SIX FURLONG SPRINT ONE OF FIVE STATEBRED STAKES ON SANTA ANITA’S ANNUAL SUNSHINE MILLIONS DAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2016)–Trainer Karen Headley’s graded stakes winning San Onofre will square off with top distaffer Sunday Rules as they headline Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. The Sprint, to be run for the 26th time, attracted a field of seven older horses and will be contested at six furlongs. The Sprint is one of five stakes restricted to horses bred or sired in California on Santa Anita’s annual Sunshine Millions Day.
A “blast off” sprinter with an abundance of natural speed, San Onofre exhibited a new dimension in winning the Grade III, 6 ½ furlong Midnight Lute Stakes here on Jan. 2, as he rated kindly in second positon early and rallied strongly under Alex Solis for a half length win.
A 6-year-old gelding by Surf Cat who was bred in California by Headley’s father, veteran conditioner, Bruce Headley, and is owned by the family’s Matson Racing, San Onofre has five wins from 10 starts and is four for nine at Santa Anita. He has career earnings of $330,040.
Regarded as one of the top California-breds in training, Nick Alexander’s homebred Sunday Rules will take on males for the first time in her ninth career start on Saturday. Forced to miss last Saturday’s Grade II, seven furlong Santa Monica Stakes due to a minor ailment, the 5-year-old Tribal Rule mare was a brilliant 4 ¼ length winner of the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes here on Dec. 30 and is in search of her third consecutive victory.
Out of the General Meeting mare Sunday Dress, Sunday Rules has seven wins from eight starts and is undefeated in two tries at six furlongs. She has earnings of $444,840.
Rockingham Ranch’s Richard’s Boy, a two-time minor stakes winner, has an impressive resume that includes six wins from eleven starts. Trained by Peter Miller, the 4-year-old Idiot Proof gelding has earnings of $307,510.
The complete field for Saturday’s Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint, to be run as the sixth race on 10-race card, with jockeys and weights in post position order: San Onofre, Alex Solis, 126; Solid Wager, Victor Espinoza, 124; Old Man Lake, Tyler Baze, 121; Richard’s Boy, Flavien Prat, 124; Raised a Secret, Santiago Gonzalez, 124; Sunday Rules, Edwin Maldonado, 119, and Pay the Fine, Mario Gutierrez, 121.
First post time on Saturday is early, at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.