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


We’ll cut right to the chase. Tesoro has danced many dances. He has also been a project for trainer O.J Jauregui.

“When he wants, he can say, ‘Hey, not today buddy.’ He’s a good horse when he shows up,” said Jauregui.

Tesoro has failed to be competitive against stakes company on a handful of occasions but has won in his last three starts when competing at the second level allowance condition. Why try to fix what’s working, right? Which is why Jauregui has, once again, entered Tesoro in a second level allowance for 3-year-olds and up this Thanksgiving Thursday. Tesoro is 4-1 on the morning line and drew the rail in a field of seven.

“I thought he could be a better horse, but every time I tried [him against stakes company], the results weren’t good enough,” said Jauregui. “This is where he belongs.”

Tesoro got a confidence boosting win in his last start about a month ago, sitting close to a slow pace, moving up to challenge the front runners approaching the far turn run before ultimately out finishing runner up American Farmer and third place finisher Kennebec for the win.

“The most enjoyment [of Tesoro’s last win] was beating Steve Sherman [trainer of American Farmer],” joked Jauregui. “Nah, I’m kidding. Steve and I are actually pretty good friends. It’s part of our friendship. He rubs it in when he beats me. I’m hoping he doesn’t beat me this time and it comes back to bite me.”

American Farmer and Kennebec are both entered to face Tesoro in the marquee event on Thanksgiving. The one they’ll all have to beat is 8-5 morning line favorite Avenue, who ships north for Southern California conditioner Michael McCarthy. The son of Quality Road finished fifth at this level in his last start on November 2 at Santa Anita and makes his second start off a nine-month layoff. Exactly one year ago, on Thanksgiving of 2022, Avenue placed third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at one mile and a half.

A “wise guy” contender is the up and coming No Ice No Glass. After back-to-back wins against sprint company, the chestnut 3-year-old by Tapwrit attempted the route game for the first time. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, No Ice No Glass stumbled badly at the break, was much farther off the pace than he was projected to be, made an eye-catching move at the quarter pole before tiring in fourth. A better trip keyed with a recent route try under his belt could result in a much-improved effort on Thursday.

Golden Gate Fields offers four live racing days this week. Early first post on an 8-race card this Thanksgiving Thursday is 11:15 AM.

Race 6 on Thursday (Second level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta)

#1 Tesoro (Jockey Francisco Monroy…Trainer O.J. Jauregui…Morning line odds of 4-1)

#2 Dulas (Evin Roman…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#3 Avenue (Catalino Martinez…Michael McCarthy…8-5)

#4 No Ice No Glass (Alexander Chavez…Tim McCanna…5-1)

#5 Boaster (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario….20-1)

#6 American Farmer (Assael Espinoza…Steve Sherman…3-1)

#7 Kennebec (Sergio Salguero…Ruby Thomas…6-1).


The Steve Specht trained Grand Slam Smile was extremely well meant on debut. Sent off at 3-5 in a field of eight, the daughter of Smiling Tiger dominated her company with a four-length decisive victory. Since then, she has won a pair of stakes: the Fasig Tipton Debutante in June and, on the Breeders Cup Friday Undercard this past November 3, a 7-length romp against nine others in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Turf. Both victories came on the Santa Anita dirt.

Grand Slam Smile worked an easy five furlongs on Sunday morning and appears ready for another afternoon appearance. With that, Specht is putting Grand Slam Smile back on the field. It’s game time.

On the list of competitors set to take on Grand Slam Smile is stablemate and recent maiden winner Randos Lady. Not only did Randos Lady win at first asking like a prospect with talent, but she possesses the pedigree to be a decent racer. By Grade I winner Tamarando, Randos Lady is out of the five-time stakes winner Lady Railrider, who herself has produced five winners from six siblings to Randos Lady including stakes winner Pulpit Rider and stakes placed routers Fiery Lady and Sacred Rider. All five winning foals have earned six figure bankrolls. Three of those foals earned a quarter million dollars or more.

“Both fillies are doing well. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t run them,” said Specht. “I wasn’t surprised that Randos Lady won [her first race], but she might be better with a little more distance. Grand Slam Smile…she can do anything.”

In her first try at two turns and grass, 2-year-old filly Charlene’s Dream became a stakes winner in last month’s Pike Place Dancer Stakes. Stalking the pace under jockey Evin Roman, Charlene’s Dream took the lead around the far turn and held off multiple challengers in the final furlong for a length and a quarter score.

With then next stake on the calendar for freshman fillies coming in a one-turn Tapeta sprint, Ed Moger Jr. is cutting back his stable’s star two-year-old to a one-turn distance. Earlier this year, Charlene’s Dream broke her maiden sprinting on the Golden Gate main track and was the runner up behind well regarded filly Blevy’s Tiger in an allowance race at one turn.

“I’m really high on this filly,” said Moger. “I’m as high on this filly as I’ve been on any horse. She’s really, really nice. I’m expecting another big effort.”

Another first-out maiden special weight winner entered in the Golden Gate Debutante is Tour Queen. The O.J Jauregui trainee tried routing in the Pike Place Dancer and tired to fourth after setting the pace. She must work out a good trip from the rail post position.

Lusma was a maiden winner in June and returned to finish third behind eventual Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes winner Dreamfyre and future Golden Nugget victor Wild Jewels in the Everett Nevin Stakes. Lusma makes her second start off a three-month break for trainer Jose Bautista, having last settled for fourth in the allowance race won by Blevy’s Tiger.

Wok Don’t Run earned the silver medal in a starter allowance and takes a significant class bump up in class for trainer Matt Troy.

Nine races are on the docket this Saturday. First post is 12:45.

Race 6 on Saturday (Golden Gate Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs

#1 Tour Queen (Jockey Brayan Pena…Trainer O.J. Jauregui))

#2 Wok Don’t Run (William Antongeorgi III…Matthew Troy)

#3 Lusma (Alejandro Gomez…Jose Bautista)

#4 Charlene’s Dream (Evin Roman…Ed Moger Jr.)

#5 Randos Lady (Assael Espinoza…Steve Specht)

#6 Grand Slam Smile (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht)


Below is a list of claims from last week


Race 1: Anthony’s Best (New trainer Jose Puentes…New owner Jerald Carmody)

Race 3: Silver Maty (Jack Steiner…Remmah Racing Inc.)

Race 5: Canelito (Rod Cone…Al Pitchko)

Race 6: Boss of Themoss (Mike Lenzini…Gary Marrone)

Race 8: You Enjoy Myself (Jack Steiner…Gary and Deborah Lusk)


Race 5: Code Ribbon (Owner/Trainer Jacqui Navarre)

Race 5: Tura Lura (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

Race 9: Harbor Sky (Isidro Tamayo…Mean Girls Racing Stable)

Race 9: My Dominator (Owner/Trainer Luciano Medina)


Race 1: Dark Mystery (Gary Greiner…Renee Greiner)

Race 2: Honorable Gal (Victor Trujillo…Fred Montini and Trujillo)

Race 7: Will Is Chill (Owner/Trainer Luciano Medina)

