Upstart Rose Dawson Flies Late To Cal Cup Oaks Victory

January 16, 2022

D’Amato & Prat Take Stakes Doubles On The Day 

ARCADIA, Calif.—With but one race to her credit, Nick Alexander’s homebred Rose Dawson adapted to a change in conditions like a seasoned veteran as she flew late to take Saturday’s $200,000 Leigh Ann Howard California Cup Oaks by one length at Santa Anita Park. Trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Flavien Prat, both of whom registered stakes doubles on the afternoon, Rose Dawson, a 3-year-old grey daughter of Alexander’s Grazen, who was trying grass and two turns for the first time, got a flat mile in 1:36.07.

Next to last, about nine lengths off dueling leaders Professors’ Pride and Eleuthera with three furlongs to run, Rose Dawson hugged the rail to the top of the lane, swung five-deep and went on to win with her ears pricked at the wire in a dramatic finish to a 10-race California Cup Day program.

“I’m very proud of her because I kinda thought I might be throwing a lot at her, going long and first time grass with winners,” said D’Amato, who won the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint two races earlier with Leggs Galore. “She just stepped up to the plate and it was a beautiful ride by Flavien. That was the cherry on top for the day.

“With the big field (12 sophomore fillies), she got a great setup and a great trip. She saved every inch of ground, and he was able to tip-out at the top of the lane and it was beautiful to watch.”

A fourth length first-out maiden winner versus statebreds going 5 ½ furlongs at Los Alamitos Dec. 5, Rose Dawson, who is out of the Bertrando mare Sudden Sunday, was off at 9-2 and paid $11.40, $5.80 and $4.20. With her winnings of $110,000, she boosted her earnings to $141,200.

“We were drawn outside, and Phil told me to get her to relax, so I dropped myself in and she relaxed well,” said Prat, who also won Saturday’s sixth race, the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic aboard Aligato. “She gave me a good kick down the lane. There was some early pace. Phil told me she can be a little rank sometimes, so I was really trying to focus on her more than the race. She is impressive.”

Cal Cup Oaks Replay

Ridden by John Velazquez, Big Novel, who broke from the rail, was a joint third, about three lengths off the lead mid-way on the far turn, made the lead a sixteenth out, but couldn’t hold off the winner while finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of favored Vivacious Vanessa. Off at 5-1, Big Novel paid $5.80 and $4.40.

The tepid choice at 3-1, Vivacious Vanessa finished well under Juan Hernandez and paid $3.00 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.11, 46.96, 1:11.40 and 1:23.98.

Racing resumes with first post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Rose Dawson (Benoit Photos) 

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