FAVORED ALERT BAY FINDS NARROW OPENING AT RAIL LATE TO WIN $250,000 CAL CUP TURF CLASSIC BY A NECK UNDER BAZE; WRIGHT TRAINEE SURVIVES STEWARDS’ INQUIRY AT ODDS OF 5-2

 

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $116,493 INTO SUNDAY, TOTAL PICK SIX POOL SHOULD APPROACH $750,000

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2015)–Favored Alert Bay slipped through a narrow opening at the rail a furlong from home and went on to a hard-earned neck victory under Tyler Baze in Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic at Santa Anita. Trained by Blaine Wright, the 4-year-old California-bred gelding by City Zip covered 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.62, but had to wait out a stewards’ inquiry before posing for pictures.

“I had to thread the needle there (at the rail, a furlong out), but Rafael (Bejarano, aboard G.G. Ryder, who took up when Alert Bay went for the opening) was backing up anyway,” said Baze. “Going into the far turn, I had some trouble. Bejarano didn’t go into the turn real smooth and he came out and bumped me and I was also getting pressure from the horses to our outside…He’s an unbelievable horse to ride and he’s got a will to win.”

The 5-2 favorite in a field of 10 older horses bred or sired in California, Alert Bay paid $7.80, $4.00 and $3.00. Owned by Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd., hard knocking Alert Bay registered his fifth consecutive win, with his most recent a neck triumph in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) on Dec. 26. The Turf Classic was his eighth overall win from 14 starts, and with the winner’s share of $137,500, he increased his lifetime earnings to $754,707.

“We scooted out of a tough one there today,” said Wright. “We could have come down. Tyler thought he had room. He said he knew it was tight, but he thought the other horse was (empty) and he thought we would stay up. Myself, I sweat these things out a little bit.

“…Mr. Redekop has put some good horses in my hands, and this horse has taken me to a level where you certainly want to be. I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Ridden by Gary Stevens and trained by Mark Glatt, Boozer seized command going into the far turn and just missed in a gallant effort. Off at 9-2, he finished a head in front of a fast finishing Patriots Rule and paid $6.20 and $4.80.

“I thought Gary rode a great race,” said Glatt. “The key to having to having him go a mile and an eighth was getting him to relax. I thought he relaxed really well. He got a great trip and kicked home but the other horse was a head better today.”

Ridden by Fernando Perez, Patriots Rule was next to last at the top of the stretch and finished a half length in front of Big Bane Theory. Off at 12-1, Patriots Rule paid $5.80 to show.

Off at 12-1 and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, G.G. Ryder ended up eighth under Bejarano.

Fractions on the race were 24.27, 47.50, 1:11.18 and 1:35.18.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday of $116,493. Sunday’s total pool should approach $750,000. First post time for a nine-race card is at 12:30 p.m.