FINISH LINES: Nine races are on the schedule for Friday. The signature race on the card, Race 8, is a good one: a full field of filly and mare first level allowance routers voyage one mile on Tapeta. The well-bred Delusively was last seen in the California Oaks and returns for trainer Jose Bautista while Carole Lombard lost by a head at this level two starts ago and is a major contender if she can duplicate that effort… Entries for Sunday will be drawn today…Trainer O.J Jauregui reports that three-time stakes winner and recent Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf also-ran Dreamfyre has been given three weeks off at a local farm. “She’s had one week off and has two more to go. The time off will do her well,” said Jauregui…2023 Santa Anita Handicap winner Stilleto Boy returned to the worktab with an easy quarter mile drill last Thursday morning and, yesterday morning, a three furlong move in 35.80 seconds for trainer Ed Moger Jr. “We’re pointing him to the San Antonio Stakes [at Santa Anita on December 26],” said Moger Jr…There is a $4,794 Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover heading into the Thanksgiving Thursday card. Last Saturday, one sharp horseplayer hit 6 of 6 and scooped up the $59,597.98 jackpot…A huge weekend for Alexander Chavez, including four-win days on both Friday and Sunday, propelling him to the top of the jockey standings with 10 more racing days to go at the current Fall Meet. Evin Roman sits in second with 18 wins…A good battle for the training title: Andy Mathis holds the #1 spot with nine wins, just one better than Jack Steiner and Blaine Wright…Track announcer Matt Dinerman has one final week of race calling at Golden Gate Fields before moving to Hot Springs, Arkansas for Oaklawn Park’s five month meet, which begins on Friday, December 8 and runs through Kentucky Derby Day 2024. “This isn’t a goodbye…it’s a see ya later,” said Dinerman before adding, “I’ll still be tuning into Golden Gate regularly. One of my favorite tracks, of course, with great people and great fans.” Santa Anita and Saratoga race caller Frank Mirahmadi will be on the mic for the final two weeks of the Fall Meet.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, November 17, 2023


6-year-old gelding Star Racer was in peak form last winter, having won three consecutive races by open lengths while earning Beyer speed figures in the mid 90’s each time. That form was impressive enough that in his last race to date, an April 1 allowance designed as a prep for the April 29 Lost in the Fog Stakes, the bettors made Star Racer the favorite over multiple stakes winner Top Harbor, who eventually went on to win the Lost in the Fog. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite on April Fool’s Day, Star Racer ended up losing by a neck to Top Harbor, though one could make a convincing argument he put up a winning fight.

Shortly after the ‘close but no cigar’ effort, a physical issue sent Star Racer to the sidelines. He was given the spring and summer off. Fast forward seven and a half months later. Star Racer returns to the races this Saturday in the feature race of the week, the $50,000 Oakland Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on Tapeta. His main rival, once again, is Top Harbor.

A 59 and change, five-furlong workout on October 16 and a six-furlong drill in 1:12 and 2/5 seconds on October 30 are amongst a steady series of workouts that Star Racer has recorded in preparation for his comeback. According to trainer Angelo Tekos Jr., running Star Racer in the Oakland off the vacation was Plan B.

“There was an open allowance race a few weeks ago that never filled,” said Tekos Jr. “Plan A was to prep him in that race. Plan B was to train him into this one.

He’s training great though,” continued Tekos Jr. “He’s been really full of life back at the barn. He’s telling us he’s ready to run. I wouldn’t run him in this race if I didn’t think he was ready and could run well. In his workout [going six furlongs in 1:12 and 2], he galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25. He probably ended up going about a mile and a sixteenth. If he runs like he trains, I think he’ll at least hit the board. How does that sound?”

Sounds like a pretty good endorsement. Assael Espinoza, who was aboard for all three wins this winter and worked Star Racer in the aforementioned October 30 morning breeze, retains the mount on Saturday.

As Tekos Jr. saddles Star Racer from stall nine in the paddock, Tim McCanna will be busy making sure a legion of equines are ready to rumble. He campaigns three contenders in this year’s Oakland: defending champion Top Harbor, multiple second level allowance winner Rager, and stakes placed Unraptured. McCanna won’t have to walk too far to find each of his steeds: they break from posts 5, 6, and 7 and will be saddled right next to one another in the paddock.

“They’re all doing good,” said McCanna. “We tried to enter in the open allowance, but it didn’t go. Now we’re sort of forced to run ‘em against each other. One [Unraptured] will probably be pretty close to the pace, another [Top Harbor] will be stalking and the last one [Rager] will be coming from behind.”

Top Harbor was a decisive winner of the Oak Tree Sprint at Pleasanton in July but was out finished in his most recent afternoon showing by race winner Clovisconnection in the Harris Farms Stakes on October 7. Rager was last seen finishing third in a salty high-level claimer at Santa Anita last month. Two starts ago, the son of Into Mischief went off at 6-5 in a second level allowance at Golden Gate and finished a nose behind stablemate Unraptured, who freshens up two and a half months after said victory for this stake appearance. Unraptured placed third behind Top Harbor in the Oak Tree Sprint.

Other main contenders in the 2023 Oakland include Love Candy, runner up finisher in the one mile and one-sixteenth Bulldog Stakes at Fresno, and Alexander’s Dream, who has won back-to-back first level allowance races and makes his stakes debut for trainer Reid France. The Oakland goes as the eighth race on a nine-race program this Saturday. First post is 12:45 PM.

Race 8 on Saturday: The Oakland Stakes (For 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Love Candy (Jockey Catalino Martinez…Trainer Sammy Calvario…Morning line odds of 12-1)

#2 Talbot Bay (Silvio Amador…Jorge Bautista…15-1)

#3 Alexander’s Dream (Alexander Chavez…Reid France…8-1)

#4 Robie (Brayan Pena…Faith Taylor…12-1)

#5 Top Harbor (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna…9-5)

#6 Rager (Luis Jimenez…Tim McCanna…4-1)

#7 Unraptured (Kevin Radke…Tim McCanna…4-1)

#8 Honeymoonz Over (William Antongeorgi III…D. Wayne Baker…20-1)

#9 Star Racer (Assael Espinoza…Angelo Tekos Jr…6-1)

#10 Cairo Calling (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario…30-1)


On Thursday morning, track announcer Matt Dinerman asked trainer Isidro Tamayo in the racing office, “You know those horses that you just feel like they’ve been around forever? And for all this time they always go out there and just give it their all?”

Tamayo nodded.

Dinerman pointed to his racing form. “That’s Anitanewmercedes.”

Trained by Summer Meet leading trainer Tamayo, 7-year-old gelding Anitanewmercedes makes his 40th career start this Friday in the co-featured seventh race: a first level allowance at one mile for 3-year-olds and up. With 12 wins, 7 seconds and 5 third place finishes, the son of Haynesfield has the record indicative of an old pro. He enters Friday’s main event with terrific recent form, with three of his last four starts resulting in a trip to the winner’s circle.

Anitanewmercedes is usually up on the pace. With an inside post and lack of confirmed front running speed on paper, he is very likely to send to the front again with new jockey Assael Espinoza. All things considered, there is a chance that Anitanewmercedes goes off favored come post time.

Eight formidable foes will attempt to run down Anitanewmercedes in the final furlong. Among them is 5-2 morning line favorite Moogie Son, who exits a runner up finish to 2022 Bulldog Stakes winner A Man’s Man at this condition on October 28. Although soundly defeated, Moogie Son earned a career high Beyer speed figure (85) and a best last-out speed figure out of all the entrants in Friday’s seventh race. Ecologist, who finished two lengths behind Moogie Son for second on October 28 and was beaten a length for the win in a September 23 first level allowance, is also signed on to compete in Friday’s seventh race.

Supermazel is the “wildcard.” The Jesus Ramos trainee was outmatched in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Handicap two weeks ago and returns to a first level allowance condition that has suited him well. In fact, he won at the level on dirt at Fresno in October. That said, he’ll need to turn the tables on Anitanewmercedes, who has finished ahead of Supermazel three times this year already. In two of those starts, Supermazel finished a neck and three quarters of a length, respectively, behind Anitanewmercedes.

The last time Kingmeister ran at this condition, he trounced his competition while earning a strong Beyer speed figure (82). He may be a late threat if he comes with his best performance. Ditto Cousin Richie, who beat Ecologist in a California-bred allowance at Pleasanton and was the runner up behind multiple stakes winner Clovisconnection in the Robert Dupret Derby for 3-year-olds at Santa Rosa. Cousin Richie seeks to improve after an off-the-board finish on October 28. Recent maiden winner Mogollon Rim, Southern California shipper Dual Threat, and Rocktilyoudrop, who raced at Century Downs in Alberta, Canada this summer, rounds out the field of nine.

First post on an eight-race card on Friday is 12:45 PM.

