APACHE PRINCESS, KOOKIE GAL & LAKERBALL ALL LOOM LARGE IN MONDAY’S $200,000 CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS AT ONE MILE ON TURF RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2019)–Keith Desormeaux’s Apache Princess, Peter Miller’s Kookie Gal and Doug O’Neill’s Lakerball all loom large in Monday’s $200,000 California Cup Oaks at Santa Anita. Restricted to 3-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, the Cal Cup Oaks, which has attracted a field of nine, is part of the lucrative Golden State Series, which is sponsored by the CTBA.With two consecutive wins at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and a close second three starts back at a one mile turf maiden race at Del Mar Nov. 10, Apache Princess looks like the logical top selection as she bids for three wins in a row.A first out maiden winner going one mile over the Santa Anita turf Oct. 18, Kookie Gal, who is owned by her breeders, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber, was an impressive winner of the state-bred Soviet Problem Stakes at one mile on dirt two starts back at Los Alamitos and comes off a nose defeat at one mile on dirt here on Jan. 11.A winner of the one mile turf Surfer Girl Stakes in open company here three starts back on Oct. 8, Lakerball was a galloping minor stakes winner going a mile on turf at Golden Gate Fields Oct. 27 and has been freshened by O’Neill since well beaten in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 24.APACHE PRINCESSOwner: KMN Racing, LLCTrainer: Keith DesormeauxBy the late superstar California-based stallion Unusual Heat, Apache Princess, who is out of the Indian Charlie mare Puskita, was bred by her owners and is not only in sharp recent form, but she appears to possess the right “sit and pounce” style. The second leading money earner in the field with $111,960, she has two wins and as many seconds from five starts and will be ridden for the sixth consecutive time by Desormeaux’s brother, Kent.KOOKIE GALOwner: Wachtel Stable & Gary BarberTrainer: Peter MillerA dark bay or brown filly by Boisterous, out of the Comic Strip mare Kukaluka, she was beaten a scant nose on Jan. 11 by talented Calf Moon Bay and is a proven commodity at the distance, as all four of her starts have been at one mile–two on dirt and two on grass. With two wins and a second from four starts, she has earnings of $103,820 and rates a huge chance with Flavien Prat riding back.LAKERBALLOwner: Pappas Horse Racing Corp., Purple Rein Racing & Tom RobertsTrainer: Doug O’NeillBy the Unusual Heat stallion Lakerville, she’s out of the Capsized mare Category Ten. Following her head victory in the Surfer Girl Stakes here on Oct. 8, she was the even money favorite in the one mile turf Pikes Place Dancer Stakes at Golden Gate, a one mile turf race she took by five lengths. Freshened since a 7 ¼ length defeat in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Nov. 24, Lakerball has two wins from three tries at a mile on turf and will be making her seventh career start on Monday. With three wins from six starts, she’s the leading money earner in the field with $129,825.THE CALIFORNIA CUP OAKS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PTLippy–Mario Gutierrez–124Mucho Unusual–Joel Rosario–120Tiz a Master–Heriberto Figueroa–122Kookie Gal–Flavien Prat–124Silk From Heaven–Eswan Flores–120Hot On the Trail–Drayden Van Dyke–120Creative Instinct–Brice Blanc–124Lakerball–Rafael Bejarano–124Apache Princess–Kent Desormeaux–126First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is at 12:30p.m. please visitsanttaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
1 It was Mauricio Pochettino’s 100th match in charge of the north Londoners Mauricio Pochettino insists he does not regret fielding a weakened team despite Borussia Dortmund thrashing Tottenham 3-0 in the Europa League last 16.Harry Kane was left on the bench at the Westfalenstadion as Pochettino played Nacer Chadli up front and Ryan Mason and Tom Carroll in midfield and handed 18-year-old Josh Onomah only his fourth start of the season.The decision to rest some of his top players, with Mousa Dembele also on the bench and Eric Dier left at home, backfired as Marco Reus’ double and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header all but ended Spurs’ hopes of progress.“No regrets,” Pochettino said.“I’m very disappointed with the result but we didn’t have a very good day. It was a bad day in the office.“When we analysed the squad and picked the starting eleven we tried to win the game. It started okay but it was a really bad day for us.”The defeat leaves Tottenham with a mountain to climb in the second leg at White Hart Lane but also means Pochettino’s men are now winless in three matches, following last week’s loss at West Ham and draw with Arsenal.A trip to bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday offers the perfect chance to bounce back as Spurs look to resume a title challenge that has them sitting five points behind league leaders Leicester.“I am not worried, I know the circumstances,” Pochettino said.“We need to accept some periods during 10 months that we will have good and bad times. We have always had things good.“It has only been in the last few games not so much. The players are very sad but we have to take the positives.“We have a big challenge against Aston Villa on Sunday. We are in a very good position in the league and we will do our best.”Placed second in the table, Tottenham will hope to face similar opposition more regularly in the Champions League next season.But while similarities were drawn between the two sides’ style of play, league position and low-budget squads before kick-off, Dortmund demonstrated Spurs still have a way to go to compete with the European elite.“I think they had a good experience but we spoke yesterday and I told them that to play at the next level you compete with teams like Borussia Dortmund, which is a real test,” Pochettino said.“It was good for us to feel what a game in the Champions League feels like.“It was disappointing because the result was bad but to build a group for the next few years to compete at the level of Borussia Dortmund is very difficult.“We were disappointed but it was a very good test for us to compare the level.”READ: ‘Mauricio Pochettino has to take this one on the chin – he got it wrong’ – Tottenham fans on manager’s selection in Europa League defeat