INTIMIDATE, HECK YEAH, FAVERSHAM, GEORGE FROM TAHOE & VIOLENT RIDGE ALL PROMINENT IN MONDAY’S $200,000 CALIFORNIA CUP DERBY AT 1 1/16 MILES

 

RACE IS PART OF GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES

FAVERSHAM, A FULL BROTHER TO CALIFORNIA CHROME, IS PART OF TALENTED 12-HORSE FIELD

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2018)–In what shapes up as a thrilling spectacle at a mile and one sixteenth for 12 California-bred or sired horses, Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Derby is headed by trainer Bob Hess, Sr.’s Intimidate, a Northern California invader who is well accomplished around two turns.

Bob Baffert’s Heck Yeah, unbeaten in two starts, will no doubt vie for favoritism, as will California Chrome’s full brother, Faversham, who showed ample promise while running second in his six furlong debut.  Owner/trainer Jeff Bonde’s George From Tahoe, a runaway maiden winner going a mile on grass, will hope to purloin his solid turf form to the main track.  Veteran trainer Hector Palma’s Violent Ridge, a prompt length and a quarter maiden winner going six furlongs, galloped out like a horse who will appreciate two turns and merits considerable respect.

INTIMIDATE

Owner:  James Eaton, Maria E. Hess & Don Muldoon                       Trainer:  Bob Hess, Sr.

Based at Golden Gate Fields, this chestnut colt by Vronsky pressed the pace en route to an impressive 1 ¼ length win in the one mile King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos two starts back versus state-breds and followed that up with a third place finish against open company in the 1 1/16 miles California Derby on Jan. 20.  Bred by his co-owner Don Muldoon, Intimidate has won three out of his five starts and has banked $111,640.

HECK YEAH

Owner:  Bob Baedeker, Michael Pageler & Michael Sigband                         Trainer:  Bob Baffert

A 5 ¼ length first-out maiden winner at Los Alamitos going 5 ½ furlongs on Dec. 7, he came back to blitz 12 rivals going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in the Cal Cup Turf Sprint on Jan. 27, winning by 2 ½ lengths as the 2-1 favorite.  By Eclipse Champion Turf Horse Acclamation, Heck Yeah was bred in California by his co-breeder Michael Pageler.  Brilliant on both dirt and turf sprinting, he’ll try two turns for the first time on Monday and it would be no surprise to see him go as the post time favorite with Mike Smith taking over.

FAVERSHAM

Owner:  Perry & Denise Martin                  Trainer:  Art Sherman

A promising second to fellow Derby rival Violent Ridge in his six furlong debut here on Jan. 15, this full brother to legendary California Chrome has his connections waxing cautiously optimistic as he tackles a route of ground in his second career start.  By Lucky Pulpit and out of Love the Chase, Faversham was bred by the Chrome team of Perry Martin and Steve Coburn.  Trained by Art Sherman and his son Alan, who orchestrated California’s Chromes magnificent $14.7 million career, Faversham is a chestnut ridgling who catches the eye, as did Chrome.  With veteran Stewart Elliott set to ride him back, Faversham figures to generate tremendous interest as he faces the daunting task of living up to the understandably high expectations dictated by his pedigree.

GEORGE FROM TAHOE

Owner:  Jeff Bonde                         Trainer:  Jeff Bonde

A close second in his 6 ½ furlong hillside turf debut Jan. 1, this chestnut colt by Sierra Sunset pressed the pace en route to an impressive 3 ¾ length maiden win going a mile on turf Jan. 27.  Naturally quick, he figures to be attentive to the pace as he tries dirt for the first time.  Although question marks remain, one very encouraging factor is that Bonde himself has made the call to tee it up on dirt.

VIOLENT RIDGE

Owner:  BG Stables                         Trainer:  Hector Palma

                The even money favorite in his third career start on Jan. 15, he held Faversham at bay late in winning by 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs.  Even more impressive was the fact Violent Ridge dug in after the wire and would not let Faversham get by him on the gallop out, despite the fact the full brother to California Chrome had momentum in his corner.  Owned and bred in California by BG Stables, this gelding by Violence rates a big chance stretching out for the ever-wily Hector Palma.

 

THE $200,000 CAL CUP DERBY WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 8 of 9                                                                                                          Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

 

  1. Violent Ridge–Geovanni Franco–120
  2. Hardboot–Tyler Baze–120
  3. Lucky Romano–Rafael Bejarano–120
  4. Heck Yeah–Mike Smith–124
  5. Faversham–Stewart Elliott–120
  6. Intimidate–Corey Nakatani–124
  7. Continental Divide–Victor Espinoza–124
  8. Fire When Ready–Rajiv Maragh–120
  9. Black Site–Evin Roman–120
  10. Campaigner–Tiago Pereira–120
  11. George From Tahoe–Ruben Fuentes–120
  12. Kaleidoscope Kid–Santiago Gonzalez–120

 

First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.