Race 7 on Friday (First level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on Tapeta)

#1 Anitanewmercedes (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Isidro Tamayo…Morning line odds of 5-1)

#2 Ecologist (Catalino Martinez…Sammy Calvario…4-1)

#3 Rocktillyoudrop (William Antongeorgi III…Rod Cone…10-1)

#4 Dual Threat (Frank Alvarado…Miguel Ramirez…12-1)

#5 Moogie Son (Louis Jimenez…Ed Moger Jr…5-2)

#6 Supermazel (Brayan Pena…Jesus Ramos…8-1)

#7 Mogollon Rim (Santos Rivera…Ed Moger Jr…10-1)

#8 Cousin Richie (Alejandro Gomez…Sergio Ledezma…6-1)

#9 Kingmeister (Alexander Chavez…Bill McLean…8-1)


***NOTE: Although old news, we wanted to post a well-deserved article that we couldn’t put out at the time of the news breaking due to technical issues on our website that disallowed us from publishing the GGF News and Notes these last three weeks.***

Veteran jockey Frank Alvarado picked up his 4,000th career victory in Race 2 on Sunday, October 22 at Golden Gate Fields aboard five-year-old mare Shout It Out. Shout It Out, who sat off a fast pace before nailing early leader Jay’s Angel in the shadow of the wire, paid $29.40 to win for the Kelly Bainum barn.

54-year-old Alvarado had to wait out a photo finish before giving an exuberant fist pump when the order of finish was posted. He was greeted in the winner’s circle post-race by family, friends, racing officials, and fellow members of the Golden Gate riding colony. Alvarado’s mounts have accrued $87.8 million throughout a long and successful career that began in his native Panama in 1984. Alvarado’s first career win came at Panama’s Hipodromo Presidente Ramon Racecourse on April 2, 1984.

Some of Alvarado’s top mounts include graded stakes winners Bonfante, Devious Course, Hudson Landing, Lottsa Talc, McCann’s Mojave, More to Tell, and Now Victory. Grade 1 placed Antares World and 5-time stakes winner Lady Railrider are two additional notables whom Alvarado regularly rode. Among Alvarado’s top mounts currently in training are champion Northern California sprinter Top Harbor and recent Santa Anita stakes winning 2-year-old Grand Slam Smile.

Alvarado, represented by agent Fernando “Shoes” Navarro, has 6 wins from 25 mounts at the current Fall Meet.


Race 7: Wodeton (New trainer Blaine Wright…New owner Wright Racing Stable LLC and Eric Kenneally)

Race 8: Dawn At Last (Jack Steiner…Remmah Racing Inc.)

Race 8: Zoe’s Pride (Gary Greiner…Renee Greiner)


Race 1: Thickey Boy (Jack Steiner…Melvin Simonovich)

Race 4: Jasmine Chieftain (Ruby Thomas…Madden Racing)

Race 4: Shemakescents (Owner/Trainer Luciano Medina Gabriel)

Race 5: Gianola (Sheldon Paldanius…Stanley Spano)


Race 2: Ko Samui (Jose Puentes…Maria Valenzuela and Puentes)

Race 6: Dust Maker (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

Race 8: House of Lords (Ruby Thomas…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

FINISH LINES: Race 4 on Friday is the other co-feature: a first level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs. Morning line favorite Smuggler’s Run is a half sibling to 2019 All American Stakes winner Grecian Fire and makes his first start in Northern California for new trainer Andy Mathis. He goes up against stakes placed Larry’s Legend and four others…Race 6 on Saturday, a second level allowance for filly and mare routers, came up tough. Stakes winner Tam’s Little Angel, stakes placed Clockstrikestwelve and Twilight Empire, and the Manny Badilla trained pair of Naughty Nadine and Signorina Merisi are five of the eight entrants…Golden Gate Fields welcomes veteran Canadian trainer Rod Cone back to our bayside track. Cone, who has run his stock at Golden Gate in the past, hasn’t been to Northern California since 2019. Cone saddles two runners on Friday and one on Sunday…Good luck to Liz Kowalski and Colleen O’Hagan, both who saddle their first Golden Gate starters this week. Kowalski runs Papawasarollnstone in Race 6 on Friday and El Alto Hombre in Race 7 on Saturday while O’Hagan tightens the girth for Isle of Skye in Race 9 on Saturday…$41, 940 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager heading into Friday’s card…Jockey Alexander Chavez leads 19-17 over Evin Roman in the jockey standings. Andy Mathis sits atop the trainer standings with eight wins, one win ahead of Ed Moger Jr. and two clear of Jack Steiner and Blaine Wright…Congratulations to trainer Jamey Thomas, who won the $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar last Sunday with stable star Chancery Way. The California-bred 4-year-old filly by Mr. Big went off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering and was ridden by Southern California jockey Antonio Fresu…Also in Southern California earlier this month, chestnut Grand Slam Smile put on a show on Breeders Cup Friday in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies for 2-year-old California bred fillies. Trained by Steve Specht and ridden by Frank Alvarado, Grand Slam Smile won the November 3 sprint by seven and one-quarter lengths.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, October 27, 2023



When selling at the 2022 Keeneland September yearling sale, the dark bay now known as Soho had not only an appealing pedigree, by multiple Grade 1 winner City of Light out of Grade 3 winner Keri Belle, but also possessed an above average, athletic physical. She hit a home run in the sales ring, dropping the hammer at $625,000.


Her buyers, owners Michael Talla and West Point Thoroughbreds, must have been thrilled to see Soho win her career debut one year later on September 8 of this year at Del Mar, stalking the pace before finding her best stride late in a five-furlong turf sprint. Her connections were later quoted as saying more distance would ultimately be Soho’s friend.


With that, her next start came at two turns in the one-mile Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, Soho was keen in the early stages of the race, settled down up the backstretch, made an eye-catching move to challenge the leaders around the far turn, but couldn’t keep up down the stretch and tired to fifth. The winner of the Surfer Girl, the undefeated O.J Jauregui trainee Dreamfyre, is being pointed to the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 3.


After a speedy half mile bullet drill in 46 and 3/5 seconds on the morning of October 22, trainer John Sadler opts to wheel back Soho in three weeks and ship her north for the signature race of the weekend at Golden Gate this Saturday: the $75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf. For a filly like Soho, not only is it important to run for a good purse where the owners can make a return on investment but picking up black type-meaning a stake win or top three placing-is key in increasing her value as a broodmare down the line.


Soho is projected to stalk the pace with local rider Assael Espinoza slated to ride. Five other entrants take on morning line favorite Soho. Local Charlene’s Dream took home the gold medal on debut, defeating next out two-turn winner Valence. Charlene’s Dream returned to finish as the runner up in a first level allowance sprint. By Grade 2 turf route winner Qurbaan out of the War Front mare Clara Kelly, whose lone win came over grass, Charlene’s Dream possesses the breeding to love the lawn and more ground.


“I love her,” said Charlene’s Dream’s trainer Ed Moger Jr. “She worked [6 furlongs] the other morning and did it easy. She couldn’t blow out a match afterwards. I think she’s a really, really good filly. I think she’ll stretch out well.”


First out gate to wire maiden special weight winner Tour Queen is likely to be close to the pace again as she stretches out in distance and makes her first start against winners in the Pike Place Dancer. Tour Queen is sired by Tourist, winner of the Breeders Cup Turf Mile in 2016. Tour Queen’s dam, the Street Boss mare Fancy Boss, was a three-time turf sprint winner.

“That first race I just wanted to get a good run into her,” said trainer O.J Jauregui on Tour Queen. “Once she made the lead as easy as she did, I thought to myself, ‘They’re going to have a hard time catching her.’” [Co-owner] Jason [Hall] and I both feel she will like the turf. I think she wants to route, actually. We decided to give this stake a shot.”


Like Soho, Angiolleta is a Southern California shipper visiting the Bay Area for the Pike Place Dancer. Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, Angiolleta was a two-turn maiden special weight turf winner in July at Del Mar and has since competed in a pair of stakes races: she placed third in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf in August but regressed in her next start, finishing seventh behind Dreamfyre in the Surfer Girl Stakes.


