Classy Cal-breds collide in Derby, Oaks at Santa Anita

The California Cup Derby and California Cup Oaks will be contested this holiday Monday at Santa Anita. The Derby drew just five but features GALILEAN, while the Oaks attracted nine. Without further ado, let’s dig into these co-featured events at “The Great Race Place.”

Santa Anita Race 4 (Post time: 5:04 p.m. Eastern)

The $200,000 California Cup Derby

1 1/16th-miles on dirt

#4 GALILEAN (2-5, morning-line favorite) could be on to bigger and better things if he dusts the competition in the California Cup Derby as expected. His last two figures are clearly superior to those of his four rivals. He’s a neck away from being undefeated, as he was only beaten by the 2-for-2 Cruel Intention in the Golden State Juvenile two starts back. GALILEAN retains Flavien Prat for the Cal Cup Derby; the pair romped by nine lengths in December’s King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos last time out.

#2 WHOOPING JAY (8-1) is the pick for place. His career began well with an easy maiden score at Los Al before a runner-up finish in the Speakeasy Stakes on turf. Unfortunately, he was eased under the wire in his next start, the aforementioned King Glorious. He returned to run a solid second in a six-furlong allowance after a brief freshening. WHOOPING JAY keeps Mario Gutierrez aboard as he makes his route debut; the pedigree says he can handle it.

The play: $10 exacta 4/2


Santa Anita Race 5 (Post time: 5:34 p.m. Eastern)

The $200,000 California Cup Oaks

One mile on turf

#3 TIZ A MASTER (12-1) has won three straight yet will probably offer generous odds as she makes her turf debut. Her pedigree does not preclude her from getting today’s surface and distance. Heriberto Figueroa should have TIZ A MASTER positioned just off the pace before moving late.

#9 APACHE PRINCESS (9-5, morning-line favorite) is a bit faster on paper than the top pick and has already turfed successfully, hence the much smaller odds. She was nipped late in her only start at today’s distance, but since then APACHE PRINCESS won three straight, including the off-the-turf Sweet Life Stakes last time out. Kent Desormeaux will walk a fine line aboard this one, attempting to save ground but not drop too far back from the outside post.

The play: $4 exacta box 3/9, $2 win 3 ($10)

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