ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2108)–Trainer John Sadler was confident he had the best horse in the $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint despite what the odds board said, and he was proven right emphatically by Edwards Going Left Jan. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
What may have been most impressive in his six-length win, however, was how the 4-year-old Midnight Lute gelding did it. With the inside post in the field of six, jockey Tyler Baze opted against Edwards Going Left’s normal stalk-and-pounce tactics, and asked his mount to keep up with heavily favored Masochistic from the first jump.
Masochistic, in his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, broke best and cruised on the lead early, but Edwards Going Left forced the issue on the rail, and early in the turn, the favorite was already in retreat. Edwards Going Left hit the front, and while B Squared and Tough Sunday loomed at the top of the stretch, the Hronis Racing-owned bay continued to extend his lead to the wire.
“This horse showed some guts today,” Baze said. “(Masochistic’s jockey) Drayden (Van Dyke) had me (tight) down at the rail. I thought I’d be three or four (lengths) off, but I had to keep my position. This horse just showed guts being a half-length back, stuck on the inside.”
Masochistic set a :22.50 pace through the first quarter-mile, before Edwards Going Left took over to hit a half-mile in :45.12. He finished off the six furlongs in 1:09.47. B Squared finished second and Tough Sunday came in third, while Masochistic crossed the wire fifth, 11 3/4 lengths behind Edwards Going Left.
“It seemed like I went from a lot of horse to no horse,” Van Dyke said. “He just came up empty.”
The Cal Cup Sprint was Edwards Going Left’s second California-bred stakes win, following his score in the Nov. 19 Cary Grant at Del Mar. In between he finished second behind City of Light in the Malibu Stakes (G1). He has won seven of his 10 starts for Sadler and Hronis since he was claimed for $50,000 in February of 2017.
“If you just look at this horse’s record, he’s got seven wins already,” Sadler said. “He’s a winning horse. He’s a really nice horse and runs a good race every time. He’s been a little unlucky in a couple spots, but we’re really thrilled today.”