ADDITIONAL JOCKEYS JOIN GOLDEN GATE RIDING COLONY WITH ENDING OF EMERALD DOWNS RACE SEASON
A handful of riders will be migrating from Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington to Golden Gate Fields after Emerald completed their 2023 live race meet last Sunday afternoon. Among those arriving are a trio of jockeys who Bay Area racing fans will be familiar with.
Veteran Kevin Radke, who tied with William Antongeorgi III for most wins at last year’s Fall Meet, returns to the Bay Area after a successful tenure in the Pacific Northwest. A winner of just over 1,300 races, Radke has one riding engagement each race day this week. He will be represented by agent Tom “Bomber” Doutrich.
“I’m looking forward to getting back [to the Bay Area],” said Radke. “I’m there to work. I’m ready to get back in the mix.”
Another known face returning to the Bay Area is Kevin Orozco. The younger brother of Golden Gate mainstay Irving, Kevin has finished in the top three spots in the Emerald Downs jockey standings numerous times and has ridden at numerous Golden Gate meetings since beginning his jockey career in 2016. Moving back to Northern California for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, he will be accepting mounts beginning next week.
“It feels good to be returning to Golden Gate,” said Orozco. “I’ve known a lot of people there for a long time. There are a lot of people at Golden Gate who have given me chances and been supportive. It will be great to see everyone. Monty and I are going to work as hard as we can.”
A regular at Golden Gate since 2014 is Silvio Amador, who for the first time in his career opted to ride at Emerald Downs this summer. He returns to the Bay Area having won with 20% of his Emerald mounts while cracking the top three in the jockey standings. Both Amador and Orozco will be represented by agent Monty Hanna.
Veteran Carlos Montalvo is well traveled and will be riding over the Golden Gate Tapeta surface for the first-time beginning Monday. The native of Mexico City has competed at venues across the country over a career that has extended over multiple decades, and has appeared at top racecourses like Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, and Oaklawn. One of his most significant wins came aboard 2015 Breeders Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday in the 2016 Grade 3 Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select at Keeneland. Montalvo is one win shy of 1,300 lifetime trips to the winner’s circle.
A possible, but at this point not definite, addition to the riding colony is Alex Cruz, who has been the leading rider at Emerald since 2019. The native of Puerto Rico won 69 races at the recently concluded Emerald Downs meeting, 90 in 2022, 75 in 2021, and 72 in 2020. Cruz is the first rider in Washington State history to win four consecutive riding titles.
OTHERS ENTERED IN SATURDAY FEATURE WILL NEED TO BEAT TAMAYO PAIR
The feature race on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields is Race 6, a first level allowance for three-year-olds and up at one mile on the Tapeta. The race goes through leading trainer Isidro Tamayo, who saddles both Anitanewmercedes and Vantage Point in the contest. Both runners are projected to garnish support in the wagering.
Anitanewmercedes has found his comfort zone at the first level allowance condition. His last two victories came at the first level condition on turf and dirt, respectively, at two different racetracks. Six of Anitanewmercedes’ 11 lifetime wins have come over the Golden Gate Tapeta main track.
“He can run on anything. He’s a pro,” said Tamayo.
Tamayo is keen to get Vantage Point started off a ten-month vacation. We last saw Vantage Point competing in 10 and 12 furlong races in 2022. One of those efforts resulted in a gate to wire win, at this first level allowance condition, while the others ended in second and third place finishes. All three runs were very respectable efforts.
“He’s good in the mornings. He gets a lot out of his works,” said Tamayo. “I think he’s fit enough. The key is before the race. Sometimes he acts up with the pony. He’s got a mind of his own. I’d like to see him laying close [early in the race].”
The Tamayo pair have five challengers lined up to play spoiler. Ecologist gets back to a surface in which nine of his 10 lifetime wins have come over. The last time he raced at an allowance condition in July, he placed second behind eventual Robert Dupret Derby runner up finisher Cousin Richie.
Trinidad ran third in the Robert Dupret Derby for three years old but failed to fire in his most afternoon appearance, losing by double digit lengths at this condition on grass earlier in the month. He returns to the surface in which he broke his maiden over as a 2-year-old. The Roger Hansen trainee has run effectively employing multiple running styles and figures to work out a good trip with his versatility in mind.
Like Vantage Point, Buenisimo returns off a layoff in Saturday’s signature race. The Steve Sherman trainee broke poorly in his last start, at this level, and came with a flying finish for a length and a quarter loss. He sports a steady series of morning works leading up to his first start since February.
Moogie Son wheels back in less than three weeks after an off the board finish at the first level allowance condition on turf. He makes his first lifetime start over a synthetic surface for trainer Ed Moger Jr. Starter allowance winner Cut Across Shorty is expected to go off at a price and rounds out the field.
Eight races are on the docket for Saturday. First post is 1:45 PM.
