Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday April 6, 2023


A salty batch of 3-year-old colts and geldings take center stage in the signature race on Friday at Golden Gate, a first level allowance at six furlongs on the Tapeta. All seven horses in the race have been campaigned differently. Some sport sharp, recent form. A few of them step up in class. One makes his 3-year-old debut while another makes his first start off a claim. For handicappers, there are many angles to dissect but only one winner to find.

Morning line maker Jacob Shephard has tabbed Rachel’s Coach as the 9-5 favorite. There are reasons to suggest he may indeed be favored come post time. The son of Coach Bob was a decisive starter allowance winner on March 12 and earned a Beyer speed figure (82) that tops any of the other six entrants’ best speed figures by quite a few points. Rachel’s Coach has also run well at this condition in the past; two starts ago, he finished third behind California Derby contender and next out winner Prince Abu Dhabi, and placed third one race prior to next-out stakes placed Harcyn.

“He’s doing good,” said trainer Isidro Tamayo of Rachel’s Coach. “He wasn’t a big horse when we first got him. After he broke his maiden, he really started to figure everything out. I think he can rate if the pace is too fast, but he’s got natural speed.”

Tamayo also saddles Strength of Autism, who failed to be competitive at this level two starts ago.

Like Tamayo, Victor Trujillo trains two entrants in the race. Rodrigoknows, a bargain $5,700 sale purchase by Cat Burglar, suffered traffic late in his career debut and wound up second. He returned to the races on March 25 and easily defeated a group of maiden special weight foes. He faces winners for the first time on Friday. Barn buddy Idaho Once finished as the runner up behind stakes winner Clovisconnection coming off a 7-month vacation at this condition last time out. Also sired by Cat Burglar, Idaho Once figures to be fairly close to the pace.

Chuckanut Bay began his career in Northern California last summer and broke his maiden at Pleasanton. He subsequently moved to Emerald Downs for the summer and placed in three stakes races there. After a pair of losses, including a double-digit length defeat in the Gold Rush Stakes behind Southern California stakes winner Passarando and El Camino Real Derby champion Chase the Chaos, Chuckanut Bay was given four months off. He returns with a steady series of drills for trainer Jack Steiner

“We’re using this as a starting point and we’ll see how it goes,” said Steiner. “He’s training okay. On paper, he’s in a pretty tough spot.”

Talk About Autism placed third behind Clovisconnection and Idaho Once at this level on March 17. The Sammy Calvario trainee went off as the 7-5 second choice in the wagering that day. He figures to be a better price this go around. Sporting a 3 for 5 lifetime win record, Talk About Autism broke his maiden on debut and won a pair of starter allowance races earlier this year.

“He’s still a colt [as opposed to a gelding]. He’s pretty playful,” said Calvario. “[Jockey] Cristobal [Herrera] fits him really well. He wasn’t available [last race] and I think getting him back will help. He knows this horse.”

Saxon Saga rounds out the field. He makes his first start off a claim by trainer Ed Moger Jr. after a pair of convincing $12,500 claiming wins.

Live racing begins at 1:45 PM on Friday. 8 races are on the schedule.

Race 7 on Friday (First level allowance at six furlongs for 3-year-olds)

#1 Chuckanut Bay (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Jack Steiner…morning line odds of 10-1)

#2 Rodrigoknows (Evin Roman…Victor Trujillo…2-1)

#3 Rachel’s Coach (Kevin Radke…Isidro Tamayo…9-5)

#4 Strength of Autism (Alexander Chavez…Isidro Tamayo…15-1)

#5 Saxon Saga (William Antongeorgi III…Ed Moger Jr…15-1)

#6 Idaho Once (Santos Rivera…Victor Trujillo…5-1)

#7 Talk About Autism (Cristobal Herrera…Sammy Calvario…4-1)


A 7-race win streak for 5-year-old mare Trojan Clubhouse was brought to an end on March 18. That day, she stalked the pace, took the lead in upper stretch and eventually was passed late in the game by first place finisher Tiz an Edventure, a stakes winner who was considered at the time to be the top filly and mare router in Northern California. Per multiple sources, she has been retired to start a new career as a broodmare.

“She rated a little bit last time and ran a really good race,” said trainer Reid France on Trojan Clubhouse. “I was pleased with the effort. When we claimed her [in her second lifetime race], she ran a couple of dull races after and wasn’t quite right. We gave her six months and that really helped her, and it’s been quite the ride ever since.”

Trojan Clubhouse seeks to begin a new win streak this Saturday at Golden Gate in Race 8, a second level allowance at the one mile and a sixteenth distance. The daughter of Clubhouse Ride has won all three prior starts at 8.5 furlongs and scored once before at the second level condition last year too, fending off all challengers for a gutsy head victory.

In her most recent start, Trojan Clubhouse employed tactics we had not seen her practice since her win streak began: she stalked the pace for the first half of the race. Although she did not win, all signs indicate she brought her ‘A game’. With her versatility in mind, jockey Evin Roman has options. On the other hand, she breaks from the inside post, meaning Roman will need to make good decisions to work out a good trip with other speed drawn to her outside.

Three rivals Trojan Clubhouse faces on Saturday have front running ability to make things interesting. Shezaghost, a hard knocker that has hit the board in her last two starts at this level, does her best work on the front end. Recent gate to wire first level allowance winner Work to Live has visited the winners circle on three separate occasions in her career, all in which she went to the lead. Undisturbed, a stablemate to Work to Live (both conditioned by Steve Sherman), set the pace in her last start but weakened down the stretch and hit the wire fifth.

“I do think we have options,” said France. “If she breaks well and is on the lead, that would probably be Plan A. Plan B is to rate, but I wouldn’t have a problem with it if she did. She’s an easy mare to ride. She’s a sweetheart in the barn. She’ll do whatever you ask her to.”

Trainer Manny Badilla, who has conditioned many high-quality fillies and mares over the years, sends out a duo in the 8th race on Saturday. Madeira Wine went off as the longest shot in the race (13-1) on March 18 and settled for third behind Tiz an Edventure and Trojan Clubhouse. Great Britain bred Signorina Merisi won back-to-back races to kick off her North American racing career but failed to fire in February at this level while going off at low odds of 3-5. She looks to rebound after freshening up a month and a half.

Completing the field is Aloha Kitten, a first level allowance winner on turf at Golden Gate last September. Stabled in Southern California under the supervision of Craig Dollase, the 6-year-old mare has finished as the runner up in her last three starts against allowance company. While two of those efforts were at her home court at Santa Anita, the third run came locally at Golden Gate, where she finished behind none other than Trojan Clubhouse.

Like Friday, the first of nine races on Saturday is set to kick off at 1:45 PM.

Race 8 on Saturday (Second level allowance at one mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward)

#1 Trojan Clubhouse (Jockey Evin Roman…Trainer Reid France…morning line odds of 9-5)

#2 Aloha Kitten (Armando Ayuso…Craig Dollase…5-1)

#3 Work to Live (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…5-2)

#4 Shezaghost (Santos Rivera…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#5 Madeira Wine (Irving Orozco…Manny Badilla…15-1)

#6 Signorina Merisi (Assael Espinoza…Manny Badilla…4-1)

#7 Undisturbed (Alexander Chavez…Steve Sherman…12-1)


Below is a list of claims from last year:


Race 2: Miss Ever Ready (New trainer D. Wayne Baker…new owner Richard Barton)


Race 1: The Sandy Surprise (Isidro Tamayo..Miguel Chavez)

Race 2: Speed Grazy (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables, Hon Cheung Kum and Hsui Mei Tsai)

Race 5: Mendham Mill (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)

Race 9: Enjoy It Strait (Owner/Trainer Mark Glatt)


Race 3: Alexander’s Dream (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

Race 5: Magic Tiger (Ed Moger Jr…Terry McFarlane and Bill Meikle)

FINISH LINES: 3-year-old California bred gelding Clovisconnection competes at Santa Anita on Saturday in Race 7: the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for California-bred or sired 3-year-olds at six and one-half furlongs. The Judy and William Hedrick homebred is listed at 6-1 on Jon White’s morning line. GGF rider Kevin Radke makes the trip south to navigate for trainer Blaine Wright…In other news, Radke will be represented for the remainder of the meet by agent Brent Harmon…We wish the best of luck to jockey Yarmarie Correa, who moved back east after a brief stint at Golden Gate…After a two-win day last Sunday, veteran pilot Frank Alvarado is 39 wins away from career victory 4,000…$8,716 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six Jackpot carryover on Friday…9 races are on the Sunday program, with first post set at 1:15 PM.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, March 30, 2023


The Jerry Moss homebred Harcyn has been an exciting Northern California prospect since well before his first race. Prior to his career debut, he drilled a handful of speedy workouts that raised eyebrows of trainers and other workout watchers. A Kentucky-bred by Goldencents, Harcyn is out of the Street Cry dam Florian, who is a half sibling to 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo and 2007 Santa Anita Derby winner Tiago. With his raw ability and top-class pedigree, it sure looked like Harcyn could be any kind.

Harcyn debuted on October 30 in a five-and-a-half-furlong sprint, went to the lead while setting fast fractions, and hit the wire almost four lengths clear of runner up finisher Matt’s Monster. Matt’s Monster and third-place finisher Strut On Louie both returned to break their maidens in their next starts. Trainer Steve Sherman had to be patient and wait about 90 days for Harcyn’s first start against winners, a first level allowance for 3-year-old sprinters on January 16. He trounced his competition again, rolling to the front and hitting the wire well ahead of the rest.

With the two wins in toe, Harcyn had quickly broken through two conditions: his maiden status and first level allowance condition. With that, Sherman had no choice but to run Harcyn in the only race available for him at Golden Gate in February: the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at one mile and an eighth. It would be no easy task for Harcyn to win a race like this; he was facing more seasoned horses, most of who had route experience already, and he was set to travel 3 furlongs farther than he ever had in a race.

For the first time in his career, Harcyn sat second off a leader in the El Camino Real Derby. He moved to a steady gallop while relaxing kindly off the pace, pounced on the early pacesetter and took the lead in upper stretch, was on the lead for a brief time, and eventually finished third behind race winner Chase the Chaos and the Bob Baffert trained Gilmore. Although Harcyn suffered his first defeat, he only gained admirers for the effort.

“He was pretty tired after the [El Camino Real Derby], but he should have been,” said Sherman. “He ran hard. We made sure to give him a few days after the race to rest up and he bounced back well. He’s got a lot of energy now. He’s not a great work horse when he goes on his own, but when he works in company, he’s got his game face on. Really, you can do what you want with him.”

Since the El Camino Real Derby, Sherman has freshened up Harcyn. He returns this Friday in Race 7, an allowance for 3-year-olds at one mile. The race will be used as a prep run for the April 29, $100,000 California Derby for 3-year-olds at 8.5 furlongs on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday. William Antongeorgi III, who has been aboard Harcyn for all three lifetime starts, retains the mount on Friday.

“This is a tough race,” said Sherman. “There are some really nice horses in there. You’ve got a few different horses that all seem to have the same type of running style. They’ve all got speed but are pretty tactical. We’re going to have to play it by the break.”

A solid group of main contenders are ready to challenge Harcyn. Prince Abu Dhabi was a smashing first out winner in the fall, took some time off before his second lifetime start last month, flying home on El Camino Real Derby Day for a powerful victory against first level allowance sprinters. Prince Abu Dhabi, by Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, tries two turns for the first time and, among four workouts since his last race, sports a six-furlong drill for trainer Blaine Wright.

Trainer Steve Specht and owner/breeders Larry and Marianne Williams campaign a pair of entrants in Friday’s seventh race. Mother’s Prayer stalked the pace before landing the gold prize at the first level allowance condition last time out. He looks primed for another good effort again. Rousing Jewel, a filly facing boys, was a victor at a first level allowance condition on February 11 and, like Harcyn, makes her second lifetime start going a route of ground.

Happy Does, a multiple allowance winner for trainer Felix Rondan, was third home behind Mother’s Prayer in their last meeting on March 4 and faces a tougher group overall in this assignment. Smokin’ Hot is in for the optional $50,000 tag for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and Jonathan Wong after a win and third place finish, respectively, against starter allowance foes.

First post on an 8-race card this Friday is 1:15 PM PT.