Likely longshots Kristen Lee and Susie Cru complete the field. First post on a nine-race card this Saturday is 1:15 PM. The Pike Place Dancer goes as the fifth of nine races.


Race 5 on Saturday ($75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes at one mile on turf for 2-year-old fillies)

#1 Tour Queen (Jockey Francisco Duran…Trainer O.J Jauregui…morning line odds of 5-1)

#2 Charlene’s Dream (Evin Roman…Ed Moger Jr…8-1)

#3 Susie Cru (Catalino Martinez…Monty Meier…20-1)

#4 Angiolleta (Alexander Chavez…Doug O’Neill…9-5)

#5 Soho (Assael Espinoza…John Sadler…1-1)

#6 Kristin Lee (Frank Alvarado…Faith Taylor…10-1)




Veteran jockey Frank Alvarado picked up his 4,000th career victory in Race 2 on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields aboard five-year-old mare Shout It Out. Shout It Out, who sat off a fast pace before nailing early leader Jay’s Angel in the shadow of the wire, paid $29.40 to win for the Kelly Bainum barn.
slot deposit qris

54-year-old Alvarado had to wait out a photo finish before giving an exuberant fist pump when the order of finish was posted. He was greeted in the winner’s circle post-race by family, friends, racing officials, and fellow members of the Golden Gate riding colony. Alvarado’s mounts have accrued $87.8 million throughout a long and successful career that began in his native Panama in 1984. Alvarado’s first career win came at Panama’s Hipodromo Presidente Ramon Racecourse on April 2, 1984.


Some of Alvarado’s top mounts include graded stakes winners Bonfante, Devious Course, Hudson Landing, Lottsa Talc, McCann’s Mojave, More to Tell, and Now Victory. Grade 1 placed Antares World and 5-time stakes winner Lady Railrider are two additional notables whom Alvarado regularly rode. Among Alvarado’s top mounts currently in training are champion Northern California sprinter Top Harbor and recent Del Mar stakes winning 2-year-old Grand Slam Smile.


Alvarado, represented by agent Fernando “Shoes” Navarro, has 2 wins from 11 mounts at the current Fall Meet.




There’s no doubt that chestnut gelding Deshambeau has ability. Two starts ago, he won an allowance race restricted to 3-year-olds by over six lengths at Emerald Downs and returned a month later in the Muckleshoot Derby at Emerald to finish as the runner up behind California Derby winner Prince Abu Dhabi. For his silver medal in the Muckleshoot Derby, Deshambeau earned a career high 80 Beyer.


The Kentucky-bred son of Lea freshens up two months and returns to the races in a tough field at Golden Gate on Sunday in Race 8: a one-mile, first level allowance on turf for 3-year-olds and up. There are questions that Deshambeau needs to answer. Where does he fit against older allowance horses at Golden Gate? Will he take to turf? Trainer Frank Lucarelli is hopeful his steed is ready to put up a good showing against the full field of 11 others assembled.


“I always wanted to see how he’d do on turf. This race came up on turf so we’re trying it sooner rather than later. There have been plenty of Lea’s who have run well on turf,” said Lucarelli. “He’s got eight starts and he’s going up against horses that are a lot more experienced and have a lot more wins. He’s going to need to run his best race yet to win, but he’s training great over the synthetic.”


When asked whether his last two starts-his only two races as a 3-year-old routing-were a product of his vast improvement as of late, Lucarelli replied, “That and he’s settled down. He used to be a bit keyed up when you was younger, and he’s really learned to relax.”


Deshambeau will be ridden by veteran rider Isaias Enriquez. Enriquez, who rode regularly in the Pacific Northwest this summer, won 33 races from 169 at Emerald Downs, equaling a 20%-win percentage. Lucarelli has a string of just over 30 horses at Golden Gate this fall.


Among the main contenders Deshambeau must beat is Auspicious Style, an inconsistent racer whose best race makes him a major threat. Off at odds of 10-1 in a September 24 race at the same conditions as Sunday’s main event, Auspicious Style stalked the pace before out gaming his competition and scored a neck win. Robie and Table for Ten, who finished a neck and a half length behind Auspicious Style on September 24, are also entered in Sunday’s eighth race.


The lone Southern California shipper is Sydney Street. From the John Sadler barn, the Great Britain bred makes his first start in a year. His last afternoon appearance (in November of 2022) resulted in a second-place finish at the first level allowance level at Santa Anita.


The speedy Sir Greyson stretches out to two turns for the first time and will likely set the pace. Trained by Steve Sherman, the Quality Road gelding was a four-length winner of a starter allowance last time out, earning a 91 Beyer speed figure. In two previous sprints, Sir Greyson broke the 90 Beyer threshold. He has gone off at 4-5 or lower in all lifetime starts, though that is unlikely to be the case come post time for Race 8 on Sunday.


9 races are on the schedule for Golden Gate’s Sunday program. First post is 1:15 PM.


Race 8 on Sunday (Allowance at one mile on turf for fillies and mares three-year-olds and up)

#1 Mr. T’s Thirsty (Jockey Catalino Martinez…Trainer Sammy Calvario)

#2 Auspicious Style (Alexander Chavez…Jack Steiner)

#3 Table for Ten (Santos Rivera…Bill McLean)

#4 Deshambeau (Isaias Enriquez…Frank Lucarelli)

#5 Robie (Irving Orozco…Faith Taylor)

#6 Sir Greyson (Assael Espinoza…Steve Sherman)

#7 Sydney Street (Evin Roman…John Sadler)

#8 Travel the Map (Kevin Radke…Tim McCanna)

#9 One Fast Bro (Frank Alvarado…Ruby Thomas)

#10 Cardiff Crack (Cristobal Herrera…Bill McLean)

#11 Charbonneau (Luis Jimenez…Andy Mathis)

#12 Arma d’Oro (William Antongeorgi III…Dan Markle)


#13 Seventeen Black (William Antongeorgi III…David Hofmans)



Below is a list of claims from last week:



Race 2: Amanda Rose (New trainer Gary Greiner…New owner[s] Ernie and Elsie Meza)

Race 6: Uncle Leon (Jack Steiner…Remmah Racing Inc.)



Race 2: Maycee Jo (Owner/Trainer Jesus Uranga)

Race 4: Wicklow Hills (Owner/Trainer Jesus Uranga)

Race 5: Vanisky (Jack Steiner…Melvin Simonovich)



Race 7: Charlotte Harbor (D. Wayne Baker…Richard Barton)

Race 7: Dramatizer (Simon Hobson…Mean Girls Racing Stable)

Race 8: Que Sera Sir Ralph (Andy Mathis…Mark Holman, Mathis, and Raymond Salvatore)


FINISH LINES: Monday’s feature race is Race 5 for turf routers. The contenders: allowance winners Dulas, Enos Slaughter, Kingmeister, and Terry’s Boy, 2019 Del Mar Derby (G2) winner Nolde, and stakes placed Mr. T’s Thirsty. The first of nine races on Monday is 1:15 PM…Live racing will be conducted on a Friday through Sunday basis next week. Next Friday and Saturday, Golden Gate on-track patrons can watch and wager on the 2023 Breeders Cup Championship and all “undercard” races both days…Undefeated 2-year-old Dreamfyre was pre-entered in both the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Breeder Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf earlier this week. Trainer O.J. Jauregui reported that she will likely be entered in the latter at one mile. More to come in next week’s News and Notes.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, October 20, 2023

Isidro Tamayo, who has continued to grow his stable over the years in Northern California, won his first Golden Gate Fields training title at the recently concluded Summer Meet. Tamayo was victorious with 15 of his 58 starters, equating to a 26%-win rate. Tamayo edged out runner up finisher Steve Sherman, who had a terrific meet in his own right with 13 wins from 42 starters (31%). Tamayo currently trains around 70 horses.

“It’s pretty cool when you sit back and think about how the barn has grown,” said Tamayo. “There was a time we had 10 horses. Then 20, then 30. Now we’ve got a big stable. With a large stable comes some additional stress but my team has done a great job. We’re doing our best all the time.”