Race 6 on Saturday (First level allowance at one mile for 3-year-olds and up)
#1 Cut Across Shorty (Jockey Hugo Herrera…Trainer Gloria Haley…Morning line odds of 12-1)
#2 Vantage Point (William Antongeorgi III…Isidro Tamayo…5-2)
#3 Moogie Son (Luis M. Jimenez…Ed Moger Jr…6-1)
#4 Ecologist (Catalino Martinez…Sammy Calvario…9-2)
#5 Buenisimo (Cristobal Herrera…Steve Sherman…8-1)
#6 Trinidad (Frank Alvarado…Roger Hansen…10-1)
#7 Anitanewmercedes (Evin Roman…Isidro Tamayo…8-5)
FULL FIELD IN SUNDAY FEATURE APPEARS WIDE OPEN ON PAPER
Racing Secretary Steve Martinelli and his crew have compiled an 8-race card this Sunday that is most certainly one of the strongest programs of the current summer meet-if not the strongest. Race 7, a first level allowance run at one mile and a sixteenth on turf, is a perfect sample as to what kind of day racing fans should expect. A full field of 12 is entered in the seventh race, with many more contenders than pretenders.
If Stone’s River runs back to his last start, he’ll be tough to beat. On September 4, the California-bred son of Acclamation went to the lead, set a solid tempo, drew off from the competition, and hit the wire five lengths in front while earning a career best 90 Beyer speed figure. It was a huge effort, especially given he was making his first start off a five month break that day. He wheels back in about three weeks. Will he bounce? Can he run as well as he did 20 days ago? Trainer Isidro Tamayo hopes the answer to both questions is a decisive “yes.”
“He was impressive last time. We liked him, but he ran even better than we expected,” said Tamayo. “When he gets going on the lead, he’s game. He’s a horse who’s hard to keep weight on, so we jog him a lot. In the three times he’s galloped [since his last start], he’s looked good, so I hope he doesn’t bounce. That’s always something you think about after your horse runs big like he did.”
Tamayo also campaigns Heat N Reheat, who placed third behind Stone’s River on September 4. Earlier this year, Heat N Reheat won a starter allowance on turf. Two of his last three starts at this level resulted in off the board finishes.
“In those [off the board] races, he was too far back,” said Tamayo. “He needs to be closer to the pace. I’d like to see him laying third or so this time. He can’t be given too much to do.”
Among the 10 challengers set to face the Tamayo trained pair is One Fast Bro, last seen beaten a neck as the favorite in a $25,000 claiming event at Del Mar last month. While in the barn of Quinn Howey this past spring, One Fast Bro won at this level at Golden Gate in April and hit the board in a pair of other first level races.
Southern California invader Birth of Cool came up a half-length short in his last afternoon appearance, a starter allowance race at Del Mar. The Jesus Nunez trainee outfinished Caisson for second that day. Caisson is also entered in Sunday’s seventh race. Trained by Southern California conditioner Manny Ortiz, Caisson competed at this first level condition at Golden Gate earlier in the year and finished within a half-length of the winner in two separate races.
After wracking off four consecutive victories from March to May, Auspicious Style lost three in a row. He got back to winning form in an August 27 starter optional claimer, stalking the pace before out finishing five other rivals over the turf course he competes over this Sunday. He takes a bump up in class for high percentage trainer Jack Steiner.
Rounding out the list of main contenders is Robie, who outfinished Heat N Reheat for second on September 4. The Faith Taylor trainee was victorious at this first level allowance once before earlier in the year, though that effort came against sprinters on Tapeta.
The first of eight races on Sunday kicks off at 1:45 PM. 70 horses are entered on Sunday, equating to 8.75 horses per race.
Race 7 on Sunday (First level allowance at one mile and a sixteenth on turf for 3-year-olds and up)
#1 Buttonwood Tree (Jockey Francisco Duran…Trainer Tim Bellasis)
#2 Stone’s River (William Antongeorgi III…Isidro Tamayo)
#3 One Fast Bro (Frank Alvarado…Ruby Thomas)
#4 Caisson (Catalino Martinez…Manny Ortiz)
#5 Robie (Assael Espinoza…Faith Taylor)
#6 Bid On the Prize (Hugo Herrera…Terri Eaton)
#7 Supermazel (Francisco Monroy…Jesus Ramos)
#8 Heat N Reheat (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo)
#9 Table for Ten (Santos Rivera…Bill McLean)
#10 Auspicious Style (Alexander Chavez…Jack Steiner)
#11 Birth of Cool (Brayan Pena…Jesus Nunez)
#12 Silent Sunday (Julien Couton…Andy Mathis)
Race 1: Naughty Niko (New trainer Ruby Thomas…New owner William Heck)
Race 6: Boss of Themoss (Simon Hobson…Mean Girls Racing Stable)
Race 2: El Joy (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)
Race 2: Wellswort (Isidro Tamayo…Raymond Brogliatti and Michael Fried)
Race 2: Chaokoon (Ruby Thomas…TAK Racing)
Race 5: Stein’s Girl (Ruby Thomas…Clay Sides)
Race 7: Hey Mate (Sheldon Paldanius…Stanley Spano)
Race 7: Lil Miracle Man (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)
Race 7: Rackataptap (Ruby Thomas…Clay Sides)
FINISH LINES: In Race 7 last Sunday, the top five placers finished in post position order. If you bet a $1 Rolling High Five on 1 to win, 2, to place, 3 to show, 4 to run fourth, and 5 to run fifth, you would have made a $69.70 profit…Jockey Frank Alvarado remains at 3,994 lifetime wins. Six more to the big milestone…Fillies and mares take center stage in the two co-featured races on Monday’s eight race card. The first leg of the Late Pick 4, Race 5, is an allowance that attracts filly and mare turf sprinters. About 30 minutes later, Race 6 is an allowance for filly and mare routers on Tapeta. First post on Monday is 1:45 PM.