Race 7 on Friday (Allowance for 3-year-olds at one mile on the Tapeta)

#1 Mother’s Prayer (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Steve Specht…Morning line odds of 4-1)

#2 Prince Abu Dhabi (Kevin Radke…Blaine Wright…2-1)

#3 Harcyn (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…9-5)

#4 Rousing Jewel (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht…6-1)

#5 Smokin’ Hot (Brayan Pena…Jonathan Wong…10-1)

#6 Happy Does (Santos Rivera…Felix Rondan…8-1)


Arguably the two best sprinters in Northern California square off for the first time in Race 3 on Saturday at Golden Gate. A sold effort by any of the five entrants in the race would likely result in a start in the $75,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes on Saturday, April 29.

The heavy hitters in the race, Star Racer and Top Harbor, boast two very different resumes. Star Racer has better than ever form in his last few starts and would be making his stakes debut in the Lost in the Fog if he were to compete in the race. Top Harbor has always been a stakes horse with consistent form since his first year of racing as a 2-year-old in 2020.

According to Star Racer’s trainer, Angelo Tekos Jr., the California-bred son of Vronsky has always shown talent. He began his career at Golden Gate with a solid maiden special weight win and was soon moved to Southern California when Tekos Jr. relocated there for a couple years. Although Star Racer won a state-bred allowance race at Del Mar in 2021, his form began to tail off in 2022, and Tekos eventually moved back to Golden Gate this past fall with his string of horses.

Clearly, Star Racer enjoys the GGF Tapeta. He sports a 4 for 7 record on the Tapeta, with 3 other in-the-money finishes. His last three races have been lights out; he walloped a pair of first level allowance fields and easily beat second level allowance foes in his most recent afternoon appearance on February 11. In all three races, he earned Beyer speed figures of 93, 96, and 97. Star Racer enters this Saturday’s third race with career best, stakes-caliber form, and a ton of confidence.

“The last few races here…between his races we were always working on something. Just little hiccups,” said Tekos Jr. “Before one race, he had a bruised foot. Luckily, that healed quick. Another time he got a little sick. We got him to the races, obviously, and he ran great, but we had to deal with those little hiccups and back off him a little [during his training.] This is the first time in his last few starts that he hasn’t had a hiccup. He’s doing really, really well.

The reason ‘Racer is in top form at age 6 is because he has good owners that let me give him time off when he needed it,” concluded Tekos Jr.

Top Harbor, on the other hand, has always been a stakes horse. In only his second lifetime start as a 2-year-old in 2020, he won the Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton. He was victorious in the 2021 El Dorado Shooter Stakes at Golden Gate, beating older horses as a 3-year-old that day, while his most recent stakes victory came just about four months ago in the Oakland Stakes on November 19. Top Harbor was last seen running second behind Southern California shipper See Through It in the 2023 El Dorado Shooter in February. He was coming off about a four-month layoff that day.

“I’m glad we’re getting a prep into him [before the Lost in the Fog Stakes],” said McCanna. “[Racing Secretary] Steve Martinelli did a good job getting this race to go. [Top Harbor] is a big, heavy horse, so I have to overtrain him a little bit to keep him fit.”

The other three runners set to tackle the top pair are no slouches. Psycho Dar draws the rail and looks to rebound after a fourth-place finish in the El Dorado Shooter Stakes. Last year, the Sammy Calvario trainee beat Top Harbor in the Harris Farm Stakes at Fresno, but was out finished in the Oakland Stakes, finishing a length behind Top Harbor.

Unraptured, the second runner in the race campaigned by McCanna, makes his second start off a six-month layoff after receiving the silver medal in a second level allowance race.

“We’ll see how he fits with this field and if he hangs with ‘em, then we’ll nominate to a stake,” said McCanna.

Cool Mountain Lad won the Oak Tree Sprint Stakes at Pleasanton and returned to Golden Gate over the summer to beat Unraptured in a second level allowance. He has lost three races in a row since then and, like Unraptured, makes the second start in his current form cycle.

Race fans will get to enjoy 9 races on Saturday. First post is 1:15 PM.

Race 3 on Saturday (Allowance for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs on the Tapeta)

#1 Psycho Dar (Jockey Irving Orozco…Trainer Sammy Calvario…Morning line odds of 5-2)

#2 Star Racer (Assael Espinoza…Angelo Tekos Jr…7-5)

#3 Unraptured (Armando Ayuso…Tim McCanna…6-1)

#4 Top Harbor (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna…5-2)

#5 Cool Mountain Lad (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo…8-1)


Race 8 on Sunday, a second level allowance for 4-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs, features a mix of past stakes performers, horses returning from layoffs, and recently claimed horses. Many are eligible to win the race if they show up with their top effort.

2021 Oakland Stakes winner Rager leads the list of major players. Earlier this year, he earned an 89 Beyer speed figure with a decisive win at this condition. He returned less than a month later to finish as the runner up behind Star Racer. For the second-place finish, he received a 90 Beyer. Rager regressed in his most recent start and was third home in a March 11 allowance. He looks to rebound and will likely get plenty of support in the wagering.

Irrefutable ended his 2022 with a three-quarter length loss to Top Harbor in the Oakland Stakes. He returned in 2023 and has finished behind Rager twice, including in his most recent afternoon appearance on February 10. The Mike Lenzini trainee has only finished off the board three times from 16 starts over the Golden Gate Tapeta.

Torpedo Away was no match for his competition in the Oakland Stakes last year and has since competed in three consecutive high level claiming races. Each time, he finished ahead or right behind the likes of first level allowance caliber racers Honeymoonz Over and Murphy’s Tiger. The hard knocking Washington bred earned a career high Beyer (88) in his last start in which he lost by a head to the latter rival mentioned above.

Another who was last seen earning a career best speed figure is Larry’s Legend, who was making his first start for the Sammy Calvario barn last time out and only finished a neck behind multiple allowance winner Love’em N Leave’em. That day, he had to navigate through traffic and, to some handicappers, might have been considered an unlucky loser. He looks to build off that run in his second start for his current connections.

Executive Chef is the second Blaine Wright entrant in the race and makes his 4-year-old debut in this spot. He was a runaway winner of the Auburn Stakes at Emerald Downs on dirt last summer-a race restricted to 3-year-olds. We know he can run effectively on the Tapeta because he broke his maiden over the surface last year. 

Others in the race include Lmlooknformischief, who picked up a confidence booster when defeating first level allowance foes last month and takes a step up in class. Hey Mate hasn’t been seen since June and, the last time he sprinted at this level, finished three-quarters of a length behind stakes placed In Our A. Having won three consecutive turf sprints at Santa Anita, My Summer Dream was claimed for $50,000 by trainer O.J Jauregui and owner Danny Eplin on January 13 and, the last time he ran at Golden Gate, finished off the board behind Star Racer, Rager, and Irrefutable on February 10. Rounding out the field is Dr Pescado, who won the Golden Nugget Stakes as a 2-year-old but has failed to win in five starts since. He draws the rail for his 2023 debut.

9 races conclude the racing week at Golden Gate. First post is 1:15 PM.

Race 8 on Sunday (Second level allowance for 4-year-olds at up at six furlongs)

#1 Dr Pescado (Jockey Cristobal Herrera…Trainer Felix Rondan)

#2 Executive Chef (William Antongeorgi III…Blaine Wright)

#3 Rager (Assael Espinoza…Tim McCanna)

#4 Lmlooknformischief (Irving Orozco…Faith Taylor)

#5 Torpedo Away (Alexander Chavez…Blaine Wright)

#6 Hey Mate (Evin Roman…Bill McLean)

#7 Irrefutable (Kevin Radke…Mike Lenzini)

#8 Larry’s Legend (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario)

#9 My Summer Dream (Armando Ayuso…O.J. Jauregui)


Below is a list of claims from last week.


Race 2: Dick Best (New trainer Simon Hobson…New owner Amy Hobson)

Race 3: Unwhirled (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)

Race 4: Spun Beautiful (Isidro Tamayo…Frankly Speaking LLC)

Race 5: Hardly Mischievous (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables and Clay Sides)

Race 7: Vintage (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)

Race 8: Charbonneau (Andy Mathis…William Branch, Robert Jones and Mathis)


Race 2: My Man Stan (Miguel Ramirez…Mark Freeman)

Race 2: Wild Billy D (Sammy Calvario…Bits N Bubbles Racing)

Race 3: Gordy’s Boy (Owner/Trainer Guillermo Preciado)

Race 6: Dress Rehearsal (Sammy Calvario…Johnny Taboada)


Race 1: Gentleman’s Secret (Jonathan Wong…Madden Racing)

Race 3: Harbor Sky (Isidro Tamayo…John Tipton)

Race 7: Muay Thai (Owner/Trainer Victor Trujillo)

Race 7: Sierra Melody (Blaine Wright…Blaine D. Wright Racing Stables LLC)

FINISH LINES: Wild Billy D, a 3-year-old grey/roan gelding by Danzing Candy, broke his maiden in Saturday’s fifth race for owners Ray Pagano, Brian Delia and trainer Jonathan Wong. The California-bred was named after longtime Bay Area trainer Bill Delia, who passed away last year. Just like his namesake, Wild Billy D is a winner…A $112,000 carryover in the Pick Six on Mandatory Payout Sunday attracted a new money pool of $671,772. The sharp handicappers who hit 6 of 6 found themselves with a juicy payoff: $14,537.26. The Golden Pick Six jackpot pool begins anew this Friday…Along with the featured third race on Saturday, there are two additional allowance races. Race 7 is a first level allowance for filly and mare routers while Race 8 is a first level allowance for sprinters…Race 3 on Sunday is a prep for the $75,000 Camilla Urso Stakes on April 29 for filly and mare sprinters. Entered in Sunday’s third: Always Seeking, looking for her fifth win a row, 3-time stakes winner Slack Tide, 2022 California Oaks winner Anthony’s Cleopatra, multiple stakes placed router Buyback and stakes placed sprinter Carolina Mia…Santa Anita Handicap winner Stilleto Boy remains on course for the $1,000,000 Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 22. Last Sunday morning, the son of Shackleford clicked off four furlongs in an easy 50.40 seconds at Golden Gate for trainer Ed Moger Jr…Also from the Moger Jr. barn, El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos worked a half mile on Saturday in 51 seconds. It was his first morning drill since a seventh-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. Chase the Chaos is listed as “possible” for the $100,000 California Derby on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday…Heading into the final day of racing in March, Assael Espinoza has the most wins out of any jockey at the current meeting with 49 trips to the winner’s circle. Armando Ayuso has 37 wins in second place while William Antongeorgi III rounds out the top 3 with 34…Trainer Jonathan Wong has a 39-26 lead over Isidro Tamayo in the trainer standings. Jack Steiner is 8 behind Tamayo with 18 victories.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, March 23, 2023


Golden Gate Fields will offer a mandatory payout this Sunday, March 26, in the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager. The Golden Pick Six is a 20-cent minimum bet and consists of the last six races on the card. This Sunday, the sequence goes as races 4 through 9.

Heading into Friday’s eight race program, the Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover sits at $95,472. If there fails to be a single ticket jackpot winner after the next two race days, the carryover amount for mandatory payout day Sunday will be in the six-figures.

“We are hopeful our pick six will be well received,” said Golden Gate Fields Vice President and General Manager David Duggan.  “We truly appreciate our dedicated horseplayers who continue to support Golden Gate Fields.”

First post on Sunday is 1:15 PM.


Jerry Haugg, a third-generation farmer, began claiming, owning, and breeding horses with his wife Brenda close to a decade ago. He named his racing operation BKB Stables. “BKB” represents the first letter of Brenda’s name, and the first initials of the two daughters they brought into the world, 18-year-old twins Kiana and Bianca. At peak, the Haugg’s owned close to 30 horses-a collection of broodmares, babies, and horses of racing age. To date, they have downsized to one, sole equine member of the family: American Farmer.

American Farmer, out of the Quiet American mare Farmer’s Wife, picked up his second lifetime stakes victory in the feature race last Saturday at Golden Gate, the inaugural McCann’s Mojave Stakes for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and upward.

“We’ve won about 60 races,” said Haugg from his home in South Maui, Hawaii earlier this week. “This was the best one by far. Nothing has topped this. I’m still on Cloud 9.”

American Farmer, owned in partnership by the Haugg’s and trainer Steve Sherman, has earned over $300,000 since beginning his racing career in 2019. Along with the McCann’s Mojave win, other career highlights include a runner up finish behind Azul Coast in the 2020 El Camino Real Derby and a victory in the Robert Dupret Derby that same year.

Haugg, who traveled with the whole family from Hawaii to watch American Farmer compete last Saturday, reminisced not only on Saturday’s win, but of his family’s journey with American Farmer.

“This has been about teaching my daughter’s life lessons, and it’s been a wonderful family experience,” said Haugg. “‘Farmer is a lesson of perseverance, patience, and waiting for your time to shine.”

