From Santa Anita Publicity ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2011) -- Two of the nation’s fastest Thoroughbreds, both winners of one of America’s most prestigious sprint races—the Grade I Malibu Stakes—are on course for a showdown in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 29.
They are M One Rifle, the 2009 winner, and Bob Black Jack, winner of the seven furlong Malibu in 2008. Each horse worked Friday, M One Rifle going five furlongs at Santa Anita in a bullet :59.20, while Bob Black Jack went four furlongs at Hollywood Park in a bullet :46.40.
M One Rifle, a 5-year-old gelded son of One Man Army trained by Bruce Headley, has not raced since running an uncharacteristic seventh in the Grade I Triple Bend at Hollywood on July 2, but has been training forwardly since for the Cal Cup Sprint.
“He worked good,” said Headley’s daughter, Karen. “It was exactly what he was supposed to do.”
Bob Black Jack, trained by James Kasparoff, has been on the shelf since winning the Grade II San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita in February of last year, but like M One Rifle, has been working smartly for his return.
“He’s ready to run,” Kasparoff said of the 6-year-old Stormy Jack horse of which he owns a share along with his brother, Tim, and Jeff Harmon.
Probable for the $100,000 California Cup Sprint: Bob Black Jack, Patrick Valenzuela; Cost of Freedom, Rafael Bejarano; Courtside, Joel Rosario; M One Rifle, Chantal Sutherland; and Mensa Heat, Joe Talamo.