Tamayo will be very active in the entry box throughout the 25-day Fall Meet that begins this Saturday. For the first three days of live racing action, Tamayo has 13 horses in. He campaigns A Dime for Me off a layoff in the featured eighth race on Saturday, a first level allowance sprint for fillies and mares, and tightens the girth for Windribbon in the signature race of the day on Sunday, a first level allowance that attracted a strong cast of colts and geldings.

“We stay busy,” quipped Tamayo. “My team works hard.”

Other leaders, of course, also deserve recognition. Just like when William Antongeorgi III and Kevin Radke tied at the 2022 Fall Meet, there was a tie for leading rider at this year’s Summer Meet. Assael Espinoza and Evin Roman finished atop the jockey standings together, each winning 21 races. Espinoza, who compiled an impressive 30%-win rate with 21 wins from 71 steers, won the Winter/Spring meet riding title as well. Roman, who sported a 20%-win clip at the Summer Meet, earned the most purse money out of any jockey with $459,319 from 107 rides.Third place finisher Alexander Chavez finished behind the top pair by just one win.

Johnny Taboada’s Taboada Racing Stables LLC ruled supreme in the Owner Standings, winning the most races out of any owner with six trips to the winner’s circle. There was a two-way go for second place: Ron Charles and Sam Gordon and Melvin Simonovich each won four races. Taboada has horses with Summer Meet leading trainer Tamayo and Sammy Calvario.


82 horses are entered on the 2023 Fall Meet Opening Day Saturday card. 9 races are on the schedule, and first post is at 1:15 PM. “Big fields” is the theme in the Late Pick 4 sequence, with 44 starters entered in the last four races (11 horses per race). Race 8, the headliner of the afternoon, is the penultimate leg of the Late Pick 4 and attracts a full field of 12 filly and mare sprinters. The first level allowance event at six furlongs lured 10 locals and a pair of Southern California invaders.

Returning to the Bay Area is Zazen, who has a strong record on the Golden Gate Tapeta. In late March, the grey daughter of Grazen was victorious at this level and returned to finish third at the same condition. She suffered a troubled trip in her next start, and placed fourth on dirt at Emerald in June, her last afternoon appearance. She picks up jockey Alexander Chavez for the first time.

“I wish I had a couple more works into her,” said trainer Dan Markle. “The race came up. It’s here. So, we’re running. She can run well on multiple surfaces, but she really seems to enjoy the Tapeta.”

Another filly coming off a layoff is 7-year-old mare A Dime for Me, who makes her first start for new trainer Isidro Tamayo. A Dime for Me is an extremely consistent mare with 10 wins and 15 other in-the-money finishes from 35 lifetime starts. That said, she has primarily competed in specialized starter allowance contests.

She always gets bet, too: in nine of her last ten races, A Dime for Me has been favored, and in eight of those instances she went off at under even money. Her lone career try at this first level allowance condition resulted in a third-place finish last spring. That day, she went off at 5-1: the only time in her last 10 starts in which she was not favored.

“I think she’ll be fit enough [off the layoff],” said Tamayo. “I’m expecting her to sit off the pace and hopefully come with a run.”

A third comebacker is Dolce Ghost, making her first start in three and a half months for trainer Brendan Galvin. A Kentucky bred by Ghostzapper, the always well-regarded filly broke her maiden impressively in lifetime start number two and, since then, has finished a neck and a length and a half, respectively, behind the winners at this first level allowance condition. A couple of quick workouts scream off the page, including a bullet five-furlong drill on the morning of October 8.

The two Southern California invaders will at the very least attract additional looks. House of Magic runs out of her conditions for trainer Peter Miller, having hit the board in her last two races at starter allowance conditions at Del Mar. Three races ago, she broke her maiden while in for a $50,000 claiming tag. The daughter of Good Magic was purchased for $200,000 by owner Kaleem Shah and removes blinkers. The only time she raced without the hood, she won.

Like her Southern California counterpart, Warrior Moon also takes off the blinkers for trainer John Sadler. The 6-year-old California bred has done her best work at two turns distances and hasn’t sprinted in quite some time. 10-pound apprentice Manny Americano picks up the mount.

Race 8 on Saturday, along with being the penultimate race in late multi race bets at Golden Gate, is also the second leg of the Golden Hour Late Pick 4. 82 horses made the Golden Gate Saturday overnight, equating to 9.1 horses per race.


The old phrase, “pace makes the race” may very well be the case in Monday’s fourth race at Golden Gate, a second level allowance for filly and mare sprinters at five and one-half furlongs. A contentious group on paper, the winner could be a filly or mare who A.) is ready to run her best race and B.) gets the right trip given whatever pace scenario unravels.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, September 29, 2023


Before a victory in the 2023 Sam Spear Memorial on September 4, six-year-old gelding Lammas’ best efforts all came over synthetic surfaces. Sent off at odds of 5-1 in the Sam Spear on turf, the Manny Badilla trainee stalked the pace before taking the lead in midstretch and drawing clear for a convincing victory. He received a 93 Beyer speed figure, his second-best lifetime Beyer behind the 96 he earned when winning last year’s Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap on Tapeta.

All Lammas needed to do was put in a sharp half mile workout last Sunday morning for Badilla to enter his stable star in the signature race this Saturday, an open allowance event at one mile on the grass. Lammas draws post two and retains the services of jockey William Antongeorgi III, who was aboard for the Sam Spear Memorial victory. Badilla noted that the Grade 3 Golden Gate Handicap on November 4 (formerly known as The Berkeley Handicap) is a long-term goal.

Lammas will need to run his ‘A’ race again. The most likely threat to beat him is I’mgonnabesomebody, a 3-time stakes winner who finished as the runner up in the Sam Spear Memorial. I’mgonnabesomebody is trained by Bill McLean and will be ridden by Alexander Chavez.

Southern California invader Silent Poet is a 3-time Grade 2 winner and scored a 9-1 upset in the Grade 1 Highlander sprinting on turf at Woodbine in 2021. His best graded stakes efforts came in 2021 or earlier. Most recently, Silent Poet finished over four lengths behind the winner in the Grade 3 Green Flash sprinting five panels at Del Mar. From 34 lifetime starts, the Ontario-bred has only raced at the eight-furlong distance five times. A pair of those runs resulted in wins. John Sadler trains and employs local rider Evin Roman to ride.

Seven others are game to take a shot at the top contenders. At 33-1 odds, America Great placed third in the Sam Spear Memorial about a month ago. He earned a career high 88 Beyer for his effort. Royal ‘n Rando was fourth home in the Sam Spear Memorial and hasn’t won since a first level allowance victory in December. Both entrants look to turn the tables on the heavy hitters this Saturday.

The classy American Farmer finished a length and a half behind I’mgonnabesomebody in the May 29 All-American Stakes and hasn’t raced since an off the board finish in the Pleasanton Mile on dirt. His lone win on turf came in the Robert Dupret Derby as a 3-year-old in 2020. Tesoro is a multiple second level allowance winner but failed to fire in his last start in Northern California, finishing seventh in the Pleasanton Mile. His best efforts to date have come on turf, and he returns to his favorite surface this Saturday.

Honos Man has won three races and placed second twice in his last five starts. He faces a much tougher bunch this time around. first Well-bred Ladywearsthering was a gate to wire winner against first level allowance foes on June 9 at Golden Gate but ran poorly in her last two starts at Del Mar. She faces male counterparts in the Saturday feature. Recent maiden winner Kerry Gold completes the field. In his first start against winners here, he will go off at high odds.

First post on the Saturday 9-race card is 1:45 PM.