The story of American Farmer begins when his older full sister, Blue Diva, was born. At the time, the Haugg’s owned Farmer’s Wife, the dam of Blue Diva and American Farmer who the family claimed during her racing days at Turf Paradise in Arizona.

“We got into racing because of my wife’s love for horses. She loved Secretariat,” said Haugg. “I’ve always been fascinated by the pedigrees of the horses. I was enamored with Bluegrass Cat and his A.P Indy bloodline, so when Farmer’s Wife became a broodmare, we bred her to Bluegrass Cat. We brought her right back to [Bluegrass Cat] for a second time because Blue Diva was so correct and so beautiful. That’s how we got American Farmer. So, if we didn’t have ‘Diva, we would have never had gotten ‘Farmer.”

Blue Diva raced for BKB Stables for the first half of her career. She was eventually claimed from the Haugg’s and returned one start later to win a stakes race for her new connections.

“These things happen,” said Haugg. “Let me tell you…it took a while to get over. I was pretty bummed out, to be honest. But you know what? We all picked ourselves back up. At the end of the day, we were happy for Blue Diva. She’s in foal to Candy Ride now. We wish her and the people who take care of her all the best. And now look how ‘Farmer has done? He’s been such a blessing, and we are so grateful. All of these experiences can teach us something.”

Jerry was quick to praise trainer Sherman and jockey Billy Antongeorgi III for American Farmer’s success.

“Billy’s ride on American Farmer? I mean…perfection,” said Haugg. “He rode him great. What a phenomenal person and jockey. Steve has done a phenomenal job with ‘Farmer. I never tell Steve what to do. He makes all the decisions. He’s a terrific horseman, and he’s a great guy who keeps me and my family involved even though we let him do his thing on his own. Whatever Steve thinks is right for the horse, we support him. We’ve known Steve and his dad Art for quite some time. They’re a wonderful family.”

Jerry says his daughters are “enamored” with Southern California. With that, they will be attending Loyola Marymount College in Los Angeles next fall. Jerry and Brenda, as of late, have also decided to move back to the Golden State. And although family will always come first for Jerry, he is not ruling out owning more horses in the future. If Jerry does, he says, he’ll be supporting the California breeding program.

“The California breeding program is great for owners,” said Haugg. “The incentives are a huge bonus, obviously, and there are a lot of good, stakes races you can win if you’re lucky enough to own a horse of that caliber.”

Luckily for the Haugg’s, the last chapter has not been written for American Farmer. There are more races for him to run, though the next afternoon appearance for the 6-year-old is still up in the air.

“Knock on wood, he’s come out of the race in good shape so far,” said Haugg. “Steve will watch him train and then we’ll come up with a game plan.”


At Golden Gate Fields, California-bred or sired horses are eligible to win at the first level allowance condition twice. 5-year-old gelding Tribal Nation pulled off an eye-catching win at the aforementioned level when opening up 10 lengths down the backstretch in a November 12 heat, only to miraculously hold off stakes caliber rivals Kings River Knight and Royal ‘n Rando for a three-length score.

Off such a monstrous effort, trainer Andy Mathis gave Tribal Nation two months to recover. Luckily, this was the first time that Tribal Nation had won (or competed) at the first level condition, meaning he could keep running at the level until he won a second time. Tribal Nation made his 2023 debut in, yes, a first level race, on January 15. That day, he attempted to emulate the same race he ran in November. The result was different however, and he got nailed in the final strides of the race. He wound up third, beaten just a length.

Jockey Assael Espinoza opted to rate Tribal Nation in his next start, also at the first level condition on February 26. He sat second, took the lead by a narrow margin in midstretch, and was beaten by a whisker, this time finishing a centimeter behind race winner Kodiaction. Although the loss might’ve been a tough pill to swallow for some, Mathis was pleased to see Tribal Nation put up a top-notch effort after sitting off a pacesetter, something he had not done in his last 11 starts.

“He had never rated and run well like that before,” said Mathis. “I think both riders [on the top two finishers, including Tribal Nation] rode smart races that day.”

In the featured eighth race this Saturday at Golden Gate, Tribal Nation is entered back in a first level allowance, still in search of a second lifetime win at the level. Other speedy routers are signed on: Lil Miracle Man does his best work on the front end while Stone’s River, who only finished a head behind Tribal Nation for second on February 26, is another who has been the quickest of his competitors in all the races in which he was won.

“I think the key is playing the break,” said Mathis. “The last time [Tribal Nation] won, he went 1:10 and change, so I’m not concerned if he’s going fast. We just don’t want to be going head and head and dueling with another horse going too fast. If he breaks well and can get the lead, we’re going to take it, but he can rate if somebody wants to go too fast.”

Tribal Nation certainly has the pedigree to be a decent horse. By Grade 1 winner Papa Clem, he is out of the mare Tribal Feathers, who produced stakes winner Tribal Storm, stakes placed racers Tribal War Chant and Tribal Impact, and 2 other winners.

First post on a nine-race card this Saturday is 1:15 PM.

Race 8 (First level allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on the Tapeta)

#1 Chief Wild Eagle (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Tim McCanna…Morning line odds of 12-1)

#2 Conundrum (William Antongeorgi III…Mike Lenzini…6-1)

#3 Lil Miracle Man (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo…20-1)

#4 Tribal Nation (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis…9-5)

#5 Sugar Beets (Santos Rivera…Monty Meier…15-1)

#6 Gallant Warren (Irving Orozco…Tim Bellasis…8-1)

#7 Stone’s River (Evin Roman…Reid France…5-2)

#8 Crosby Beach (Assael Espinoza…Michael McCarthy…9-2)


Below is a list of claims from last week.


Race 1: Let George Do It (New trainer Jack Steiner…new owners Remmah Racing Inc.)

Race 2: Danzigs Star Storm (Ed Moger Jr…Terrance McFarlane)

Race 5: Northern Jewel (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)


Race 2: Truly Fabulous (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 4: Grigoro (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 4: Lady in a Hurry (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)

Race 5: Tiz an Edventure (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables)

Race 8: Affirm Chief (Jose Puentes…Luciano Medina and Jose Saldivar)


Race 1: Argentina Cries (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 1: Saxon Saga (Ed Moger Jr…Terry McFarlane and Bill Meikle)

FINISH LINES: 2021 Grade I Pacific Classic winner Tripoli beat last year’s Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap victor Lammas in a thrilling stretch duel in Race 5 last Sunday. The margin of victory was a nose. Tripoli and Lammas both earned 89 Beyer speed figures for their efforts…American Farmer also earned an 89 Beyer for his triumph in the McCann’s Mojave…Last Sunday morning, the Ed Moger Jr. trained Stilleto Boy had his first workout since winning the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 4. The son of Shackleford breezed a half mile in 51.40 seconds…The signature race of the day on Sunday is Race 5: a first level allowance for 3-year-olds fillies at one mile. Southern California invader Happy Gal faces the well-bred Delusively, well regarded Mastery Kat, and three others…Along with the $95,472 Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover on Friday, there is a Rolling Super High Five carryover of $5,599 in the next race on Friday where said wager is offered…The VALT Golden Gate Cars and Culture Show returns this Sunday, March 26 in the large, north end parking lot. For more information and or to purchase tickets, please go to and visit the VALT Cars and Cultures Events page.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, March 16, 2023


When trainer Isidro Tamayo was a youngster, thinking he’d be a stake winning trainer one day may have just seemed like a crazy dream. Heading into this weekend’s McCann’s Mojave Stakes, that dream is as close as it’s ever been to reality. On Saturday, Tamayo saddles 4-year-old gelding Crazy Dreams (see what we did there) in the inaugural $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and up at nine furlongs on the Tapeta. The McCann’s Mojave is one of a trio of races added to the Winter/Spring meet stakes schedule this year. Crazy Dreams is the second favorite on the morning line at 9-5.

Crazy Dreams has run his best races in his last two afternoon appearances. Two starts ago, he was a better than looked third behind some of the top local horses on the grounds: graded stakes winner Freeport Joe and a second stakes winner in I’mgonnabesomebody. In his most recent start on February 19, Crazy Dreams stalked the pace, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and held off a late charge from 2022 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap winner Lammas in the final sixteenth of a mile.

“We took the blinkers off him late last summer and he’s learned to relax since then,” said Tamayo. “He’s a super smart horse. That’s one of the things I really like about him. I’ve always really liked this horse. He’s now just putting it all together.”

Tamayo, who trains over 60 horses at Golden Gate, believes that the mile and an eighth for Crazy Dreams is well within his scope.

“I think he’ll be okay,” said Tamayo. “[Jockey] Irving Orozco knows this horse. He’ll make the decisions [on where to place him early in the race].”

Orozco has ridden Crazy Dreams in his last three races and retains the mount for Tamayo and owner/breeder Paddy Brogan.

Four other challengers take on Crazy Dreams in the McCann’s Mojave. One of them, 5-year-old gelding Jimmy Blue Jeans, won the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita as a 3-year-old. His last win came a year ago, in March of 2022, beating a second level allowance field in gate to wire fashion. Runner up in the Crystal Water Stakes and Sam Spear Memorial last year, Jimmy Blue Jeans makes his second start in 2023 after an off-the-board finish sprinting. Assael Espinoza rides for trainer Andy Mathis and owners Perry Bruno, John Gezon, and Robert Jones.

Installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, American Farmer is obviously a legit threat to take home the gold medal. On February 19, Amercan Farmer was sent off as the 9-5 second choice in the wagering behind Lammas. He ended up finishing two and a half lengths behind race winner Crazy Dreams. His winning effort two starts ago, a victory over next out second level allowance winner Mr. Impossible, is fast enough to win the McCann’s Mojave. William Antongeorgi III and Steve Sherman team up for owners BKB Stables LLC and Sherman.

Old-pro Ward ‘n Jerry has battled for minor awards in his last two starts against first level allowance company and takes a legit bump up in class in the McCann’s Mojave for trainer Steve Specht, who employs go to rider Frank Alvarado to hop aboard once more. Among the 10-year-old gelding’s career highlights include a win in the 2020 San Luis Rey (G3) at Santa Anita and a Grade 2 placing in 2019. He has accrued lifetime earnings just shy of a half million dollars for breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, who have owned Ward ‘n Jerry for all 33 lifetime starts.

Bobby’s Alibi completes the field. The Faith Taylor trainee was fifth home in the El Dorado Shooter Stakes sprinting and tries the two-turn game for the first time in a couple years. Robert Jones owns the son of Curlin to Mischief.

The McCann’s Mojave is named after the California-bred millionaire owned and bred by Santa Anita Publicity Director Mike Willman. At Golden Gate, McCann’s Mojave won the Grade 3 All American and Grade 3 Berkeley in 2007 and 2008, respectfully. He was victorious in the Sunshine Millions Classic in 2007, The California Cup Classic in 2005, and the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders Cup Handicap in 2004. The son of Memo won seven stakes in a 7-year career, with five other lifetime wins. His career earnings read $1,513,565.

Nine races are on the docket this Saturday at Golden Gate, with first post at 1:45 PM.

Race 7 on Saturday (The $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta)

#1 Ward ‘n Jerry (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Steve Specht…Morning line odds of 6-1)

#2 Jimmy Blue Jeans (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis…5-2)

#3 Crazy Dreams (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…9-5)

#4 American Farmer (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…8-5)

#5 Bobby’s Alibi (Alexander Chavez…Faith Taylor…10-1)


3-year-old gelding Clovisconnection never lost in a pair of sprints as a 2-year-old last year. The California-bred son of Vronsky broke the maiden in his career debut on October 2 and returned a little less than a month and a half later to win the Golden Nugget Stakes. Not a bad way to kick off a career, eh?

After setting blistering fast fractions in his route debut, the Gold Rush Stakes, Clovisconnection tired in the final furlong and hit the line fifth best. The race was won by Santa Anita stakes winner Passarando, with eventual El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos rounding out the exacta.

After the route try, trainer Blaine Wright opted to give Clovisconnection time off.

“He needed a little break after his last start. He got 30 days to relax, put some weight on, and fill out a bit,” said Wright. “There will be some good races later in the spring and summer for him. We’re right on schedule.

I knew it was a trap to throw him in that route race,” continued Wright. “It’s hard to properly train a horse in just [3 weeks] for the changes we asked him to adapt to [going from a sprint to a route, going up against more seasoned horses, etc.]. I think he’ll be a solid router.”

Clovisconnection returns with five timed morning works-a half mile drill and four 5-furlong trials-and begins his 2023 campaign in the featured sixth race on Friday, a first level allowance at six furlongs.

