Dismissed at odds of 10-1, George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual went to the front and never looked back in Monday's $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita, as she breezed by three lengths under Joel Rosario. Trained by Tim Yakteen, the California-bred daughter of Mucho Macho Man, out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, got one mile over a “good” turf in 1:36.92.
The Cal Cup Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.
In her first start on turf and around two turns, Mucho Unusual made an easy lead, getting the opening quarter mile in 24.14 and dictated terms to the far turn, whereupon she unleashed an eye catching turn of foot, opening up on her competition turning for home in an impressive burst.
Most recently fourth as the 3-5 favorite in a Cal-bred allowance going 6 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 27, Mucho Unusual was off at 10-1 in a field of nine and paid $23.80, $11.20 and $6.20.
A longtime owner/breeder and a member of the California Horse Racing Board, Krikorian picked up $110,000 for the win, taking Mucho Unusual's earnings to $200,420, while improving her overall mark to 5-2-2-0.
Doug O'Neill trained the two-three finishers, as Lippy, who was attentive to the pace, checked in a half length in front of Lakerball, who rallied from mid-pack.
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Lippy was off at 23-1 and paid $24.80 and $11.40.
Lakerball was off at 4-1 with Rafael Bejarano and paid $4.40 while finishing 3 ¼ lengths in front of Hot On the Trail.
Apache Princess, the 6-5 favorite with Kent Desormeaux, stumbled at the break, was jostled around the first turn and was caught extremely wide at the top of the lane, never threatened while running fifth.
Complete fractions on the race were 24.14, 48.84, 1:12.97 and 1:25.06.
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