a full brother to the stakes-placed Pulmarack, who earned $226,097, and a half-brother to Tamarack Smarty, who was stakes-placed and earned $284,296.

Six Point Rack has earned $34,130. He was seventh, fifth, and seventh in his first three starts, all in sprints, before the breakthrough performance at a mile.

In the Cal Cup Derby, Six Point Rack must beat Ann Arbor Eddie and California Diamond, who were first and second in the King Glorious Stakes at a mile at Los Alamitos on Dec. 18.

“Ann Arbor Eddie would be my concern,” Puype said. “With money on the line, we’ve got to go.”

Flavien Prat rode Six Point Rack for his maiden win but has the mount on Ann Arbor Eddie in the Cal Cup Derby. Stewart Elliott will ride Six Point Rack on Saturday. He was aboard for two of the losses in maiden races.

Since the win Dec. 29, Six Point Rack has worked once, going five furlongs in 1:02.20 on Jan. 16. Puype said Six Point Rack has not worked regularly because of the wet weather in Southern California in recent weeks. Racing was canceled on Sunday because of rain.

“I think a lot of people are in that boat,” Puype said. “Sometimes guys overtrain anyway. We’re plenty fit. We’ve been training every day.”

The Cal Cup Derby is among five six-figure races for California-breds on Saturday’s program. The leading race for older horses is the $250,000 Cal Cup Classic at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race is expected to be led by the graded stakes winners Ashleyluvssugar and What a View.