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Jun 26, 2015

Solid field of 11 set for 76th Gold Cup at Santa Anita

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Saturday's $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita has attracted a solid field of 11 older thoroughbreds for the 1 1/4-mile stakes.

The Gold Cup, formerly run at Hollywood Park, is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race, which gives the winner a guaranteed spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

Catch a Flight, trained by Richard Mandella, will again be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens with the pair breaking from post 9. The 5-year-old is coming off a win in last month's 1 1/8-mile Californian at Santa Anita.

"He's doing real well," the Hall of Fame trainer said of Catch a Flight. "He's in good shape and ready to go."

Bred in Argentina, Catch a Flight has won his last two starts, including Santa Anita's Precisionist on May 2. Catch a Flight has won nine of 15 lifetime starts for $393,239.

Californian runner-up Moreno will leave from Catch a Flight's immediate inside with Cornelio Velasquez riding for trainer Eric Guillot and Southern Equine Stable.

Moreno won the Charles Town Classic in April after posting a second in the Santa Anita Handicap and a third in the New Orleans Handicap. The 5-year-old gelding has won four of 27 career starts and $2,966,940.

Turf runner Finnegans Wake will make a rare main track start in the Gold Cup. Trained by Peter Miller, the 6-year-old will start from the far outside post with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Finnegans Wake won the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 2 and was fourth three weeks ago in Belmont Park's Manhattan. The horse is approaching $1.5 million in earnings with sevens wins from 30 lifetime starts.

Trainer Bob Baffert's Hoppertunity will try to snap a two-race losing streak Saturday. The 4-year-old, owned by Michael Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, will start from post 6 with Martin Garcia riding.

Hoppertunity finished third his last two starts, the San Antonio and Stephen Foster. He began the year by winning the San Pasqual at Santa Anita on Jan. 10. The colt has won four of 10 career starts and $1,179,675.

Here is the field for the Gold Cup in post position order: Batti Man, Fernando Perez; Hard Aces, Victor Espinoza; Poshsky, Flavien Prat; Motown Men, Tyler Baze; Majestic City, C. C. Lopez; Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia; Big Cazanova, Corey Nakatani; Moreno, Cornelio Velasquez; Catch a Flight, Gary Stevens; Lideris, Joe Talamo and Finnegans Wake, Mike Smith.

The Gold Cup post time will be approximately 8 p.m. ET and will be shown live on NBCSN.

American Pharoah will make a public appearance between races during the Gold Cup at Santa Anita card. The champion colt also paraded at Churchill Downs two weeks ago.



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