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Lady Railrider Favored to Repeat in Cal Cup Matron
Northern California’s Lady Railrider is a 2-to-1 favorite on the morning line to successfully defend her title in the $100,000 California Cup Matron at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Lady Railrider is one of six Golden Gate Fields-based horses that will be competing in the 21st California Cup program, which features seven stakes races restricted to horses bred in the Golden State. Luckarack, Goggles McCoy, Jiggly, Ms. G. I. Jane and Bluegrass Reward also made the trip to Hollywood Park.
Lady Railrider captured the 2009 Matron, a 1 1/16-mile event, by 1 3/4 lengths over Smooth Performer and paid $7.40 as the third betting choice in a field of five. Trained by Steve Specht and owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Lady Railrider has finished out of the money only three times in 20 career starts.
Specht and the Williames will be gunning for a Cal Cup double Saturday as they will also start Luckarack in the $75,000 Bob Benoit Juvenile, a 1 1/16-mile race for
2-year-olds. Luckarack, a bay colt by Lucky Pulpit, won his first three starts before running fifth in the Angel Island Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Luckarack is 6-to-1 on the morning line.
Bay Area jockey Frank Alvarado will ride both Lady Railrider and Luckarack.
Goggles McCoy, a 3-year-old gelding who has four victories in five career starts, is a top contender in the $100,000 Donald Valpredo Sprint. Trained by Steve Sherman, Goggles McCoy is the 2-to-1 second choice in the field of five behind 6-to-5 favorite Cost of Freedom, a multiple graded stakes-winner. Russell Baze will ride Goggles McCoy in the six-furlong feature.
Jiggly will try to score a major upset in the $100,000 John C. Mabee Mile, a race in which he is the second-largest price on the morning line at 8-to-1. The Mile will be run on turf and Jiggly is 1-for-2 on grass. Patrick Valenzuela will ride Jiggly for trainer William J. Morey, Jr.
Ms. G. I. Jane is listed at 8-to-1 in the $100,000 John Deere Distaff, a six-furlong turf dash for fillies and mares. Andy Mathis trains Ms. G. I. Jane, who won a pair of races on the grass at Golden Gate Fields last spring. Jockey Chad Schvaneveldt guided Ms. G. I. Jane to her wins at Golden Gate Fields and he’ll be aboard the 4-year-old filly in the Distaff.
Bluegrass Reward is a 10-to-1 outsider in the Bob Benoit Juvenile. Trained by Steve Miyadi, Bluegrass Reward ran fourth at odds of 80-to-1 in the Angel Island Stakes. Baze will ride Bluegrass Reward.
Golden Gate Fields will present nine races Saturday in addition to simulcasting the entire the California Cup card. Post time at Golden Gate Fields is 12:45 p.m. and first post at Hollywood Park is 1 p.m.