10/28/2006 12:00AM

Texcess wins California Cup Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. - Nearly two years after his last win, and nine months after he was purchased for $300,000, Texcess ended a 16-race losing streak in Saturday's $250,000 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

Texcess rallied from fifth to beat pacesetter Cheroot by three-quarters of a length and cap a big day for jockey Victor Espinoza, who won three stakes on a program restricted to state-breds.

Iced Out finished third in the field of nine. The race lacked the two leading California-bred males - Brother Derek and Lava Man, who are bound for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Texcess, 4, reached contention with a sweeping three-wide move on the final turn. He took the lead before the eighth pole, but was kept to the task to beat a stubborn Cheroot. Texcess ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.38.

"I just wanted him on the outside," trainer Mike Mitchell said. "Victor kept him in the clear and that's where he wants to run."

Texcess won for the first time since the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in December 2004. Earlier this year, Texcess was purchased by Carl Van Burger and Wayne and Scott Anastasi at the Barretts January Mixed Sale.

By In Excess, Texcess has won four of 21 starts and $1,235,335.

* The biggest upset in the 11-race cared occurred in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff when River's Prayer ($38.60) led throughout, holding off a mid-race threat from Cambiocorsa, the 2-5 favorite. The loss was the first in nine races on the hillside turf course for Cambiocorsa.

River's Prayer finished about 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:12.39. She set torrid fractions of 21.01 and 43.07 seconds and maintained her advantage through the stretch, winning by a length.

Tiz a Gem closed along the rail to finish second, a half-length in front of Cambiocorsa who was well-placed in early stretch but made no progress late.

River's Prayer, who was ridden by Clinton Potts, is owned by a partnership and trained by Paula Capestro.

* Epic Power pulled an upset in the $175,000 , winning for the third time in seven starts since being claimed for $40,000 last March. The winner's share of the Mile was $105,000.

Epic Power ($18.80) ran a mile on turf in 1:34.60, scoring by a head over Running Free. Super Strut finished third, followed by 5-2 favorite Drake's Victory in the field of nine.

Epic Power was always near the front and took the lead from pacesetter McCann's Mojave with a quarter-mile remaining. Epic Power races for La Canada Stables and trainer Jack Carava.

* Somethinaboutlaura won her fourth stakes of the year in the $150,000 Matron Stakes, overwhelming six other fillies and mares.

Ridden by Espinoza, Somethinaboutlaura won by 4 1-2 lengths over Getback Time, finishing 1 1-16 miles in 1:43.31.

Getback Time was disqualified and placed last for causing a chain reaction of interference on the first turn. The decision led to the promotion of Yearly Attitude and Bardy Woman to second and third.

Somethinaboutlaura, 4, has won nine of 18 starts and $500,985. Owned by a partnership, she won the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park earlier this year.

*Da Stoops ($3) gave Espinoza his second stakes win of the day in the $150,000 California Cup Sprint.

Always near the lead, Da Stoops ran six furlongs in 1:08.66, winning by 2 1-4 lengths over Debonair Joe, the winner of the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes in 2002. Bonfante finished third in the field of five decimated by the scratches of Areyoutalkintome, Bro Lo, and Slew's Prince.

Da Stoops fought with Bonfante through fractions of 22.28 and 44.56 seconds before taking the lead.

Owned by a partnership and trained by Bob Baffert, Da Stoops has won five of 15 starts and $625,906. The Sprint was his fourth stakes win.

*Special Heather won her stakes debut in the $100,000 Distance Handicap.

The former maiden claimer beat five rivals in the Distance, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of 9-1 Fortunate Event. Janzig Moon finished third.

Special Heather ($7) ran 1 1-4 miles on turf in 2:00.45, always racing near the front under Alex Solis.

Special Heather won her fourth consecutive race in the Distance Handicap, a streak that began with a win by 18 1-2 lengths in a maiden claimer in October 2005. She races for Melanie and Gary Thompson and trainer Paddy Gallagher.

Moscow Burning, the 2004 California-bred Horse of the year, finished fourth in what was likely her final start. She sells as a racing or broodmare propspect at Keeneland on Nov. 6.

*A week before he starts Stormello in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, trainer Bill Currin's "B" team won the $125,000 with Freesgood.

Making his stakes debut, Freesgood ($26.40) ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:44.72. Ridden by Solis, Freesgood rallied from sixth to win by 1 1-4 lengths over Pirates Deputy, who closed from last in the field of 10.

Turquoise N Gold finished third, while 9-5 favorite Spot the Diplomat faded in the final quarter mile to finish seventh.

Freesgood raced six lengths behind pacesetter Super Image on the backstretch and moved into contention when urged by Solis on the final turn.

Bred and owned by Currin and Al Eisman, Freesgood has won two of four starts and $102,100.

*Romance is Diane ($12.80) gave Mitchell his second stakes win of the day in the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Making her stakes debut, Romance is Diane ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:44.86, finishing 1 3-4 lengths in front of Swiss Current. Kiss the Cooke, the 9-5 favorite, finished third in the field of 10 2-year-olds.

Romance is Diane was ridden by Patrick Valenzuela. Owned by Senji Nishimura, Romance is Diane has won two of three starts and $100,600.

*In the $50,000 starter handicaps, Wind Water ($5.20) won the $50,000 Sprint, leading throughout six furlongs. In the $50,000 Starter Handicap over 1 1-2 miles on turf, Phar to Win ($3.40) led throughout, finishing in 2:25.76.