“He galloped out six furlongs the other morning in 1:14,” said Wright of his most recent morning workout. “He’s acting like he’s feeling good. I’m really satisfied with how he’s working. It’s a good race on Friday. [Talk About Autism] is an up-and-comer. Clovis needs to run well to win.”

Talk About Autism, the morning line favorite in fact, has racked off back-to-back starter allowance wins while earning strong speed figures. The son of Raised a Secret is trained by white-hot Sammy Calvario. Purchased by owner Johnny Taboada for $2,500, the Washington bred has won 3 of 4 lifetime starts with career purse earnings of $35,820.

Trainer Victor Trujillo saddles two entrants in the sixth race on Friday. Piper’s Causeway was a $20,000 claiming winner against state-breds on February 11 and tries allowance company for the first time. Earlier in the year, the son of Point Piper was a decisive victor against a starter allowance group. Stablemate Idaho Once was an open length winner against maiden special weight foes at Sacramento last summer and returned to finish second behind Passarando in a first level allowance sprint on September 3. Like Clovisconnection, Idaho Once makes his 3-year-old debut in Friday’s sixth race. He sports two fast workouts amongst a steady series of morning drills leading up to this race.

King Adrock moves from Southern California conditioner Luis Mendez’s stable to the barn of Reid France at Golden Gate. After a first-out win at Keeneland as a young 2-year-old in April, King Adrock failed to be competitive in a pair of stakes races. Following a fourth month layoff, he returned in January and won a 1,000-yard sprint against allowance company at the nighttime Los Alamitos meet. He has since finished off the board in two other allowance races.

First time starter Egon faces a tough task ahead of him. A first-time starter in against proven winners, the other Reid France trainee drilled the second fastest of seven works recorded at the six-furlong distance on March 4. As a yearling, Egon failed to meet his reserve at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale when potential buyers reached a high bid of $350,000. By Ghostzapper, Egon is out the Grade 2 winner Nashoba’s Gold, who herself is a half sibling to three-time Grade I winner Nashoba’s Key. Egon races for owner/breeder Williamson Racing LLC and picks up the services of leading rider Assael Espinoza.

8 races kick off a 3-day race week at Golden Gate. First post time is later than usual on Friday at 2:15 PM.

Race 6 on Friday (First level allowance for 3-year-olds at six furlongs)

#1 Idaho Once (Jockey Santos Rivera…Trainer Victor Trujillo…Morning line odds of 6-1)

#2 Piper’s Causeway (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo…7-2)

#3 Clovisconnection (Kevin Radke…Blaine Wright…3-1)

#4 King Adrock (Armando Ayuso…Reid France…5-1)

#5 Talk About Autism (Cristobal Herrera…Sammy Calvario…9-5)

#6 Egon (Assael Espinoza…Reid France…6-1)


2021 Grade I Pacific Classic winner Tripoli has competed over dirt and turf. He has yet to train or race over a synthetic surface. That changes this weekend, when Tripoli competes on Sunday in Race 5, an open allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on the Tapeta.

A son of Kitten’s Joy owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Tripoli has been trained throughout his 22-race career by John Sadler. Since his last start, Tripoli has trained in Southern California under Sadler’s conditioning program before Sadler ultimately decided to ship his Grade 1 winner north for Sunday’s race. In the days leading up to his Sunday run, he trains and competes under the care of local conditioner Andy Mathis and his team.

So far, Tripoli has earned $924,460, with 4 wins, 4 seconds and 3 third place finishes. Leading up to his Golden Gate debut, he exits stakes company. In January, he crossed the wire fifth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes. His last race in 2022 resulted in a fourth-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the $200,000 Zia Park Championship at Zia Park in New Mexico. Local rider Armando Ayuso has the call aboard the 6-year-old horse.

One of the four entrants Tripoli must beat is local contender Lammas, winner of the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap in November. Since then, the European bred has lost as the favorite twice at this level: a subpar fourth place finish on January 15 and a neck loss to Crazy Dreams one month later. The aforementioned rival is the second choice on the morning line in the $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes on Saturday.

Like Lammas, the Tim McCanna trained Long Lance was defeated in his two most recent afternoon appearances as the off-odds favorite. Both efforts, however, were very respectable. On January 14, he finished second behind McCann’s Mojave Stakes morning line favorite American Farmer and earned a career high 92 Beyer speed figure for the effort. In his most recent start, Long Lance was second home behind Southern California invader Mr. Impossible.

Seattle Bold makes his first start off a $32,000 claim for a new ownership group and trainer Steve Sherman. Kicking off his 2023 after a five-and-a-half-month layoff last time out, the son of Bold Chieftain placed fourth in a sprint race. He gets back to the route game on Sunday-something he has had success at in the past. As a 3-year-old, Seattle Bold was the runner up in the two-turn Silky Sullivan and Alcatraz Stakes. Both efforts were on the turf.

Completing the field is Harmon, third behind Crazy Dreams and Lammas on February 19. Although he has run well on dual surfaces, 6 of 8 lifetime wins for Harmon have come over the Golden Gate Tapeta main track.

Sunday’s 9 races complete a 3-day race week. First post is 1:45 PM.

Race 5 on Sunday (Open allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on Tapeta)

#1 Tripoli (Jockey Armando Ayuso…Trainer Andy Mathis)

#2 Harmon (William Antongeorgi III…Monty Meier)

#3 Lammas (Kevin Radke…Manny Badilla)

#4 Long Lance (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna)

#5 Seattle Bold (Evin Roman…Steve Sherman)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 1: Jaycee (New trainer Simon Hobson…new owner Amy Hobson)

Race 3: Heat N Reheat (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)

Race 6: Two Twelve (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables)

Race 7: Baby Frankie (Jose Puentes…Luciano Medina)


Race 1: Kitten Calls (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)

Race 3: Alexander’s Dream (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)

Race 3: Holiday Hustle (Tim McCanna…Pat LePley)

Race 6: I’m Dr O (Owner/Trainer Sammy Calvario)



Race 1: Dad Bod (Jack Steiner…Gary and Deborah Lusk)

Race 1: Pollo d’Oro (Jamey Thomas…Lamonte Isom)

FINISH LINES: Assael Espinoza continues to lead the way in the jockey standings with 44 wins, 14 more than Armando Ayuso and Alexander Chavez, both tied for second…Jonathan Wong has the most wins out of any trainer at the current meeting with 33 victories. Isidro Tamayo sits in second place with 22 trips to the winner’s circle…Always Seeking and Carolina Mia, the one-two finishers in an open allowance sprint race on Sunday, are listed as probables for the Camilla Urso Stakes on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday, April 29…Last year’s Camilla Urso winner Sadie Bluegrass worked 3 furlongs on March 12, her fourth workout of the year. She has not raced since an off the board finish at Del Mar in July…Along with the McCann’s Mojave Stakes on Saturday, Race 5 is a salty second level allowance for filly and mare routers at one mile. Miss America Stakes winner Tiz an Edventure draws the rail for trainer Jack Steiner and runs against five others. Among them is Trojan Clubhouse, seeking her eighth win in a row for trainer Reid France. Others entered are the Manny Badilla trained pair of Madeira Wine and Signorina Merisi, and the Steve Sherman trained duo of Rev Ree and Undisturbed$75,842 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager heading into Friday’s 8-race card. The Golden Pick Six begins in Race 3 on Friday.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Wednesday, March 8, 2023


Golden Gate Fields track officials announced late Monday morning that the decision has been made to move the Friday, March 10 live race card to Thursday, March 9 out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with industry stakeholders. The national weather service is forecasting high winds and heavy rain for the Bay Area on Friday.

8 races are on the program for the now-Thursday live race card at Golden Gate. First post time remains at 12:45 PM. Santa Anita Park, also running on Thursday, has an 8-race card with first post at 12:30 PM. With both California tracks in play on Thursday, the Golden Hour Double and Late Pick 4 wagers will be offered.


Sent off at an overlay price of 13-1 last Saturday at Santa Anita, 5-year-old gelding Stilleto Boy stalked the pace before outkicking Grade I winners Proxy and Defunded to win the 2023 edition of the illustrious Santa Anita Handicap. Stilleto Boy, given a masterful ride by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, won the $500,000 contest by a neck.

On Sunday afternoon, Stilleto Boy had already occupied a van and was traveling along the I-5 freeway back to Golden Gate Fields, where he has been training since the fall. As a 4-year-old last year, Stilleto Boy trained at Santa Anita and Del Mar. Trainer Ed Moger Jr., who purchased Stilleto Boy for his brother, owner Steve Moger, for $420,000 as a 3-year-old, hauled Stilleto Boy to and from ‘the Great Race Place’ himself.

Along with Stilleto Boy, the Moger trained pair of Chase the Chaos and Tarantino raced on Big Cap Day and were back home at Golden Gate by Sunday evening. El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos was a non-threatening seventh against a tough field in the Grade 2, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds while Tarantino, who raced in a second level allowance on the turf, finished second. Both will regroup at Golden Gate before their next starts are determined. Reported by Santa Anita’s Victor Ryan, Stilleto Boy could make his next start in either the $1 million, Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 22 at Oaklawn Park or the $1 million, Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on June 10 at Belmont Park.


2022 Oak Tree Sprint Stakes winner Cool Mountain Lad makes his first start of the year in the featured fourth race on Saturday, a second level allowance for older sprinters. The five and one-half furlong contest drew a field of six. Respected by horsemen and fans alike at Golden Gate, the consistent 5-year-old son of Unionize has placed in the top 3 spots in 15 of his 20 lifetime starts.

Cool Mountain Lad, whose most recent trip to the winner’s circle came at Golden Gate on September 2, took time off after a pair of off-the-board finishes against stakes company. The last time he raced, he finished about 3 lengths behind Top Harbor in the Oakland Stakes on November 19. Trainer Victor Trujillo has prepped Cool Mountain Lad for his comeback run with five morning workouts.

One can easily find legit contenders signed up to tackle Cool Mountain Lad in Race 4 on Saturday. Trainer Tim McCanna saddles the two inside runners: Rager and Unraptured. Rager ran a very respectable race when placing second behind Star Racer, who has as good of form as any sprinter in the Bay Area right now. A similar effort from Rager would make him a major threat in Saturday’s fourth race. Like Cool Mountain Lad, Unraptured makes his first start of the year. In his last afternoon appearance, Unraptured finished third behind Cool Mountain Lad. The son of Uncaptured has always been well regarded by his connections and has competed in stakes races at Golden Gate and Woodbine Racecourse in the past.

Southern California invader Code Duello flew home from another zip code to win a first level allowance race at Santa Anita on New Years Eve. He returned five weeks later and ran fourth as the favorite in a second level allowance turf sprint, also at Santa Anita. The Craig Dollase trainee tries competing over a synthetic track for the first time and picks up the services of local rider Evin Roman.

War Games has won at this level before but finished off the board in his last two races at the condition. The Cliff Delima trainee is expected to be on the lead. C’Mon Man makes his first start off a $25,000 claim by trainer Jonathan Wong and takes a bump up in class while cutting back in distance.

9 races made the Saturday overnight. First post is 12:45. Healthy field sizes comprise the second half of the card. Race 6, which kicks off the Golden Gate Late Pick 4, drew a salty field. The list of contenders includes stakes placed Kiwi’s Dream, stakes winners Nolde and Our Silver Oak, allowance winners Black Caspian and Memo Daddy, and the Ed Moger Jr. trained pair of I’m Dr. O and Love Candy. Race 8, a first level allowance for filly and mare routers, drew a close to full field led by Southern California shipper Agreetodisagree and locals Momma Mocca, Naughty Nadine, and Vronsky Feint. Race 8 is the second leg of the Golden Hour Late Pick 4. The last leg of both the Golden Hour Late Pick 4 and Golden Hour Double is Race 9 at Golden Gate: a maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies. A full field of 12 are entered.

Race 4 (Second level allowance for 4-year-olds and up at five and a half furlongs)

#1 Rager (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Tim McCanna)

#2 Unruptured (Armando Ayuso…Tim McCanna)

#3 Code Duello (Evin Roman…Craig Dollase)

#4 C’Mon Man (Edwin Gonzalez…Jonathan Wong)

#5 Cool Mountain Lad (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo)

#6 War Games (Alexander Chavez…Cliff Delima)


Below is a list of claims from last week.


