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Large Fields Fill the Cal Cup

November 03, 2001|BOB MIESZERSKI

California Cup Day is always a bettors' delight because the annual event attracts large fields.

The 12th Cal Cup is no exception. A total of 111 horses were entered--103 are still scheduled to run after eight scratches Friday morning--meaning there is an average of more than 10 per race.

The shortest price of the day will be Officer, provided he actually runs. The beaten favorite in last Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the 2-year-old Bertrando colt is 3-5 on the morning line.

Officer will run in the day's second race, which is not part of a pick six that features a $1-million guaranteed pool. The pick six begins with the fifth, the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies, and there might be a single to kick off the sequence.

Fragrant Cloud, impressive in her sprint debut for owners Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan and trainer Paco Gonzalez, drew the rail as she tries to stretch out to 1 1/16 miles.

Race of the day: The best betting race is probably the Distaff. Many of the 14 participants have some sort of look. The 2-1 favorite is Jeweled Pirate, one of many live mounts on the card for jockey Chris McCarron.

Who's hot: Bob Baffert. Even though the trainer has saddled 18 consecutive losers in the Breeders' Cup--his last win came with Silverbulletday in the 1998 Juvenile Fillies--he is the all-time leader in Cal Cup victories with seven.

Who's not: Notable Career. Since her wire-to-wire victory in the 2000 Oak Leaf Stakes, the 3-year-old filly has fallen on hard times. In her last three races, she has been beaten by a combined 29 lengths entering today's California Cup Matron.

Exotically speaking: A pick four using Feverish, Top Of Our Game and Mim's Cafe in the seventh; Spinelessjellyfish, Native Desert and Lily's Lad in the eighth; Romantic Hope, Figlio Mio and Irisheyesareflying in the ninth and singling Jersey Rebel in the 10th.

Winners: Previous Day/Meet Total: 1/79. Money: Previous Day/Meet Total: $4.40/$458.80. Total money bet: $506.

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