With seven-time stakes winner The Chosen Vron expected to run earlier on Saturday’s Cal Cup program, trainer Dean Pederson’s hard knocking Carmelita’s Man heads a deep and competitive group of nine entrants going a mile and one eighth on grass in Santa Anita’s $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic.
Presented by City National Bank, the Unusual Heat Turf Classic is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for California-bred or sired older horses.
A 6-year-old gelding by Mucho Macho Man out of the North Light mare Carmelita, Carmelita’s Man had his finest year to date in 2022, winning Santa Anita’s one mile turf Crystal Water Stakes on May 28, taking Del Mar’s California Dreaming Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 6 and then taking an open company allowance at Del Mar going 1 3/8 miles on turf Sept. 2. Most recently fourth going one mile on turf versus open runners in the restricted Lure Stakes here on Oct. 29, Carmelita’s Man banked $264,570 from eight starts last year.
Owned by Larry and Ann Jett, Carmelita’s Man will be reunited with Juan Hernandez, who was aboard for both of his statebred stakes wins last year. With an overall mark of 21-7-5-1, he has earnings of $432,670.
Claimed by trainer Steve Knapp out of a $25,000 win going one mile on the main track here three starts back on Nov. 5, Doc Adams attended the pace en route to a solid 1 ¼ length statebred allowance win at one mile on turf first off the claim Nov. 19 and was most recently a 2 ½ length open allowance winner going a mile on dirt at Los Alamitos Dec. 17.
A 5-year-old gelding by Vronsky out of the Unusual Heat mare My Maloof Rocker, Doc Adams, who is owned by Les Blake, is a sharp horse who will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Ramon Vazquez.
In what may’ve been the best race of his career, the Steve Specht-trained Royal ‘n Rando rallied from off the pace to take an open first condition allowance going 1 1/16 miles on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 11 and appears primed for another top effort over a turf course that he’s run well over.
A troubled second here six starts back going a mile and one eighth on turf in the Snow Chief Stakes on May 28, Royal ‘n Rando, a 4-year-old Tamarando gelding out of the Grand Slam mare Royal Grand Slam, is owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams. He has a win and a second place finish from four tries on turf and is 17-6-3-2 overall. He’ll be ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli.
THE UNUSUAL HEAT TURF CLASSIC WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 10 of 10 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT
- Aligato—Flavien Prat—124
- Doc Adams—Ramon Vazquez—122
- The Chosen Vron—Hector Berrios—124
- Coalinga Road—John Velazquez—120
- Kings River Knight—Lanfranco Dettori—122
- Bang for Your Buck—Abel Cedillo—120
- Royal ‘n Rando—Umberto Rispoli—124
- Carmelita’s Man—Juan Hernandez—124
- Luvluv—Joe Bravo—122
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.