Race 8 on Saturday (Open allowance at one mile on turf for 3-year-olds and up)

#1 Kerry Gold (Santos Rivera…Dan Franko…20-1)

#2 Tesoro (Francisco Monroy…O.J. Jauregui…10-1)

#3 Ladywearsthering (Kevin Orozco…Steve Specht…15-1)

#4 Silent Poet (Evin Roman…John Sadler…9-2)

#5 Royal ‘n Rando (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht…10-1)

#6 Lammas (William Antongeorgi III…Manny Badilla…7-2)

#7 I’mgonnabesomebody (Alexander Chavez…Bill McLean…5-2)

#8 America Great (Hugo Herrera…Monty Meier…12-1)

#9 American Farmer (Assael Espinoza…Steve Sherman…6-1)

#10 Honos Man (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…10-1) 


Late developing sophomore sprinters appear as the ones to beat in Sunday’s co-featured third race, a first level allowance at five- and one-half furlongs on Tapeta. The race is restricted to 3-year-olds.

Off a last race Beyer speed figure of 88, there’s no doubt Ballyvaughan Gig is listed as a major player while taking a bump up in class. The California-bred son of Gig Harbor is a perfect 2 for 2, with both wins (one against high level maiden claimers and the other against starter allowance company) coming from just off the pace. The Isidro Tamayo trainee was last seen easily defeating Sir Greyson, a next out starter allowance winner who earned a 91 Beyer for said victory. Irving Orozco was aboard Ballyvaughan Gig last time out and retains the mount.

A pair of Tim McCanna entrants are both intriguing prospects too. Almost Snow draws the rail and will need to work out a good trip from there. After an impressive maiden special weight win at Pleasanton, the son of Frosted was well beaten in a pair of first level allowance races at Del Mar. He returns to Northern California and can be a lot more competitive if he runs back to his maiden win in July.

The other McCanna entrant is No Ice No Glass, who draws the outside post. After two losses in the early wintertime, the son of Tapwrit took eight months off. He returned on September 4 and looked like a brand-new horse, easily beating a solid field of older foes while finishing the race in good time. Both McCanna entrants were gate to wire winners in their maiden victories. One of them will likely be setting the pace.

Two entrants in the field exit stakes company and cut back in distance from routes to a sprint. Rodrigoknows won a first level allowance race at a mile on dirt at Sacramento but finished well behind in his most recent start, the Robert Dupret Derby. He freshens up about a month and a half and gets back to sprinting. Early on in his career, Rodrigoknows broke his maiden at six furlongs. J C’s a Legend finished third beaten seven lengths by California Derby winner Prince Abu Dhabi in the Muckleshoot Derby at Emerald Downs on August 13. He makes his first lifetime start over a synthetic surface this Sunday.

Completing the field is In Honor of Autism, who hasn’t been seen since March. The Taboada Racing LLC contender is a multiple starter allowance winner.

Also on Sunday, a group of older allowance horses voyage five furlongs on turf in Race 8. Among the nine entrants are hard knockers Honeymoonz Over, Talbot Bay, Terry’s Boy, and Southern California invader Cowboy Charlie. To better align with Santa Anita Park, the Golden Gate Sunday card commences at 1:15 PM. 9 races made the Sunday overnight.

Race 3 on Sunday (First-level allowance at six furlongs on Tapeta for 3-year-olds)

#1 Almost Snow (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Tim McCanna)

#2 In Honor of Autism (Catalino Martinez…Ruby Thomas)

#3 Rodrigoknows (Evin Roman…Victor Trujillo)

#4 J C’s a Legend (Isaias Enriquez…Frank Lucarelli)

#5 Ballyvaughan Gig (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo)

#6 No Ice No Glass (Alexander Chavez…Tim McCanna)


Closing Day of the 2023 Summer Meet is this Monday, September 28. With that, four wagers throughout the 10-race card have mandatory payouts: the Golden Pick Six, both Pick 5 bets, and the Rolling Super High Five wager.

The Golden Pick Six is a 20-cent minimum bet and features the last six races on each race card. This Monday’s sequence goes as Races 5 through 10. The Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover heading into Saturday is $57,858. If there fails to be a single ticket jackpot winner on Saturday or Sunday, meaning a lone ticket correctly tabs all six winners in the Pick Six, then the carryover amount will be even greater on Mandatory Payout Monday. A mandatory payout will be in play regardless of whether the single ticket jackpot is hit on Saturday or Sunday.

Monday’s Early Pick 5 and Late Pick 5 sequences are also mandatory payout bets. The Early Pick 5 consists of the first five races on the card (Races 1-5) while the Late Pick 5 is comprised of the last five races (Races 6-10). Both Pick 5 sequences are 50-cent minimum plays. The Early Pick 5 is popular for horseplayers with its player friendly, low 14% takeout.

Lastly, the Rolling High Five in Race 10 is a mandatory payout wager. The Rolling High Five is only offered in races where there are seven or more official starters. On Monday, the tenth and last race of the day has nine starters. The Rolling High Five tasks horseplayers with correctly selecting the first five finishers in order.

First post on Closing Day Monday program is 1:45 PM.   


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 1: Gallant Warren (New trainer Tim Bellasis…New owner Bellasis and Cassandra Tschanz)

Race 4: Speed Grazy (Blaine Wright…Stanley Spano)


Race 1: Regal Redwood (Isidro Tamayo…David Halvorson)

Race 6: Cooperklimt (Owner/Trainer Victor Trujillo)

Race 6: Dance Company (Owner/Trainer Jose Puentes)


Race 1: Respond (O.J Jauregui…Jauregui Racing Stables LLC) 

FINISH LINES: Race 4 on Monday is the feature race of the day: a five-and-one half-furlong allowance for 2-year-old fillies on Tapeta. Blevy’s Tiger and Vinos Angel exit stakes races at Del Mar and get class relief against four others…The Ed Moger Jr. trained Stilleto Boy drew post position 9 in Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. He is listed at 6-1 on the morning line and will be ridden once again by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux…Local jockey Frank Alvarado is 5 wins away from 4,000 lifetime trips to the winner’s circle. He has three mounts on Saturday, five on Sunday, and five more on Monday…Trainers Frank Lucarelli and Charlie Essex were on the Golden Gate Fields backstretch this week watching their horse’s train. Both veteran trainers have competed at Golden Gate in the past and bring a string of horses from Emerald Downs to GGF for the upcoming Fall Meet. In fact, Lucarelli starts two runners on Sunday: J C’s a Legend in Race 3 and Hickory Wind in Race 6…Speaking of new faces, jockey Isaias Enriquez has joined the jockey colony. He rides J C’s a Legend on Saturday for Lucarelli…Opening Day of the Fall meet is Saturday, October 21. See you then!

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, September 22, 2023


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.


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)


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.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, September 15, 2023


A half dozen fillies and mares take center stage in the featured seventh race at Golden Gate on Saturday, the $50,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf Distaff at one-mile and a sixteenth on grass. In what appears as a wide-open affair, handicappers could make a strong case for any entrant in the race.

Trainer Manny Badilla will be busy in the paddock pre-race. He saddles half the field. Badilla has been in this position before: he ran three fillies and mares in the 2019 Miss America Stakes.

“My three all have different running styles,” said Badilla on his contenders in the 2023 GGF Turf Distaff. “It’ll be easy for me to watch each of ‘em during the race. We’re looking for a stake win. If not a win, then a stakes placing.”

Madeira Wine, fresh off a neck loss in a second level allowance race on August 27, will be prominent in the early stages. Assuming she breaks, she’ll be up on the pace, says Badilla. Over the summer, Madeira Wine won a second level event at Pleasanton over dirt. That day, she set a slow pace and took advantage of the cozy scenario.

“There’s going to be one way for her to do it,” said Badilla. “She needs to be up there [on the lead].”

Badilla expects his 4-year-old filly Naughty Nadine to lay just off her stablemate in a stalking position early on. A Great Britain bred, Naughty Nadine has done her best work at Golden Gate, with her last two starts at the bayside oval resulting in trips to the winner’s circle. Her two most recent afternoon showings resulted in poor finishes, though those races came away from home.

“I think she’ll work out a good trip,” said Badilla.

