Ashleyluvssugar, as familiar to fans at Santa Anita as its art deco façade, could make his last start in Saturday's $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic.
The 9-year-old gelded son of Game Plan has raced 18 times at Santa Anita, winning six, with two seconds and four thirds, earning almost a million dollars here, at $948,963. Overall, he has 10 wins from 36 starts with earnings of $1,475,583.
He worked Sunday morning for the Turf Classic, one of five attractive stakes for California-breds Saturday, the others being the $200,000 California Cup Derby, the $200,000 California Cup Oaks, the $150,000 California Cup Sprint and the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint.
Ashleyluvssugar went “an easy five-eighths” in 1:01.80 for trainer Peter Eurton.
“We'll just play it by ear every race from here on out,” Eurton said. “We expect him to run well Saturday, but if he doesn't, he could be retired at any time.”
Ashleyluvssugar last raced Nov. 30, finishing fifth in the Grade III Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate. It was his first start on the synthetic Tapeta track and his first start in four months. “I think he was just getting used to it,” Eurton said.
“If he had been there for a couple races he probably would have been better off. The first part of the race he was kind of checking things out.”
This will mark “Ashley's” third start in the Turf Classic. He won it in 2017 and was second last year. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stables and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashley's last victory came against open company in the Grade II Charles Whittingham Stakes May 28, 2017.
Gary Stevens was the rider.
Probable for the Turf Classic: Appreciated, Rafael Bejarano; Ashleyluvssugar, Flavien Prat; Irish Heatwave, no rider; The Hunted, Tiago Pereira; Ward 'n Jerry, Umberto Rispoli; and Wound Tight, Abel Cedillo.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.