Race 1: Party Foul (New trainer Jonathan Wong…new owner MJVET Stables)

Race 2: Mystic Tbilisi (Reid France…Kendal King)

Race 4: Can’thelpfallin (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)

Race 4: Sherilinda (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)

Race 8: Practical Bid (Sammy Calvario…Huntertown Farm LLC and Calvario)


Race 2: Auspicious Style (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)

Race 3: Stanford Miss (Jack Steiner…Joe E. Burke)

Race 4: Conquest Rocks (Reid France…RKJ Stable)


Race 1: Snow Hill (Owner/Trainer Isidro Tamayo)

Race 7: Daniella Bella (Guillermo Preciado…Danuario Ramirez Garcia)

Race 9: Berolijean (Owner/Trainer Felix Rondan)

Race 9: Night Proof (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)

FINISH LINES: 3-year-old filly Bulletproof Too makes her career debut in Race 9 on Saturday for KMN Racing LLC and Victory Rose Thoroughbreds. She is a full sibling to three-time stakes winner Bulletproof One and stakes placed sprinter In Our A. Cristobal Herrera rides for trainer Ellen Jackson$59,605 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six on Thursday…Nominations close on Thursday at midnight for the inaugural $75,000 McCann’s Mojave for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and up at one mile and an eighth on Tapeta. The race will be run next Saturday, March 18…Assael Espinoza leads all riders in the jockey standings while Jonathan Wong continues to hold the lead in the trainer standings…Simulcast wagering will be offered at Golden Gate on Friday for horseplayers in the Bay area who wish to watch and wager with us on track.

Golden Gate Fields Moves Friday Live Card Card To Thursday Citing Projected Wet Weather


Berkeley, Calif. (Monday, March 6, 2023)-Golden Gate Fields track officials have announced late Monday morning that the decision has been made to move the Friday, March 10 live race card to Thursday, March 9 out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with industry stakeholders. The national weather service is forecasting high winds and heavy rain for the Bay Area on Friday.

8 races are on the program for the now-Thursday live race card at Golden Gate. First post time remains at 12:45 PM. Santa Anita Park, also running on Thursday, has an 8-race card with first post at 12:30 PM. With both tracks in play on Thursday, the Golden Hour Double and Late Pick 4 wagers will be offered.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, March 3, 2023


Earlier this week, trainer Ed Moger Jr. watched the Bay Area rain fall at his Sunny Creek Farm in Galt, California. The good news is sunshine is expected later in the week, and Moger hopes the light will shine bright on his three stable stars come Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita.

On Saturday, Moger saddles El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos in the Grade II $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, Tarantino in a second level allowance, and Stilleto Boy in the $500,000 Grade I Santa Anita Handicap. All three horses will make the 8-hour van ride to Santa Anita on Thursday, with Moger at the steering wheel using his own trailer.

The first one to the plate will be Chase the Chaos, winning of the El Camino Real Derby on February 11 at Golden Gate. The son of Astern competes in Race 6 on Saturday at Santa Anita, the Grade II San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile and a sixteenth on dirt. The San Felipe awards 50 Kentucky Derby points to the winner, 20 points for second, 15 for third, 10 for fourth and 5 for fifth. With the El Camino Real Derby victory, Chase the Chaos earned 10 Kentucky Derby points and an all-expenses paid, free berth into the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness. Chase the Chaos has worked twice since the El Camino Real; a half mile drill on February 20 and a five-furlong work five mornings later.

“Chase the Chaos is doing really well,” said Moger Jr. “He just doesn’t have a bad day, that horse.

He came back to the barn [after the El Camino Real Derby] like he hadn’t even run. He wasn’t all out to win-I don’t think. [Jockey] Armando [Ayuso] only used the stick once.”

There are obstacles Chase the Chaos may have to overcome. In the San Felipe, he will be racing over a projected fast dirt track for the first time. His only run over a dirt track came in his career debut at Canterbury, though the surface was muddy due to overnight rain. He ended up running second that day. Chase the Chaos also draws the rail in a large ,11-horse field in the San Felipe; with his off-the-pace style, he will receive dirt kickback, something he does not encounter over Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface. Moger is not concerned.

“When he ran in the mud at Canterbury, he split horses and barreled right through it,” said Moger. “Things don’t really faze him. I don’t think the track will be a problem for him. It’s hard to win from too far off the lead at Santa Anita, but there’s a large field in this race, so I’m imaging he’ll get a pace to run at.”

5-year-old horse Tarantino faces a salty group of second level foes going a mile and an eighth on the turf in Race 7 on the Santa Anita Saturday card. A multiple Grade 3 placed router, Tarantino was last seen running poorly at this condition in a Tapeta event on January 14. Armando Ayuso, the regular rider for Chase the Chaos, also picks up the mount on Tarantino.

“He was training so well before the race,” said Moger. “He wasn’t supposed to run that bad. He’s better than that, for sure. I don’t know if he didn’t like the synthetic…I don’t know what happened. He’s training really well.”


The last race of the day, Race 12, is the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap for 4-year-olds and up at one mile and a quarter on dirt. Moger tightens the girth of Stilleto Boy, who comes off a third-place finish in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Among the 10 competitors that the son of Shackleford faces is Defunded, a Bob Baffert trainee who placed second in the Pegasus, 2022 Big Cap runner up finisher Warrant, Grade I winner Proxy, and recent San Pasqual Stakes winner Newgrange.

“He’s just a good horse,” said Moger of Stilleto Boy. “He does everything you ask of him.”

In the Pegasus, Stilleto Boy was gunned out of the gate by jockey Mike Smith. He set the pace before relinquishing the lead to race winner Art Collector and missing second to Defunded. Stilleto Boy breaks from post four and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.

“Going a mile and a quarter, sometimes horses aren’t sent as hard out of the gate,” said Moger. “There’s a quarter mile to the first turn in this race. We had to get out of the gate and get over at Gulfstream because it’s a quick run to the first turn there. We should be forwardly placed. I’d be happy to be on the lead but if someone wants to go real fast, we can stalk…that would be fine too. He always tries hard.”

If Moger Jr. were to win any of these races, we all know one thing. The Paddock Pub on Level 1 will be full of cheers and jubilation.


Shortly after a gate to wire, two turn maiden special weight win on February 3, 3-year-old filly Vintage was moved to the barn of trainer O.J Jauregui by co-owners Jason Hall and Stephen Baker. Vintage, who has always been well regarded by her connections, went off as the favorite in her maiden victory.

“We’re still learning about her,” said Jauregui. “She’s had a couple works for us. She’s a good-looking filly and she travels well.”

Vintage faces proven winners on Friday afternoon in the signature race of the day, a first level allowance for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Tapeta. This will be Vintage’s second career route try. Besides the maiden win, her only other lifetime start came in a sprint race on January 7 when finishing in midfield after a tardy break from the gate.

“I think she can rate if she needs to,” said Jauregui when asked about his new filly’s versatility. “She doesn’t overdo herself out there. She’s a pretty relaxed filly. I think you can pretty much do what you want with her, and she’ll do it.”

Vintage faces five other rivals in Friday’s seventh race. The likely post time favorite will be the Keith Desormeaux trained Naughty Lottie, dropping out of stakes company. The filly by Midnight Lute was last seen finishing two lengths behind the winner in the Sweet Life Stakes on turf at Santa Anita. Her lone career win came in a dirt sprint at Louisiana Downs. That day, she won by 15 lengths for trainer Keith Desormeaux, who still conditions.

Bourbon Glaze was a decisive claiming winner at the $12,500 level. After stalking a moderate pace, the daughter of Union Rags cruised to the lead and lengthened stride nicely, hitting the wire four lengths clear of the runner up finisher. She makes her first start off a claim for trainer Blaine Wright.

Smiling Lady is the only entrant in this field who has won at this level once before. On December 4, the Andy Mathis conditioned racer opened a big lead on the backstretch and kept rolling, finishing the race over four lengths ahead of the second-place finisher. She freshened up two and a half months for her next start, a race at this same condition in which she went to the lead early, set a wicked fast pace, and faded to the back of the pack in the final quarter mile. She looks to rebound and duplicate her December effort.

Like Vintage, Black Zabat has only routed once. Unlike the aforementioned runner, Black Zabat has not won at a two-turn distance. After maiden claiming and starter allowance wins sprinting, Black Zabat attempted to stalk the pace in her first career route try but had had enough by the far turn run. She seeks to improve with a route race under her belt.

Rounding out the field is the stretch-out sprinter Bob’s Vai, who won a starter allowance on January 29 and goes “long” for the first time on Friday for trainer Faith Taylor.

8 races make up the Friday program at Golden Gate. First post on Friday is 1:15 PM PT.

Race 7 on Friday (First level allowance for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Tapeta)

#1 Bourbon Glaze (Jockey William Antongeorgi III…Trainer Blaine Wright…morning line odds of 6-1)

#2 Smiling Lady (Armando Ayuso…Andy Mathis…7-2)

#3 Bob’s Vai (Adrian Escobedo…Faith Taylor…8-1)

#4 Vintage (Evin Roman…O.J. Jauregui…9-2)

#5 Black Zabat (Alexander Chavez…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#6 Naughty Lottie (Assael Espinoza…Keith Desormeaux…6-5)


Fresh from Mahoning Valley Racecourse in Youngstown, Ohio, young Yarmarie Correa rode Zaragoza to a third-place finish in Race 4 on Saturday, her first ever ride at Golden Gate Fields. Correa is represented by Brent Harmon, who also hustles book for Alexander Chavez, currently third in the jockey standings. Correa is here to stay, says Harmon.

“It’s going to take some time,” said Harmon. “There are a lot of riders here, so there are a lot of people with established business. She’s working horses-she had eight workers on Sunday. That’s a good thing. I just need to get her out there and get her exposed to everybody. Plenty of trainers have shown interest just watching her videos.”

Correa is best known for being an Eclipse Awards finalist for top apprentice jockey in 2020. That year, she won the most races out of any apprentice rider in the country with 117 trips to the winner’s circle. She also won the riding title at Thistledown that same season. Her career stats read 241 lifetime wins with 242 second place finishes and 223 third place rides. Career earnings list $4,285,782.

“I like her attitude and her confidence,” said Harmon. “She’s very humble. She’s grateful to be in California. But she carries a lot of confidence. She doesn’t seem to be intimidated by anybody or anything. That’s what got my attention right out of the gate. When I met [Alexander] Chavez, he carried the same type of confidence.

She can ride,” concluded Harmon. “Her riding ability doesn’t concern me at all. She looks good on a horse and she’s strong. It’s just about getting her on good horses.”


Three runners who finished off the board in the El Camino Real Derby last month return on Saturday in the featured eighth race of the day, a first level allowance for 3-year-olds at one mile on the Tapeta. Facing easier company, each runner hopes to rebound off their efforts in the El Camino Real Derby.

Happy Does had won a pair of allowance races before a last place finish in the El Camino Real Derby. Two starts ago, he finished ahead of Mother’s Prayer and Sea Dog, both who are also entered in this Saturday’s eighth race. His best race, like the aforementioned first place finish, can win on Saturday.

In Honor of Autism was a no-show in the El Camino Real. One can be forgiving. He was making his first start going farther than 6 furlongs that day and, all things considered, was outclassed at off odds of 32-1. He may be able to improve in his second start going “long” and, like the others coming out of the El Camino Real, receives class relief against this easier group. Before the El Camino Real Derby, In Honor of Autism was a multiple starter allowance winner, indicating he has a chance to be legitimately competitive at the first level allowance condition.

Sea Dog ran better than the other two aforementioned foes in the El Camino Real, only finishing four lengths behind race winner Chase the Chaos. The O.J. Jauregui trainee earned a career high Beyer speed figure (76) for his El Camino Real Derby effort and continues to improve with race experience.

Others set to tackle the El Camino Real Derby three include Mother’s Prayer, who freshens up after a second place finish behind Happy Does on January 21. Two starts ago, the Steve Specht trainee finished ahead of O B’s in a January 6 starter allowance race. O B’s, sent off as the odds on 2-5 favorite that day, had just run third behind multiple stakes winner Passarando and eventual El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos in the Gold Rush Stakes. He “bounced” out of the Gold Rush effort, finishing third well behind Mother’s Prayer. He gets a couple months off and returns to the races with a steady series of morning drills on the worktab.

Maiden winners De La Luna and Trinidad complete the field. The former broke his maiden in a two-turn event on January 21. 19 days earlier, the son of Tiznow lost to Trinidad in a January 2 maiden special weight.  Trinidad has run once since the maiden breaker: an off the board finish sprinting. He gets back to the route game, something he has done his best work at, on Saturday.

Live racing on Saturday begins at 1:15 PM. 9 races comprise the overnight.