Hard knocking Cal-bred Momma Mocca is projected to bide her time off the pace before, Badilla hopes, she makes a strong move down the stretch. Momma Mocca comes off a confidence booster last month, handily defeating next out winner Derrygoolin in a first level allowance at Santa Rosa. Her lone career try against stakes competition in the Moscow Burning Stakes last fall resulted in a fourth-place finish behind Golden Poppy Stakes winner Rose Maddox and multiple stakes winner Chancery Way.

“She’s just a hard tryer,” said Badilla.

Badilla’s contingent goes up against a trio of others, including recent second level allowance victor Stoic Luna. The daughter of Fed Biz has won four of her last six races, including a recent second level allowance victory in which she beat Madeira Wine on the square. This will be Stoic Luna’s stakes debut.

“She’s on fire right now,” said Stoic Luna’s trainer, Jack Steiner. “She’s doing super well. She’s going to have to run her best though. Everyone in this race is going to have to if they want to win. It’s an evenly matched group.”

Stakes placed Clockstrikestwelve was beaten a half length for the top prize in the August 27 second level allowance won by Stoic Luna. Four starts ago, she came a head short of beating Naughty Nadine in a June 11 race. Assignation, third place finisher in the Luther Burbank Stakes at Santa Rosa behind top quality runners Ascendancy and Ever Smart, completes the field. If she were to run back to that effort, a case could be made for her as a legit contender. That said, she regressed off her two-back stakes effort with a four-place finish behind Stoic Luna, Madeira Wine, and Clockstrikestwelve on August 27.

First post on an 8-race card on Saturday is 1:45 PM. The Golden Gate Fields Turf Distaff goes as the seventh race.

Race 7 on Saturday (The $50,000 Luther Burbank Stakes for fillies and mares at one and a sixteenth miles on turf)

#1 Stoic Luna (Jockey Evin Roman…Trainer Jack Steiner…morning line odds of 9-5)

#2 Clockstrikestwelve (Alexander Chavez…Ruby Thomas…4-1)

#3 Momma Mocca (Irving Orozco…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#4 Assignation (Cristobal Herrera…Steve Sherman…6-1)

#5 Madeira Wine (Santos Rivera…Manny Badilla…2-1)

#6 Naughty Nadine (Assael Espinoza…Manny Badilla…10-1)


Dropping the hammer at $240,000 in the 2022 OBS 2-year-old in training sale, bay filly Swall obviously worked well to bring solid money at auction. After a year of preparation, she made her long-anticipated debut at Golden Gate for trainer Andy Mathis and owners Little Red Feather Racing in an April 22, 2023 maiden special weight. A full field assembled in the gate, Swall broke last, and ran towards the rear throughout. The comment line for the race simply reads, “Dull effort.”

If you don’t succeed, try again. Right? Three weeks later, Swall returned at the same level and looked like a totally different filly, dueling on the lead at a rapid pace before easily shrugging off a rival and pulling clear for a visually impressive, four-length winning effort. Tessa, who finished second that day, returned to break her maiden in her next start and has turned into a formidable allowance caliber sprinter since.

Swall was ambitiously spotted in a two-turn allowance against older foes in her next start, her first try against winners, and placed fourth after stalking the pace. Her last two starts, both at Del Mar, resulted in off the board finishes.

Still in search of her second lifetime trip to the winner’s circle, Swall returns to the scene of her eye-catching maiden win in Sunday’s co-featured seventh race, a first level allowance for fillies and mares at six furlongs on Tapeta. Mathis is crossing his fingers in hopes that his filly gets back to her winning form while employing similar tactics and finishing ability to what she displayed in her maiden breaking triumph.

“We’ve tried a few different things with her,” said Mathis. “At this point, I think she’s a little better sprinting. 

“We want to try to get her back to her best race,” continued Mathis. “[This Sunday], we want her to break out of there running. I’d like to see her get into the race early.”  

Swall retains the services of jockey Francisco Duran, who was aboard for the 3-year-old filly’s lone career win in April. All that said, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper will need to bring her ‘A’ game to win. She faces seven rivals.

Pleasanton Oaks runner up finisher Big Sis Little Sis adds blinkers for trainer Reid France. The last we saw her compete at Golden Gate, she placed fifth in the Dream of Summer Stakes behind the likes of Sadie Bluegrass, Sassy Nature, and Chancery Way. Big Sis Little Sis put up better than looked showings in her last two starts at Del Mar and faces easier company in Sunday’s main event.

The well-bred Lady’s Sermon has finished second or third in six different races at this level. Most recently, the Steve Specht trainee had to settle for second as the favorite behind none other than Tessa, who of course finished behind Swall when they met as maidens. Coincidentally, Specht lost another contender in this race, Tamara Mine, three starts ago at the claim box. Tamara Mine makes her first start sprinting since moving to trainer Isidro Tamayo’s stable and should be fit cutting back from a route to a sprint. On the day she was claimed, she sprinted six furlongs at Pleasanton and beat Lady’s Sermon by a length and three-quarters.

A California-bred taking advantage of her chance to win at the first level allowance condition twice is J and K Express. We last watched J and K Express display grit and determination for a nose victory at this level in April of 2022. She makes her 2023 debut for new trainer Jose Puentes and retains the services of jockey Cristobal Herrera, who guided J and K Express to victory 17 months ago.

Pappy’s Girl finished third at this level on August 27 and sports a bullet workout since her last start. City Glitter gets back to Tapeta after rounding out the superfecta behind next out turf sprint allowance winner Queen Molotov at Santa Rosa last month. Lady Wolf, a maiden winner and subsequent 28 length loser in the Pleasanton Oaks, completes the lineup of entrants. She is the most lightly raced equine in the race with just two starts to her name.

Another 8-race card this Sunday, with first post time slated for 1:45 PM.

Race 7 on Sunday (First level allowance for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs)

#1 Tamara Mine (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Isidro Tamayo)

#2 Big Sis Little Sis (Evin Roman…Reid France)

#3 Lady’s Sermon (Catalino Martinez…Steve Specht)

#4 Swall (Francisco Duran…Andy Mathis)

#5 City Glitter (William Antongeorgi III…Alberto Ruvalcaba)

#6 Pappy’s Girl (Irving Orozco…Monty Meier)

#7 J and K Express (Cristobal Herrera…Jose Puentes)

#8 Lady Wolf (Luis Jimenez…Marcia Stortz)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 1: Performative (New trainer Ruby Thomas…New owner William Heck)

Race 3: Azure Star (Owner/Trainer Jose Bautista)

Race 3: Berolijean (Ruby Thomas…Madden Racing)

Race 4: Gallant Warren (Ruby Thomas…TAK Racing)

Race 4: Lookin for Revenge (D. Wayne Baker…Baker, Bergounous, Decamilla and Hansen) 


Race 1: Beachgrass (Isidro Tamayo…Brian Parker)


Race 1: Spun Beautiful (D. Wayne Baker…Richard Barton)

FINISH LINES: The co-featured third race on Sunday afternoon is an allowance sprint for first level allowance caliber colts and geldings…9 races end our racing week on Monday. The marquee event of the day, Race 7, attracts the Bill McLean trained pair of Hey Mate and Shot of a Lifetime and well-bred Rackataptap. First post is 1:45 PM…Jockey Frank Alvarado is six wins away from career victory #4,000. He has four mounts at Golden Gate on Saturday, one on Monday, and nine at Emerald Downs on Sunday. Among his mounts in Washington State is the Tim McCanna trained Anthony’s Cleopatra in the 1/ST Bet WA Cup Filly and Mare Stakes Presented by Pegasus Training and Rehabilitation Program…Pedigree note: The first Golden Gate starter sired by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify makes her career debut in Race 5, a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies, on Sunday. Justivar, a Larry and Marianne Williams homebred, breaks from post 3 for trainer Jack Steiner and jockey Evin Roman…According to a recent article written by Steve Anderson of the Daily Racing Form, the Ed Moger Jr. trained Stilleto Boy, who was eased in an uncharacteristically poor performance in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, came out of the race with a clean bill of health. Moger told Anderson that he will breeze the son of Shackleford before deciding on whether to run him in the Santa Anita’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes on September 30.


