Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Rail Trip, a 4-year-old son of Jump Start owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Ron Ellis, will take on an impressive field in The Californian – including Ball Four, who provided Rail Trip’s first defeat in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap on May 9. Rail Trip has won five of six career starts and earned $197,790.
The Californian, a Grade II event at 1 1/8 miles, is the final major prep for the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 11. The Californian, which will be run for the 56th time on Saturday, boasts an impressive history. It has been won by ten champions: Swaps (1955), Porterhouse (1956), Dr. Fager (1968), Cougar II (1971 and 1972), J.O. Tobin (1978), Affirmed (1979), Spectacular Bid (1980), Precisionist (1986), Sunday Silence (1990) and The Wicked North (1994).
Four winners of the Mervyn LeRoy have won The Californian in their next start: Spectacular Bid (1980) Eleven Stitches (1981), Another Review (1992) and Even the Score (2004). The only horse to sweep the Mervyn LeRoy, The Californian, and the Gold Cup was Eleven Stitches.
Nine winners of The Californian have gone on to win the Gold Cup, the most recent being Lava Man in 2005.
Larry Zap caught some excellent footage of Rail Trip in early April, marking him as one of the talented Thoroughbreds to follow and noting: "Rail Trip -- a 4 year old gelding by Jump Start -- has as much upside as any horse we have seen in some time and has the makings of a superstar. He is 4 for 4 and will extend that to 5 for 5 this weekend in the Santana Mile." Enjoy the video!
For more information about Larry Zap, see Contributors on the About tab.