Race 7 on Friday (First level allowance for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Tapeta)

#1 De La Luna (Jockey Kevin Radke…Trainer Quinn Howey…morning line odds of 7-2 )

#2 Trinidad (Silvio Amador…Roger Hanson…10-1)

#3 Mother’s Prayer (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht…5-2)

#4 Happy Does (Santos Rivera…Felix Rondan …9-2)

#5 In Honor of Autism (Evin Roman…Jonathan Wong…5-1)

#6 Sea Dog (Francisco Monroy…O.J. Jauregui…6-1)

#7 O B’s (Irving Orozco…Bill McLean…6-1)



Race 1: Many Markets (New Owner/Trainer Dan Franko)

Race 7: American Great (New trainer Monty Meier…New owner Michael Bean)

Race 8: C’Mon Man (Jonathan Wong…Madden Racing)


Race 1: Luck Is Golden (Monty Meier…Brown Cattle Co. and William Branch)


Race 1: Grigoro (Jonathan Wong…Madden Racing)

Race 1: Rose Princess (Ellen Jackson…Alberto Ruvalcaba)

Race 3: Seattle Bold (Steve Sherman…Jimmy Rex Robinson Family Trust, Randy Exelby, Tom Mayo, and Steve Sherman)

Race 4: Miss Arrowhead (Dan Franko…Carl Gregoire)

Race 5: Kitty’s Candy (O.J. Jauregui…Danny Eplin)

Race 5: Miracle in Motion (Blaine Wright…Tracy and Paula Henline)

Race 5: Tiger Queen (Steve Sherman…Zvika Akin and Sherman) 

FINISH LINES: 9 races complete our racing week on Sunday. First post is 12:45 PM…The marquee race of the day on Sunday is Race 8, a first level allowance for fillies and mares at 5.5 furlongs…Assael Espinoza continues to lead the way in the jockey standings while Jonathan Wong is also ahead in the trainer standings…Just over $41,000 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six Jackpot wager into Friday. The Rolling Super High Five wager also has a carryover of $1,883.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, February 23, 2023


There was always something attractive about now 8-year-old gelding America Great, a son of Ghostzapper out of the Dynaformer mare Formal Affair. As a yearling in 2016, America Great was purchased for a whopping $650,000 by owner Vern Dickman.

Dickman and trainer Jeff Bonde had to be patient. Very patient. Several unspecified hiccups resulted in the connections putting a hold on America Great’s racing career. After a long, multi-year journey to the races, America Great made his first lifetime start at Golden Gate in July of 2021. He sat close to the pace and powered home for a convincing win against $16,000 maiden claiming sprints.

Following the maiden win, America Great was unable to get back to the winner’s circle in a series of runs against starter allowance company. A drop in class was needed. On February 6, 2021, Bonde put America Great in for a claiming tag, and he easily defeated a field of sprinters as the odds-on favorite. Bonde and Dickman traded a horse for a win. Trainer Isidro Tamayo and owner Johnny Taboada claimed the bay gelding for the $12,500 tag.

“When we claimed him, we looked at his breeding and thought he’d be better going [two turns],” said Tamayo. “He had only run once routing and didn’t run bad at all.”

It’s been a fruitful claim for Tamayo and Taboada. To date, America Great’s form is better than ever. He has steadily climbed the last class ladder and earned just under $100,000 in one calendar-year for his connections.

In his two most recent starts, America Great picked up the win check in a pair of first level allowance races: one at a mile and a quarter and the other, most recently on February 3, traveling the flat mile distance. Tamayo credits an equipment change as one of the major reasons for America Great’s form.

“We changed his blinkers,” said Tamayo. “That seemed to really help him. I talked about it with [jockey] Irving Orozco. He was wearing full cup blinkers and he was sort of waiting on horses. So, we put cheater blinkers on him, which almost eliminates that cup, and he got more competitive. If he ran without blinkers, he’d probably be fine, honestly.”

America Great cuts back to a new distance in Friday’s featured seventh race: a first level allowance at one mile and an eighth on the Tapeta. Not surprisingly, America Great is tabbed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Irving Orozco has been aboard for all but one start since moving to the Tamayo barn and will be back in the saddle on Friday.

“[America Great] is feeling really good,” said Tamayo. “He’s done well for us.”

Among the main contenders challenging America Great this Friday include Secret Club and Ward ‘n Jerry, the second and third place finishers in the February 3 race won by America Great. Ottawa Fire was claimed out of a $20,000 claiming victory by trainer Jonathan Wong two starts ago and suffered a wide trip in his most recent start at this level. He re-unites with pilot Assael Espinoza, who was aboard for two career wins earlier in the year but was not atop Ottawa Fire in his most recent afternoon appearance.

First post on an 8-race card this Friday is 1:15 PM.

Race 7 on Friday (First level allowance at one mile and an eighth on Tapeta for 4-year-olds and up)

#1 Big Flame (Jockey Santos Rivera…Trainer Victor Trujillo…8-1 morning line odds)

#2 Ward ‘n Jerry (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht…4-1)

#3 C’Mon Man (William Antongeorgi…Bill McLean…10-1)

#4 Gallant Warren (Hugo Herrera…Tim Bellasis…12-1)

#5 Secret Club (Alejandro Gomez…Ed Moger Jr…6-1)

#6 America Great (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…2-1)

#7 Loafers Boy (Kevin Radke…Leanna Ekstrom…15-1)

#8 Ottawa Fire (Assael Espinoza…Jonathan Wong…3-1)


Per the Daily Racing Form’s Steve Anderson, trainer Ed Moger Jr. is pointing 2023 El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos to the March 4, Grade II $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. The mile and one-sixteenth contest will be Chase the Chaos’s first try over a projected fast dirt surface. Last summer, Chase the Chaos placed second in a maiden race over a sloppy, wet track at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

“I know it’s a huge jump,” Moger told Anderson earlier this week. “We’ll go from synthetic to dirt and we can find out where we’re at.”

Chase the Chaos is expected to face a salty group of entrants in the San Felipe. Impressive maiden winner Geaux Rocket Ride is on schedule to compete for trainer Richard Mandella. Bob Baffert is also expected to have multiple entrants. Like the El Camino Real Derby, the San Felipe awards the top five finishers points to the Kentucky Derby. The winner of the San Felipe picks up 50 Kentucky Derby points, followed by 20 points for the second-place finisher, 15 for third, 10 for fourth, and 5 for fifth.

On Monday morning, Chase the Chaos recorded his first timed workout since the El Camino Real Derby. The Pennsylvania-bred by Astern drilled four furlongs in an easy 50 seconds flat. He’ll have one more workout before shipping to Santa Anita next week.

Also on March 4 at Santa Anita, Moger sends out 5-year-old gelding Stilleto Boy in the $500,000 Grade I Santa Anita Handicap. Stilleto Boy was last seen finishing third in the Pegasus World Cup on January 2. The son of Shackleford has worked twice and, like Chase the Chaos, has one final morning drill before shipping south with his stablemate.


Trainer Manny Badilla had little to say when asked about Signorina Merisi and Topanticipation, his two routers who make up two of the seven runners in Saturday’s featured eighth race, a second level allowance for fillies and mares at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta.

“They’re both doing well in the barn,” said Manny with a nod and a smile. “We’ll go with that.”

As the old phrase goes, ‘Sometimes, no news is good news.’

Signorina Merisi appears on paper as the one likely to get more support in the wagering than her stablemate. A daughter of Caravaggio, Signorina Merisi has won two races to kick off her United States campaign: a decisive maiden special weight win on January 7 and, four weeks later, a first level allowance victory. Signorina Merisi is a perfect 2 for 2 on the Tapeta. She ran eight times on turf when overseas and failed to win. The Great Britain bred was purchased for $20,803 at the Tattersalls Horses in Training sale of 2022 last August in Europe.

Topanticipation, on the other hand, sports polar opposite form. She has only hit the board once in four tries over a synthetic surface. Both career victories came over turf. A Great Britain bred by Mount Nelson, the 6-year-old mare makes her 2023 debut after a handful of losses in England last fall. She makes her first start in the U.S. since being purchased at auction for $25,344 by owners Ron Charles and Sam Gordon, who also campaign Signorina Merisi.

Another new shooter to the Golden Gate Fields second level allowance condition is Dramatizer, who was eased in her last two starts against tougher company in Southern California and ships north for trainer Keith Desormeaux. Her last victory came three starts ago against first level allowance foes on turf at Santa Anita. Armando Ayuso takes the reins for the first time.

Rev Ree and Shezaghost finished 1-2 at this level on January 27. Rev Ree, sent off at 8-1 odds, got the better of 12-1 price Shezaghost. They clash again and appear as a formful pair for their local connections. Rev Ree is trained by Steve Sherman, who also sends out Undisturbed. The grey/roan mare was last seen finishing fifth on January 27 and makes her second start off a two and a half month freshening. Campaigned in Kentucky last year, Undisturbed was a half-length short of winning the Ellis Turf Distaff in July.

Stakes placed Clockstrikestwelve finished fourth in the same January 27 event and was sent off as the 2-1 post time favorite. A deep closer, the daughter of Breeders Cup winner New Years Day will attempt to do her best work in the later portions of the race. Late last year, she placed third in the Miss America Stakes while suffering a rough trip.

9 races comprise the Saturday overnight: first post is 1:15 PM.

Race 8 on Saturday (Second level allowance at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up)

#1 Rev Ree (Jockey Julien Couton…Trainer Steve Sherman…6-1 morning line odds)

#2 Clockstrikestwelve (Brayan Pena…Jonathan Wong…3-1)

#3 Topanticipation (Irving Orozco…Manny Badilla…10-1)

#4 Shezaghost (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario…8-1)

#5 Dramatizer (Armando Ayuso…Keith Desormeaux…4-1)

#6 Undisturbed (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…5-1)

#7 Signorina Merisi (Assael Espinoza…Manny Badilla…2-1)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 4: Ecologist (New trainer Sammy Calvario…new owner Johnny Taboada)

Race 6: Excessive Cat (Owner/Trainer Jesus Uranga)

Race 7: Imperial Creed (Sammy Calvario…Huntertown Farm LLC and Calvario)

Race 7: Scherzo (Owner/Trainer Sammy Calvario)


Race 2: Gator Shining (Cesar DeAlba…Balderas Ranch LLC)

Race 3: Danny Michael (Isidro Tamayo…Leon Scott)

Race 3: Luck Is Golden (Jonathan Wong…Madden Racing)


Race 6: Hans Gruber (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)

Race 6: Roister (Mark Glatt…Ron Glatt and Mark Glatt)

Race 6: Sugar Beets (Monty Meier…Brown Cattle Co. and William Branch)

Race 7: Supersonic Flyer (Guillermo Preciado…Danuario Ramirez Garcia)

Race 8: How About a Fresca (Sammy Calvario…Yolanda and Sammy Calvario)


Race 1: Big Stick (Miguel Ramirez…Al Pitchko)

Race 7: Redstwirlingdancer (Blaine Wright…Blaine D. Wright Racing Stable LLC)

Race 9: Chris Fix (Guillermo Preciado…Preciado and Jerry Puertas)

Race 9: Zippy Baby (Victor Trujillo…James McIntyre and Colin Murray) 

FINISH LINES: Per trainer Isidro Tamayo, 4-year-old California-bred gelding Crazy Dreams is pointing towards the inaugural $75,000 McCanna’s Mojave Stakes at 9 furlongs on Saturday, March 18 after an upset victory over Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap winner Lammas last Sunday…2022 California Oaks winner Anthony’s Cleopatra is back on the work tab for trainer Tim McCanna. The daughter of Constitution has not raced since an off the board finish in the Grade 2 San Clemente at Del Mar over the summer. She sports six workouts, including a pair of five-furlong drills…9 races are on the docket on Sunday afternoon. First post is 1:15. Race 8 is the signature race of the day: a first level allowance for routers at one mile. A full field of 10 is entered…In the nightcap on Sunday (Race 9), popular trainer Graham Motion sends out 4-year-old filly Sareeha in a maiden special weight…Santa Anita Park has canceled their three live race cards this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday owing to projected unforeseen poor weather conditions. With that, Golden Gate Fields is the only California thoroughbred racetrack in play during the afternoons this week…$4,134 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager on Friday.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, February 16, 2023


This Saturday, three-time stakes winner Top Harbor makes his 2023 debut in the feature race of the four-day race week at Golden Gate, the $75,000 EL Dorado Shooter Stakes for California-bred or sired sprinters at six furlongs. Top Harbor also seeks to win his second El Dorado Shooter, having won the 2021 rendition as a 3-year-old facing older rivals.

