Posh­sky in peak form for Cal Cup Turf Clas­sic

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By Steve An­der­sen

AR­CA­DIA, Calif. – Posh­sky, a 6-year-old geld­ing, once ran in a $20,000 claimer for maidens, fin­ish­ing sev­enth at Del Mar in 2013. His last three races in­clude a win in the Grade 3 Berke­ley Hand­i­cap at Golden Gate Fields in Novem­ber and make that hum­ble start to his ca­reer seem part of the dis­tant past.

Posh­sky is in the best form of his ca­reer, which might lead to his se­cond stakes win in Satur­day’s $250,000 Cal­i­for­nia Cup Turf Clas­sic at Santa Anita.

“I think he has a big chance,” trainer Peter Miller said.

The Cal­i­for­nia Cup Turf Clas­sic is one of five stakes, all for Cal­i­for­nia-breds, on Satur­day’s 10-race pro­gram, which be­gins at noon Pa­cific. The Cal Cup Turf Clas­sic and the $250,000 Cal Cup Derby are the rich­est races on the pro­gram.

Posh­sky is part of a field of 12 in the Cal Cup Turf Clas­sic, which is at 1 1/8 miles on turf and is the ninth race on the card. Cow­boy, who has yet to start in a stakes, is on the al­soel­i­gi­ble list.

KEY CON­TENDERS

Posh­sky, by Vron­sky (Last 3 Bey­ers: 92-92-96)

◗ Posh­sky fol­lowed his win in the Berke­ley Hand­i­cap with a fourth-place fin­ish at 11-1 in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf here Jan. 2. Posh­sky was sev­enth on the back­stretch and closed to fin­ish 6 3/4 lengths be­hind up­set win­ner Flam­boy­ant.

“It was a softer turf than what he likes,” Miller said. “I’m hop­ing the turf will be more firm.”

◗ Owned by Gary Bar­ber, Sil­ver Ranch Sta­ble, and Wach­tel Sta­ble, Posh­sky tends to race as a stalker. He could be in an ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion if

Im­age of Jo­plin, the win­ner of a $50,000 claimer on Jan. 3, and What a View, the win­ner of an op­tional claimer Dec. 26, take their cus­tom­ary po­si­tions at the front.

“I think we’ll be sit­ting third, fourth, or fi fth, and I hope we can have first run,” Miller said. “The com­pany will be eas­ier than last time.”

Alert Bay, by City Zip (Last 3 Bey­ers: 90-92-95)

◗ Alert Bay won the Cal Cup Turf Clas­sic and the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile on turf here in 2015. Af­ter win­ning an al­lowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 6, Alert Bay has been beaten in his last two starts, fin­ish­ing sev­enth of nine in the Grade 2 Se­abis­cuit Hand­i­cap at Del Mar on Nov. 27 and sixth, beaten a length, in the Grade 3 Day­tona Stakes on the hill­side turf course here Dec. 26.

◗ Alert Bay has won eight stakes in his 22-race ca­reer.

◗ Martin Gar­cia, who was aboard for the City of Hope Mile and the Day­tona, has the mount for trainer Blaine Wright.

Awe­some Re­turn, by De­carchy (Last 3 Bey­ers: 87-86-94)

◗ Awe­some Re­turn won the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf in April 2014 and was win­less in six starts last year. Awe­some Re­turn has not raced since fin­ish­ing sixth in an op­tional claimer at Del Mar in Au­gust. At the time, trainer Mike Puype thought Awe­some Re­turn needed a rest.

“He had no in­juries at all,” Puype said. “He looks re­ally well phys­i­cally. He’s com­ing into the race in good health. His coat is good, and his weight is good right now.”

◗ Puype is bank­ing on a quick pace to help Awe­some Re­turn’s rally.

“He hasn’t been beaten far in a lot of his races,” he said. “There hasn’t been a lot of pace, and I think this race will help him.”

G. G. Ry­der, by Ch­haya Dance (Last 3 Bey­ers: 91-95-91)

◗ G. G. Ry­der was eighth in the 2015 Cal Cup Turf Clas­sic, his most re­cent start here. He was sixth in the Cal­i­for­nia Dreamin’ Stakes at Del Mar in July and has raced in cen­tral and North­ern Cal­i­for­nia since then, win­ning the Bull Dog Stakes at the Big Fresno Fair in Oc­to­ber.

◗ Trained by Jerry Hol­len­dor­fer at Golden Gate Fields, G. G. Ry­der was third in the Berke­ley Hand­i­cap be­hind Posh­sky, rac­ing near the front through­out. G. G. Ry­der tends to run near the front but will need to be pa­tient un­der jockey San­ti­ago Gon­za­lez to last 1 1/8 miles in a race with sev­eral con­tenders.

BENOIT & AS­SO­CIATES

Alert Bay, win­ning the City of Hope Mile in Septem­ber, tries to de­fend his Cal Cup Turf ti­tle.

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