New Yorker Repole Has Cal-Bred Juvenile Filly Set To Debut At Santa Anita by Victor Ryan/Santa Anita|05.19.2023|4:31pm Mike Repole High-profile owner Mike Repole is a born and raised New Yorker whose vast racing stable typically competes on the eastern and Midwest circuits. But in recent years, the founder of VitaminWater has increasingly dabbled with California-breds. Repole's California presence will be on full display Saturday with first-time starter Pushiness, a 2-year-old filly by Kantharos who debuts in the opener for trainer Michael McCarthy. Repole purchased Pushiness for $115,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings and Horses of All Ages Sale. McCarthy's relationship with Repole dates to McCarthy's time serving as an assistant for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, who is Repole's main trainer in New York. Repole and Pletcher had the morning-line favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, Forte, but that colt was scratched the morning of the race. McCarthy says he currently has a “handful” of California-bred 2-year-olds owned by Repole and more are expected in the coming days. “He likes the state-bred program and tries to take advantage of it,” McCarthy said referring to the purse incentives that are offered for horses bred in California. As for Pushiness, she is listed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for her debut, a 4 ½-furlong dash on the main track. She has worked six times since April 10 including a pair of quick gate drills. On April 22 she went a half mile in 46.80 seconds and added another gate work in 46.60 seconds two weeks later. Pushiness is out of Imperial Pippin, a stakes-placed daughter of Empire Maker who got her start in Europe for international powerhouse Juddmonte Farms. McCarthy said he had hoped to debut Pushiness on turf but landed on this spot in order to get a race under her girth. “She's had a couple of decent gate works. We'll see what happens on the dirt,” he added. Pushiness has lured Santa Anita leading rider Juan Hernandez for her debut but will have to overcome the inside post in a seven-horse field. Post time for the opener of Saturday's 10-race card is 1 p.m.