Top Harbor was last seen in November defeating open company in the Oakland Stakes on November 19. That day, he stalked a slow pace and powered home for a three-quarter length victory. He was making his second start off a layoff, having just been seen finishing as the runner up behind Psycho Dar in the Harris Farm Stakes at Fresno. Psycho Dar finished third in the Oakland-his most recent afternoon appearance.

Trainer Tim McCanna is confident 3-time stakes winner Top Harbor can get the job done this Saturday.

“He’s been working great,” said Tim. “He’s a really nice horse. We tried to get him in some races here, but the races never filled up. So, we had to train him into this race. He’s extra ready to run.”

Top Harbor possesses the genes to be a good racehorse. His mom, Reba Is Tops, was a 5-time stakes winner herself who earned $464,267 in a thirty-race career. She was victorious in fourteen of those races. Top Harbor’s sire, the late Harbor the Gold, was one of the leading stallions in the Pacific Northwest for many years.

Although Top Harbor’s best effort certainly gives him a good chance to visit the winners circle again, he’s far from a cinch. Trainer Sammy Calvario sends out a strong 1-2 punch in stakes winners Psycho Dar and Ultimate Bango. Grey gelding Psycho Dar hasn’t competed since a third-place finish in the Oakland. His 3-length victory in the Harris Farms Stakes at Fresno was a career best. Ultimate Bango makes his second start off a three-and-a-half-month layoff. In his most recent start, he rallied wide but was out finished late in the game by stakes winner Rager.

“Ultimate Bango ran well last time,” said Calvario. “He grabbed a quarter coming out of the gate. That might have hurt his chances a little bit [from winning]. He is ready. Training Psycho Dar into this race was Plan B, but we couldn’t find a race for him. The owner didn’t want him in for a tag if we ran him in a second level allowance for $62,500. He’s had a few works and he’s doing good.”

The Jack Steiner stable has a terrific 21%-win rate with runners making their first start off the claim for the barn. This makes Bettor Trip Nick an intriguing prospect considering Steiner claimed the 6-year-old gelding for $20,000 in his most recent start on January 29. What’s more: Bettor Trip Nick won this race last year. That day, the son of Boat Trip went to the lead, set fast fractions, and gamely held off the runner up finisher in a game effort. After time on the sidelines, Bettor Trip Nick ran very poorly in two consecutive high-level races.

“He’s training really well,” said Steiner. “I’m hoping that $20,000 win gave him some confidence.”

Southern California invader Burnin Turf is likely to garnish heavy support in the wagering. The Dan Blacker trainee had won three races in a row before finishing third, beaten a length to race winner Bran in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes last May at Santa Anita. Burnin Turf makes his first start in over eight months in the El Dorado Shooter and enters the race with a sharp 59 and 3/5-seconds workout leading up to the race. Another Southern California invader, 6-year-old gelding See Through It, has won six races in a row, including a $50,000 sprint stake for mixed breed thoroughbreds and quarter horses at Los Alamitos. He makes his 2023 debut for trainer Milton Pineda.

Other contenders include Highland Ghost, who finished fourth behind Rager and Ultimate Bango in the second level allowance race in January. Jimmy Blue Jeans cuts back from a route to a sprint and has had much success in two-turn races, winning the Snow Chief Stakes as a 3-year-old and finishing as the runner up in the Sam Spear Memorial last summer. He comes off a poor showing in the Joseph T. Grace Stakes on Tapeta in November. Bobby’s Alibi finished off the board in the Oakland Stakes and is projected to be a big price. He completes the field.

9 races comprise the Saturday program. First post is 12:45 PM.

Race 8 on Saturday: the $75,000 EL Dorado Shooter Stakes (for California-bred or sired 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Psycho Dar (Jockey Armando Ayuso…Trainer Sammy Calvario…Morning line odds of 7-2)

#2 See Through It (Brayan Pena…Milton Pineda…8-1)

#3 Burnin Turf (William Antongeorgi III…Dan Blacker…5-2)

#4 Ultimate Bango (Catalino Martinez…Sammy Calvario…6-1)

#5 Bettor Trip Nick (Santos Rivera…Jack Steiner…10-1)

#6 Bobby’s Alibi (Irving Orozco…Faith Taylor…20-1)

#7 Top Harbor (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna…9-2)

#8 Highland Ghost (Edwin Gonzalez…O.J. Jauregui…15-1)

#9 Jimmy Blue Jeans (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis…6-1)


An emphatic winner of the 2023 El Camino Real Derby for 3-year-olds last Saturday, Pennsylvania bred gelding Chase the Chaos is officially on the Kentucky Derby trail. Per the Daily Racing Form’s Steve Anderson, trainer Ed Moger Jr. reported that Chase the Chaos came out of the El Camino Real Derby in good shape and would be supplemented to the Triple Crown nominations list by owners Bill Dory and Adam Ference.

Chase the Chaos, who sat off the pace before rallying down the middle of the track to win the El Camino Real Derby by a length and a half, was not nominated to the Triple Crown races for $600 last month when the initial nomination phase took place. Connections who wish to nominate their 3-year-old to the Triple Crown nominations list in a second phase of “late” nominations must do so by March 27. The cost to supplement is $6,000.

Moger also relayed to Anderson that Chase the Chaos could make his next start in either the $1,000,000 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby on April 8 or the $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes at Turfway Park in Kentucky on March 25. Both races award the winner 100 Kentucky Derby points, 40 points for the second-place finisher, 30 points to third, 20 for fourth and 10 for fifth. With the El Camino Real Derby win, Chase the Chaos picked up 10 Kentucky Derby points and an all-expenses paid, free berth into the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes.

The Santa Anita Derby is run on Santa Anita’s dirt course. Chase the Chaos is by the Medaglia D’Oro stallion Astern, an Australian bred who competed strictly on turf. The dam of Chase the Chaos, the Uncle Mo mare Live the Moment, broke her maiden over a dirt surface by over 10 lengths. Chase the Chaos raced once over a muddy wet dirt track at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, finishing second, and has run exclusively on turf and Tapeta since then. The Jeff Ruby Steaks is run over Turfway’s Tapeta track. Both the Santa Anita Derby and Jeff Ruby Steaks are run at the El Camino Real Derby one mile and an eighth distance.

“We need to get some points somewhere,” Moger told Anderson. “I think he’s that kind of horse. I’ve been thinking he’s a Derby horse.”

Chase the Chaos, a $10,000 weanling purchase at Keeneland in 2020, has earned $123,000 so far for his connections. From six lifetime starts, he has won 3 races, with 2 seconds and 1 third place finish.


The Larry and Marianne Williams homebred Always Seeking has wracked off two consecutive first level allowance wins in her last two races. With that, it’s time for her to step up in class for her toughest assignment yet this Friday: a second level allowance sprint for fillies and mares. With her good recent form in mind, morning line maker Jacob Shephard has tabbed Always Seeking as the 9-5 morning line favorite.

“I was surprised to see her at 9-5,” said Steiner. “She’s doing really well though.”

Always Seeking, who has won four of 10 lifetime starts, earned an 82 Beyer speed figure for a first level allowance win in December. Last month, she won at the aforementioned condition again and received a 79 Beyer. Both speed figures are her top two career best figures.

“We’ve had to work with her,” said Steiner. “She can be a bit temperamental. It’s like she’s always in season. The last month or two, she’s been doing really well both physically and mentally. She’s always had talent, but it just took her a little while to put it all together. She’s got her game face on now.”

A half dozen runners are entered in the featured event on Friday, which goes as Race 5 on an 8-race program. Along with Always Seeking, Luxury Liner is a multiple first level allowance winner that takes the next logical step up in class. Trainer Jonathan Wong sends out a duo of runners: Hiis Reina, who makes her first start of the year after a gate to wire victory at the first level allowance condition last fall, and That’s Amare, who cuts back from a route to a sprint and makes her second start for Wong since moving north from Southern California trainer Phil D’Amato’s stable. Carolina Mia has yet to win over Tapeta in 13 lifetime starts but finished second or third on six of those occasions. She is stakes placed on turf. Code Ribbon has finished behind Always Seeking the last two times they faced off, but Code Ribbon got the better of Always Seeking in a race on September 3. The daughter of Desert Code rounds out the field.

First post on Friday is 12:45 PM.

Race 5 on Friday: Second level allowance (for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at six furlongs)

#1 Hiis Reina (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Jonathan Wong…Morning line odds of 5-2)

#2 Code Ribbon (Catalino Martinez…Jacqui Navarre…6-1)

#3 That’s Amare (Armando Ayuso…Jonathan Wong…8-1)

#4 Always Seeking (William Antongeorgi III…Jack Steiner…9-5)

#5 Carolina Mia (Assael Espinoza…Felix Rondan…5-1)

#6 Luxury Liner (Santos Rivera…Steve Miyadi…7-2)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 3: Noshewon’t (New trainer Ed Moger Jr…new owner Steve Moger)

Race 4: Magical Lady (O.J. Jauregui…Danny Eplin)

Race 8: Mary Walker (Dan Markle…Len Strandley Jr.)


Race 2: Lil Miracle Man (Victor Trujillo…Laurie Syvrud and Trujillo)

Race 9: Lady in a Hurry (Simon Hobson…Peter McGoldrick)

Race 9: Secret Square (D. Wayne Baker…Richard Barton) 


Race 1: Vanisky (Simon Hobson…Amy Hobson)

Race 6: Borkan (Ed Moger Jr…Al Pitchko)

Race 6: Harbor Sky (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables, Hon Cheung Kum and Hsui Mei Tsai)

Race 6: Sproston (Jonathan Wong…Madden Racing and MJVET Stables, Hon Cheung Kum and Hsu Mei Tsai)

Race 7: Miss Ever Ready (Ed Moger Jr…Al Pitchko)

FINISH LINES: Live racing on Sunday begins at 12:45 PM. Trainer Manny Badilla has 7 runners in on the day led by 2022 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap winner Lammas, who competes in Race 4, an open allowance race. The main threat to Lammas appears to be American Farmer, coming off a smashing allowance win against second level allowance foes last month…Also on Sunday, three maiden special weights (Races 1,2, and 4) and a first level allowance (Race 9) comprise a high-quality, nine-race card…2022 Bear Fan Stakes winner Chancery Way ships south and faces four others in the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares. The race is run at six furlongs on dirt. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rides for trainer Jamey Thomas and owners Andy and Rob Smolich…Nine races made the overnight for a Presidents Day Holiday live race card at Golden Gate this Monday. First post is 12:45 PM…$13,098 is carried over into the Rolling Super High five bet for the first race on Friday.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, February 9, 2023


After a maiden special weight victory at two turns on turf at Canterbury Park last summer, Pennsylvania bred gelding Chase the Chaos was moved to the barn of Ed Moger Jr. in California. It didn’t take long for Moger to create an opinion on the horse.

“I’ve liked him since the first time I saw him,” said Moger Jr. “He’s a big, beautiful horse. He’s a really good mover and very athletic.”

Following a runner up finish behind multiple stakes winner Passarando in the Gold Rush Stakes on December 3 for Team Moger, Chase the Chaos returned four weeks later and ran away from a group of first level allowance foes. That day, he sat off a wicked fast pace, blew by his company, and hit the wire seven lengths ahead of runner up finisher Happy Does while geared down at the wire.

“I wasn’t surprised at all by the effort,” said Moger Jr. “He got a really fast pace to run in. That helped him, but he’s a good horse too.”

Chase the Chaos now seeks a free Preakness berth and 10 Kentucky Derby points in the feature race of the day this Saturday: the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby for 3-year-olds at one mile and an eighth. The El Camino Real Derby is one of the most prestigious races in the Bay Area every year and has a rich history that dates back to the 1980’s.

The midpack running Chase the Chaos has received favorable, quick pace scenarios in both the Gold Rush and the December 30 allowance race. This time around, the pace may not be quite as rapid. Moger Jr. feels his gelding is versatile enough to work out a good trip for himself regardless of the fractional times.

“In the mile and an eighth races, sometimes they don’t send as hard as they would going a mile,” said Moger Jr. “If the pace isn’t super-fast, he can lay a little bit closer. I think he’s got versatility. He just needs to get in a good stride and put himself where he’s happy and he should be okay.”

Chase the Chaos is listed at 3-1 on the morning line. Regular rider Armando Ayuso has the call for owners Bill Dory and Adam Ference. 9 races comprise the El Camino Real Derby Day card. First post is 1:15 PM. The El Camino Real Derby goes as Race 8 on the program and has a listed post time of 4:54 PM.

