EDWARDS GOING LEFT, HECK YEAH & RICHARD’S BOY ALL PROMINENT IN SATURDAY’S $150,000 CALIFORNIA CUP SPRINT AT SIX FURLONGSRACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS; SPECIAL EARLY FIRST POST TIME FOR AN 11-RACE CARD AT SANTA ANITA IS AT 11:30 A.M. ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2019)–A group of six top older California-bred or sired sprinters will square off at six furlongs in Saturday’s $150,000 California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, headed by last year’s winner Edward’s Going Left, newly turned 4-year-old Heck Yeah and leading money earner, Richard’s Boy.EDWARDS GOING LEFTOwner: Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer: John SadlerMost recently second, beaten 6 ¼ lengths as the 8-5 favorite in the state-bred Cary Grant Stakes going seven furlongs at Del Mar Nov. 18, this 5-year-old Midnight Lute gelding was a respectable fourth behind repeat Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Roy H two starts back in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6. Although winless in five starts since winning the Cal Cup Sprint a year ago, Edwards Going Left rates a huge chance for a repeat on Saturday with Tyler Baze back aboard.HECK YEAHOwner: Michael Pageler, Dr. Michael Sigband & Bob BaedekerTrainer: Bob BaffertNearly unbeaten with four wins from five starts, this 4-year-old colt by Acclamation would appear to have more upside than anyone else in the field as he faces older horses for the first time. A three-time stakes winner versus state-breds, Heck Yeah, who was bred by Pageler and is out of his Maria’s Mon mare Lutess, has been idle since breezing to a 2 ¼ length win in the 6 ½ furlong Echo Eddie Stakes here on April 7. With Drayden Van Dyke set to ride, Heck Yeah come into the Sprint with a solid work tab to his credit and hails from a barn internationally renowned for “getting ’em ready.”RICHARD’S BOYOwner: Rockingham RanchTrainer: Peter MillerThe leading money earner in the field with $947,355, this 7-year-old Idiot Proof gelding is thought to be at his best on turf, as six of his nine wins have come there. However, he comes off a big second, beaten a head by veteran St. Joe Bay in a five furlong classified allowance Dec. 14 at Los Alamitos, earning a Cal Cup Sprint best last-out Beyer Speed figure of 99. With Flavien Prat away to ride at Gulfstream on Saturday, hot apprentice Heriberto Figueroa will ride for the first time. With two wins from five Santa Anita starts, venerable Richard’s Boy is 35-9-11-5 overall.THE $150,000 CALIFORNIA CUP SPRINT WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 4 of 11 Approximate post time 1 p.m. PTEdwards Going Left–Tyler Baze–122Minoso–Martin Pedroza–120Shades of Victory–Geovanni Franco–122Richard’s Boy–Heriberto Figueroa–120Heck Yeah–Drayden Van Dyke–122Touching Rainbows–Tiago Pereira–120 Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 11:30 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9:30 a.m. with Early Bird Wagering available in the Top ‘O the Stretch area at 8 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Patent drawing from Cambridge Research & Development for an autonomous, battery-powered, drone-toting, delivery flatcar. (Credit: Cambridge Research & Development)A research company is seeking funding to build a prototype autonomous, battery-powered flatcar that would serve as a platform for package-delivery drones.Cambridge Research & Development in New Hampshire has applied for a patent for the concept. The vehicle, Cambridge founder and CEO Ken Steinberg says, could carry and deliver freight or serve as a moving platform for autonomous package-delivery drones.The idea is to take advantage of railroad capacity that goes unused on commuter and freight lines at night and other off-peak hours, Steinberg says. A railroad could lease track space to package-delivery companies such as UPS, FedEx, or an electronic retailer such as Amazon, he says.Steinberg came up with the idea while pondering the excess capacity on the lightly used Pan Am Railways Northern Main Line, the former Boston & Maine route that passes behind his house.His “a-ha” moment was this: “We could basically take Teslas and put them on tracks and run them autonomously.”The Federal Aviation Administration last week approved pilot programs for testing drone deliveries. Cambridge says its concept would solve one of the technical problems facing drone delivery: the limited range of unmanned aerial vehicles.Drones could take off from the rail vehicle, pick up or deliver a package, then return to the flatcar — or a different one further along the route — for recharging or a battery swap before heading out on another delivery mission, Steinberg says.“You could deliver a lot of packages that way,” Steinberg says.He did some back-of-the-envelope math and found that 5.5 million people live within a 5-mile flying radius of the former B&M main from Boston to Manchester, New Hampshire.The vehicles could operate solo or, like an electric multiple unit, be coupled together to form a train. They also would be designed as bi-modal vehicles that could get on and off track, much like a hi-rail vehicle. They could also operate in conjunction with positive train control and be capable of running in signalled or unsignalled territories.“It’s feasible,” Steinberg says, using existing technology.Steinberg — who has a tech background and admits he’s a railroad neophyte — has consulted with a former Class I railroad operations executive and is seeking partners in the rail and package-delivery industries who might be interested in testing the concept.Cambridge R&D aims to raise $2 million to build a prototype, with the goal of licensing the patent and technology to a company that would then commercialize it and bring it to the marketplace.The vehicle, if commercially feasible, would face regulatory and operational hurdles.Trains have the right-of-way at grade crossings, for example, but it’s not clear whether an autonomous flatcar would be considered a train or something more akin to a hi-rail car or maintenance-of-way equipment, which must yield to traffic at crossings.This post originally appeared in Trains.