Courtesy of Santa Anita Park ARCADIA, CA (Jan. 13, 2021) – A lights-out first time maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 27, trainer Eric Kruljac’s The Chosen Vron merits top billing among a field of nine in Saturday’s $200,000 California Cup Derby at a mile and one-sixteenth.
Sponsored by the CTBA, the California Cup Derby, which is one of five Cal Cup Day Stakes on Saturday, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired three-year-olds. The Cal Cup Derby, originally run in 1990, was won by eventual two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome in 2014.
A chestnut gelding by Vronsky out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Tiz Molly, The Chosen Vron was off as the 2-1 favorite with John Velazquez on Dec. 27 and never looked a loser in an impressive front-running effort that resulted in a 6 ¾ length win and a lofty 86 Beyer Speed figure. With Velazquez back at his Gulfstream Park base, Joel Rosario will take over on Saturday as The Chosen Vron stretches out to a mile and one sixteenth in his second start.