Moger also reported that stable star Stilleto Boy is back home at Golden Gate and in great shape after a terrific third place finish in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park two weeks ago. The son of Shackleford will train at Golden Gate leading up to his next start.

“He’s such a neat horse,” said Moger.

$100,000 El Camino Real Derby of 2023 (Race 8 on Saturday, February 11 at 9 furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Gilmore (Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr…Trainer Bob Baffert…Morning line odds of 4-1)

#2 Chase the Chaos (Armando Ayuso…Ed Moger Jr…3-1)

#3 Happy Does (Santos Rivera…Felix Rondan…10-1)

#4 Passarando (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht…2-1)

#5 Harcyn (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…5-1)

#6 In Honor of Autism (Evin Roman…Jonathan Wong…12-1)

#7 Sea Dog (Francisco Monroy…O.J. Jauregui…20-1)

#8 Nullarbor (Assael Espinoza…Bob Baffert…6-1)


In a past edition of the Golden Gate Fields News and Notes, trainer Steve Sherman was quoted as saying that his young Goldencents colt Harcyn had shown ability well before his first race. That first career run came on November 30. Sent to the lead by jockey William Antongeorgi III, Harcyn flew through the opening quarter mile in 21.87 seconds with pressure, clicked off the half mile in 44.93, and powered away from the rest of the field for a three and three-quarter length score. The race came up strong; there were four horses out of the race who returned in their next starts to win.

Two and a half months later, Harcyn returned against a small group of first level allowance foes. Sent off at low odds of 2-5, the Jerry Moss homebred went to the lead again and easily won by the same margin of victory as his maiden race.

“We were trying to get him into that allowance race for a while,” said Sherman. “The race wasn’t filling. That’s why he had that gap between his first and second race.”

Harcyn has taken a relatively unconventional path to the El Camino Real Derby. A Kentucky bred who has already broken his first level allowance condition, Harcyn has limited options. For example, second level allowance races are restricted to 4-year-olds and up. Being a 3-year-old, Harcyn obviously would not be eligible for that level. The stakes schedule in the winter does not offer a race for 3-year-olds at a distance shorter than a mile and an eighth until April.

“This is the next spot,” said Sherman.

To prepare Harcyn for the mile and an eighth El Camino Real Derby distance, Sherman has changed Harcyn’s training regimen.

“We’ve been having him go longer distances in his gallops,” said Sherman. “He’ll gallop two miles in the morning.”

Sherman will be busy in the paddock for the El Camino Real Derby. Along with saddling Harcyn, he also tightens the girths of Gilmore and Nullarbor. Gilmore, set at 4-1 on the morning line, comes off a decisive two-turn maiden win at the daytime racing meet at Los Alamitos in December. The son of Twirling Candy was a $250,000 sale purchase. Stablemate Nullarbor failed to fire in his first two career races but rebounded in his most recent afternoon appearance with a strong showing against maiden sprinters. By Candy Ride, Nullarbor was sold to his connections for a whopping $500,000. Both contenders are trained by Bob Baffert and co-owned by a large partnership group that includes SF Racing, Starlight Racing LLC, and Madaket Stables, all who campaigned Blackadder to win last year’s El Camino Real Derby.


As a 2-year-old in 2022, California-bred gelding Passarando was victorious in both the Golden State Juvenile at Santa Anita and the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate for trainer Steve Specht and owner/breeder Larry and Marianne Williams. So far in his young career, the son of Tamarando has won four races, with two seconds and one third place finish, and has accrued purse earnings of $240,830. Not bad.

This Saturday, Passarando competes in the top race for 3-year-olds every year in Northern California: The El Camino Real Derby. Veteran rider Frank Alvarado will be aboard for the first time. The added ground, to the mile and an eighth El Camino Real Derby distance, is no concern for Specht.

“The distance isn’t the issue. The issue is Baffert,” joked Specht with a laugh. “His horses are always tough. His fourth stringers are better than most barn’s best horses.”

The last time we saw Passarando in the afternoon, he placed third in the California Cup Derby at Santa Anita traveling one mile and a sixteenth. That day, jockey Umberto Rispoli aggressively rode Passarando from the half mile pole to the finish. He completed the course almost three lengths behind race winner Thirsty John.

“Down the backstretch he was sort of buried inside and got a bunch of dirt in his face,” said Specht. “Once he got in the clear he made a run. I thought he ran a good race. The horse he lost to [Thirsty John] is a pretty nice horse. He was a standout on looks in the paddock.”

Specht is no stranger to the El Camino Real Derby winner’s circle. In 2017, he sent out Zakaroff to a 48-1 upset in the ‘Derby. This year, a victory for Passarando would hardly be a surprise.


A trio of media personalities will be on site at Golden Gate Fields to cover racing throughout El Camino Real Derby week.

From FanDuelTV, Joaquin Jaime and Matt Bernier will be on site Friday through Sunday to cover our races. On El Camino Real Derby Day Saturday, Millie Ball from XBTV will present alongside track announcer Matt Dinerman on the Golden Gate track feed, going over her expert insight on good lookers in the paddock and selections she fancies on the form. XBTV producer Brian Martinez will also be joining the TV team behind the scenes for El Camino Real Derby Day.

“Millie is all class,” said Dinerman. “She’s been on our track feed a handful of times. I thoroughly enjoy working with people like her and Zoe Cadman when they come up as guests of our telecast. It’s great when the fans get a chance to hear different people’s opinions and knowledge. Brian Martinez is a pro; he will be in the TV truck with our crew helping produce what is going to be a terrific broadcast that we hope our fans enjoy.

Of course, we here at Golden Gate are always appreciative of FanDuel TV’s coverage of our races,” continued Dinerman. “We’re really happy to have Joaquin and Matt with us for the racing week.


3-year-old California bred Happy Does has done good work for owner/breeder Gray Farms Inc. and trainer Felix Rondan. After a pair of off-the-board finishes sprinting, the son of Southern Image tried routing and thrived, breaking his maiden on turf at Santa Rosa. Since the maiden triumph and move to two turns, Happy Does has yet to run a bad race. Heading into the class test of his life, the 2023 El Camino Real Derby, Happy Does sports two first level allowance wins on his resume.

“I really like this horse,” said Rondan at his barn on Wednesday morning. “He’s doing great. I think he will like the [El Camino Real Derby] distance [of 9 furlongs].”

Rondan understands a victory in the El Camino Real Derby will be no easy task. Happy Does will need to turn the tables on Passarando and Chase the Chaos, the top two finishers in the Gold Rush Stakes last December. In the Gold Rush, Happy Does settled off the speed and rallied for fourth. According to Rondan, Happy Does has improved steadily since then.

“His work [last Thursday morning] was really good,” said Rondan. “He went easy in the beginning but finished strong and galloped out very strong. He is really ready to run.”

A victory in the El Camino Real Derby would surely be a career highlight for Rondan.

“We’ve run in the El Camino a couple times with longshots,” said Rondan. “This year, I think we’re coming in with a good horse.”


Saturday is clearly a day for 3-year-old equines to shine. Along with the El Camino Real Derby, a pair of first level allowance races for 3-year-olds are also sprinkled on the card. Race 5, for route fillies, kicks off the Late Pick 5, while Race 6, for sprinters, begins the Late Pick 4 sequence.

Kentucky-bred colt Zeus’ War makes his second lifetime start for trainer Tim McCanna after a terrific effort against maiden special weight rivals to kick off his career. Sent off at odds of 8-1, the son of Dialed In stalked a quick pace before out finishing runner up finisher El Bromista, who in turn was almost a half dozen lengths ahead of the third-place finisher.

“He’s a little lazy in the mornings,” said McCanna on Zeus’ War. “He was always getting better little by little. He never does more than he needs to out there. With that, I wasn’t so sure what he’d do in the afternoon. Good news is he’s a game day player. He ran a good race the other day, and [jockey] Francisco Duran did a good job on him.”

McCanna and owners Jethorse LLC were hoping for good things from Zeus’ War. They purchased the chestnut as a yearling for $190,000 at Keeneland.

“He’s a good-looking guy,” said McCanna. “He’s a medium sized horse, but he’s good looking.”

McCanna is hoping Zeus’ War can improve with a race under his belt.

“We just hope he takes the next step forward,” said McCanna. “I think he’s woken up a little bit since his first race. At some point I’ll try him routing; he’s got route pedigree. He holds good weight and I decided to give him one more sprint.”

Five other runners face Zeus’ War on Friday. Among them: impressive maiden winner Prince Abu Dhabi. Strut On Louie ran second to El Camino Real Derby contender Harcyn in a first level allowance last month and is also likely to garnish support in the wagering.

In the fifth race for fillies at one mile, stakes placed sprinter Rousing Jewel tackles the route game for the first time. She is up against morning line favorite Mastery Kat, runaway allowance winner Smiling Lady, and eye-catching maiden winner Delusively, who is a half sibling to Grade 2 winner and Grade I placed router Chocolate Martini.

Remember: first post on El Camino Real Derby Day is 1:15 PM.

First level allowance for 3-year-old fillies (Race 5 on Saturday, February 11 at 8 furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Rousing Jewel (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Steve Specht …Morning line odds of 2-1)

#2 Delusively (Alejandro Gomez….Jose Bautista…6-1)

#3 Majestic Oops (Cristobal Herrera….Ed Moger Jr…12-1)

#4 Mastery Kat (Evin Roman…Jamey Thomas…3-2)

#5 Smiling Lady (Carlos Barbosa…Andy Mathis…9-2)

#6 Black Zabat (Adrian Escobedo…Manny Badilla…8-1)

First level allowance for 3-year-olds (Race 6 on Saturday, February 11 at 6 furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Strut On Louie (Jockey Armando Ayuso…Trainer Doug O’Neill…Morning line odds of 5-2)

#2 Trinidad (Silvio Amador…Roger Hansen…8-1)

#3 Prince Abu Dhabi (Alexander Chavez…Blaine Wright…6-1)

#4 Zeus’ War (Francisco Duran…Tim McCanna…8-5)

#5 Rachel’s Coach (Kevin Radke…Isidro Tamayo…4-1)

#6 Abinadi (Irving Orozco…Bill McLean…10-1)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 4: El Joy (New trainer Tim Bellasis…new owners Bellasis, Donna Smartt and Cassandra Tschanz)

Race 4: State of the Union (Steve Sherman…Cobra Racing LLC)

Race 5: Two Twelve (Jack Steiner…Gary and Deborah Lusk)


Race 1: Into Bourbon (Ed Moger Jr…Terry McFarlane)

Race 2: Bourbon Glaze (Blaine Wright…Eddie Kenneally)

Race 4: Austrian Navy (Huntertown Farm LLC and Calvario)

Race 4: Jaycee (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables and JJ Lee Rae)

Race 4: Smilin Evie (Blaine Wright…Robert and Ann Clary)

Race 6: Uncle Wilbur (Mike Lenzini…Gary Marrone)

Race 7: O’Neills Legacy (Jack Steiner…Daniel O’Neill)


Race 1: Party Foul (Jamey Thomas…Lamonte Isom)

FINISH LINES: Please note: Early first post this Sunday of 11:15 AM. Enjoy the races at Golden Gate and get home/change the channel in time to watch “The Big Game” with the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs$13,210 is carried over into the Super High Five wager on Friday heading into the first race of the day…10-pound apprentice rider Carlos Barbosa will call Golden Gate Fields his home for the winter and spring. The 18-year-old native of Puerto Rico has won 2 races from 14 mounts at Camarero Racecourse and picked up mounts on Saturday and Sunday to kick off his Northern California riding career. He will be represented by agent Nelson Arroyo. An in-depth story on Barbosa will be featured in next week’s edition of the News and Notes. Stay tuned…The feature race on Friday at Golden Gate is Race 7: a second level allowance for sprinters. Multiple first level allowance runaway winner Star Racer draws the rail and faces tougher at the second level condition. He goes up against 2021 Oakland Stakes winner Rager, stakes placed racers War Games and Irrefutable, the consistent Heavenly Prince, the Bill McLean trained Hey Mate, and My Summer Dream, making his first start off a $50,000 claim by O.J Jauregui and owner Danny Eplin. First post on Friday is later than usual: 1:15 PM…On Saturday, Golden Gate Fields welcomes the 175 licensed owners who will be attendance for the TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California) luncheon in our fourth-floor turf club. Among those expected in attendance: Stephanie Hronis of Hronis Racing LLC, prominent California breeder/owner Nick Alexander, staunch supporter of Northern California racing Johnny Taboada, and TOC President Bill Nadar.