27TH RUNNING OF DEFINING RACE FOR CAL-BREDS PRESENTED BY CITY NATIONAL BANK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2016)–With the red and white colors of California’s legendary Old English Rancho flying proudly, What a View assumed command turning for home and took Saturday’s $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic, presented by City National Bank, by an impressive 3 ¼ lengths under Kent Desormeaux. Trained by former rider Kenny Black, the 5-year-old California-bred gelding by Vronsky got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:47.39.
A restrained second to pacesetter Image of Joplin into and around the far turn, What a View made the lead well within himself a quarter mile from home and was clearly best among a field of 12 older horses bred or sired in the Golden State.
“Kent knows what’s he’s doing, he’s won a few more of these than I have,” said Black, who registered his biggest win as a conditioner in the Classic. “He knows this horse. I always thought he was better when he (What a View) has one to run at.”
Hammered in the late betting, What a View was off at 4-1 and paid $10.20, $4.60 and $4.00.
“I had a firm hold,” said Desormeaux. “I was surprised to see him accelerate again at the quarter pole. Kenny told me in the paddock that it’s not hot air, he’s never had a horse doing doing so well. He’s had some issues, but the issues are no longer and he sure ran like it.
“I was surprised. They’re not supposed to have anything left when they pull like that.”
Out of the Manila mare, Oceans N Mountains, What a View was bred by Old English Rancho, Patsy and Sal Berumen and is owned by Patsy and Sal Berumen, Robert Riggio and the Elwood Johnston Trust. In getting his first stakes win, What a View notched his fourth career win from 10 starts and with the winner’s share of $137,500, increased his earnings to $294,148.
“I grew up with this,” said an emotional Mary Johnston Hilvers, whose father, Elwood “Buddy” Johnston of Old English Rancho, passed away last year. “Obviously, when we lost dad so unexpectedly and suddenly, there were questions on whether we’d be able to keep it going. My son, Johnny, has done such a fabulous job. It’s a family thing. My husband, my daughter…We really want to carry on my dad’s legacy and my grandmother’s.
“We’ve got a lot of good, young horses coming up. I’m excited for my mom (Judy Johnston). I wish I would have made her come with me today.”
Favored Alert Bay bobbled at the break, saved ground into the far turn and proved second best, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Boozer. Off at 2-1 with Martin Garcia up, Alert Bay paid $4.20 and $3.00.
Ridden by Gary Stevens, Boozer, who showed good speed from his number 11 post position, was rank into the first turn and proved game for third money, finishing a half length in front of Poshky. Boozer was off at 10-1 and paid $5.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.32, 46.70, 1:10.39 and 1:35.06.
First post time on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.