2015 California Cup Oaks

Santa Anita’s California Cup Oaks

Susan's ExpressLike the 2014 California Cup Derby, I covered last year’s edition of the California Cup Oaks, but did not fare so well, lol! Of course when a 65 to1 filly jumps up and shocks everyone, I’m sure I was in the majority of horse players that missed this one! Susan’s Express won this race last year by 1 ¼ lengths and paid a whopping $132.40 for the win. In my defense, one of my longshot plays, Anniversary Kitty, did squeak in for second. That race looked ready for a longshot to win it, but unfortunately I didn’t look deep enough to see the potential in Susan’s Express. As a matter of fact, the top 3 choices for that race didn’t get in the money at all, which made for some great pay-outs on the exacta, trifecta and superfecta. A 10 cent superfecta for that race was worth $123,543.70! Now that’s a pay day I want a part of! At any rate, let’s see what this year’s edition of the California Cup Oaks has in store for us.

2015 California Cup Oaks

Heat the RocksThe $200,000 California Cup Oaks is Race 5 on the card at Santa Anita on Saturday and will feature a field of 8 California Bred or Sired three year old fillies traveling 1 mile on the turf. The 2 to1 morning line favorite is Heat the Rocks, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Elvis Trujillo. She has put up some good efforts in her 4 career races with 1 win, 2 places and one fourth place finish. In her last race she finished second in the Soviet Problem Stakes at Los Alamitos and missed the win by ½ of a length. She likes to be on the early lead and I look for her to do the same in this race. This will be her first try on the grass. Second spots on the morning line are Sheer Pleasure and Light One, both at 5 to 2. Sheer Pleasure won her career debut at Los Alamitos by 6 ½ lengths in a 42k straight maiden race on the dirt. Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount for this race who has been hot over the last 7 days. This will be her first attempt on the turf and she will also be fighting for the early lead. Light One is also new to the grass, with only two races under her belt, including her maiden win at Golden Gate Fields. Jerry HollendorferLight One is another Hollendorfer entry and will have Rafael Bejarano in the irons. To her advantage, she likes to make the late run. My only concern is whether she can get the distance. In all honesty, I’m looking to beat these three with someone who can pay! There is going to be a lot of front end speed in this one. For a value play, I’m giving Silver Starlight the nod at 8 to 1 on the ML. She finished second in her last outing at this distance on the turf. Her speed figures concern me, but she has a chance at adjusting better in this race since it will be her second attempt on the grass. She could make a mid-pack to late run here and upset this field, her biggest concern being Light One. For a longshot, I’m going with Patsy G and Me at 12 to 1 on the morning line. She is an all-out, front-end speed kind of gal like many entered here, but her last speed figure holds up with the likes of Sheer Pleasure and Heat the Rocks. Her breeding suggests she will take to the turf well and her dam, Lucky Spirit, has produced a turf winner. She gets the advantage of the rail post and jockey Drayden Van Dyke was the one who guided her to her maiden win at Los Alamitos. Good luck everybody!



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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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