Cowboy Cal wins San Pasqual Handicap
San Pasqual Handicap Grade 2 1m100yds
Cowboy Cal (Giant's Causeway - Texas Tammy (Seeking The Gold))
COWBOY CAL was one of the few horses that Robert and Janice McNair held on to when they soldtheir Stonerside holdings to Shiekh Mohammed in 2008; it may have proved to have been an inspired decision.
The winner of the Laurel Futurity and the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on the grass, the dark bay earned a trip to the Grade1 Kentucky Derby with a second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes.
Unfortunately, he faded to ninth on the first Saturday in May, and was given a break until the autumn.
He returned in the Grade 3 Bryan Station Stakes on the turf at Keeneland finishing second but was awarded the race after the winner Seaspeak was disqualified.
He then finished second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, before this successful return to the all-weather surface.
He is a son of Giant's Causeway and is the first runner out of the Seeking The Gold mare Texas Tammy.
She did not run but is a half-sister to Behrens, a son of Pleasant Colony who won three Grade 1 races, four Grade 2 races and finished second in six Grade 1 events including the Whitney Handicap, the Dubai World Cup and the Woodward Stakes.
The homebred pair are out of the dual Grade 2 winner and Acorn Stakes (G1) runner-up Hot Novel, a daughter of Mari's Book.
Last year's Dubai World Cup third Well Armed, sent away the 6-4 favourite, was fourth in the early stages and finished there, beaten about two lengths, after a brief challenge a furlong out.
Cowboy Cal, yet another example of a turf specialist thriving on the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita, was sent off the 14-5 second favourite.
"I wanted to sit just off the speed," said Velazquez. "But when I took ahold of him going into the first turn he took off.
"He was very difficult to settle. It seemed like he waited on the other horse, but when he got into the competition he fought back."