BERKELEY, CA (September 16, 2023) – 1/ST RACING announced that they expect to file a request with the California Horse Racing Board for an allocation of race dates for the first half of 2024 at Golden Gate Fields. The request is tied to extending the announced closing date of the track located in the cities of Albany and Berkeley to June 30, 2024.

The decision follows the passage of AB 1074 at the end of the 2023 legislative session in Sacramento, which authorizes the reallocation of purse and commission revenues generated in the Northern zone of California to support racing in the Southern and Central zones should there be unallocated weeks in future years. The bill will not be law until signed by Governor Newsom.

We are pleased we could work out a solution with our industry stakeholders to be able to keep Golden Gate Fields open for an additional and final meet,” said Aidan ButlerChief Executive Officer1/ST RACING & GAMING.

This extension follows extensive consultation with various industry constituents, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Authority of Racing Fairs, California Thoroughbred Trainers and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, who urged an extension in the interest of developing a statewide transition plan based upon thoughtful consideration of the challenges facing racing in California and across the country.

1/ST RACING is committed to a final race meet at Golden Gate Fields that reflects a proud commemoration of the sport of Thoroughbred racing in Northern California.

Media Contacts

Tiffani Steer,

Stefan Friedman,

About The Stronach Group and 1/ST

The Stronach Group is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core.  The Stronach Group’s 1/ST business (pronounced “First”) is North America’s preeminent Thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering company and includes the 1/ST RACING & GAMING, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and 1/ST EXPERIENCE businesses, while advocating for and driving the 1/ST HORSE CARE mission. 1/ST represents The Stronach Group’s continued movement toward redefining Thoroughbred racing and the ecosystem that drives it. 1/ST RACING & GAMING drives the best-in-class racing operations and gaming offerings at the company’s premier racetracks and training centers including: Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and San Luis Rey Downs (California); Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series and Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center (Florida); the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course – home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Rosecroft Raceway and Bowie Training Center (Maryland). 1/ST CONTENT is the operating group for 1/ST’s media and content companies including: Monarch Content Management, Elite, TSG Global Wagering Solutions (GWS) and XBTV. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is racing’s largest racing and gaming technology company offering world-class products via its AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix brands. 1/ST EXPERIENCE blends the worlds of sports, entertainment and hospitality through innovative content development, elevated national and local venue management and hospitality, strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and procurement development. As the advocate for critical industry reforms and by making meaningful investments into aftercare programs for retired horses and jockeys, 1/ST HORSE CARE represents The Stronach Group’s commitment to achieving the highest level of horse and rider care and safety standards in Thoroughbred racing on and off the track. The Stronach Group’s TSG Properties is responsible for the development of the company’s live, play and work communities surrounding its racing venues including: The Village at Gulfstream Park (Florida) and Paddock Pointe (Maryland).

For more information, visit or follow @1ST_racing on Twitter or @1stracing on Instagram and Facebook.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, September 8, 2023


Trainer O.J Jauregui and owner Danny Eplin have a good one in 2-year-old filly Dreamfyre, a $140,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase that has wracked off back-to-back wins to kick off her career. This Saturday at Del Mar, Dreamfyre goes up against the fastest 2-year-old fillies on the West Coast in Race 10, the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante at 7 furlongs on dirt.

So impressed with Dreamfyre’s workouts in her first couple months residing in Northern California, Jauregui and Eplin opted to run their filly against stakes company on debut. In the Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton on July 9, Dreamfyre stormed out of the gate, charged to the lead, and never surrendered, hitting the winning post three and a half lengths ahead of the second-place finisher. Jockey Francisco Duran was aboard for the win.

In her next and most recent start in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes on August 12, the Kentucky bred daughter of Flameaway proved her Everett Nevin performance was no fluke. Sent off at 7-2 odds, she flew to the lead and set quick fractions of 21.74, 45.10, and 57.57 before repelling a challenge from race favorite Benedetta. Dreamfyre finished three and a half-length ahead at the finish. Southern California based rider Hector Berrios was aboard for the Sorrento Stakes win and retains the mount in this Saturday’s Debutante.

Since the Sorrento, Dreamfyre has posted one published workout: a four-furlong drill on the morning of August 28. In Jauregui’s training program, normally he would have worked Dreamfyre once more before the Debutante. Instead, he is galloping her into the race.

“I’ve made this same move with some horses over the years,” said Jauregui. “I don’t want to put too much speed into her. I don’t want her to be too keyed up going into this race. So, rather than working her again, she’s been two-minute licking [a mile]. She’s fit.”

Jauregui is not only confident that Dreamfyre can go the seven furlongs, but firmly believes she is multi-dimensional.

“There’s a lot of speed in this race,” said Jauregui. “She’s very fast. I’m not going to tell Hector [Berrios] what to do. He’s going to have to ride the race. This filly can rate if she needs to. I know she can. You can work her a minute change or 1:03 and she’ll do it no problem.”

Dreamfyre draws post position 7 in a full field of 14 and is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1. The morning line favorite, Tamara, is 7-2. The Richard Mandella trainee won impressively on debut last month and is royally bred: by Bold d’Oro out of the brilliant Grade I winning mare Beholder. Post time for the Debutante is 5:59 PM PT.


When 2-year-old gelding Wild Jewels won his career debut by 5 lengths in a maiden special weight at Pleasanton, trainer Steve Specht was far from shocked.

“He can run,” said Specht. “I thought he was going to win his next start too, but we ran into a really good horse.”

That good horse, named Dreamfyre, easily defeated a solid group in the Everett Nevin Stakes. Wild Jewels had to settle for second, beaten three and a half lengths

Specht and owners/breeders Larry and Marianne Williams opted to give Wild Jewels another go against stakes company in his next and most recent start, the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar against state-bred 2-year-olds. Bet down as the 7-2 second choice in the wagering, Wild Jewels raced wide throughout and placed fifth in the August 11 event.

“He was pretty much 7-wide the whole way,” said Specht. “It was his own doing. He was eyeing the other horses inside of him the whole time. He was more focused on the others horses than running his race.”

Wild Jewels reappears one month later in this Monday’s feature at Golden Gate: a first level allowance for 2-year-olds. The signature event of the day is carded as the third of eight races. Although Wild Jewels has made all three lifetime starts on dirt, a recent September 4 spin around the track, working the fastest five furlongs from 33 workers, may indicate Tapeta won’t be an issue.

“He had a really good work the other morning,” said Specht. “He should be tough.”

Wild Jewels is the 7-5 morning line favorite. 2-year-old filly Union Coach is 9-5 on the line and also sports fast works leading up to her second lifetime start. In her lone afternoon appearance on August 5, Union Coach wired a maiden special weight field at Santa Rosa. Isidro Tamayo trains the California-bred by Coach Bob.

Another Santa Rosa maiden special weight winner is Autism Puzzle, who defeated next out winner Homer Wells on August 4. Sammy Calvario trains Autism Puzzle and another contender in Drum Bunny, a recent fourth place finisher at this condition on August 12. Maiden Coral Cat rounds out the field.

First post this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday is 1:45 PM. All three race days are comprised of 8 races.

Race 3 on Monday, September 11 (First level allowance for 2-year-olds at six furlongs)

#1 Drum Bunny (Jockey Alexander Chavez…Trainer Sammy Calvario…Morning line odds of 6-1)

#2 Autism Puzzle (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario…6-1)

#3 Coral Cat (William Antongeorgi III…Dan Franko…5-1)

#4 Wild Jewels (Catalino Martinez…Steve Specht…7-5)

#5 Union Coach (Evin Roman…Isidro Tamayo…9-5)


Heading into the Sam Spear Memorial last Monday, 6-year-old European bred gelding Lammas had never won on turf. In fact, in five lifetime starts on the lawn, Lammas had never even hit the board.

That statistic changed this past Labor Day Monday. The winner of last year’s Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap stalked a decent pace, hunted for racing room while inside of horses turning for home, split rivals in midstretch and kicked away for a length and three-quarter victory. Lammas earned a 93 Beyer speed figure in the Sam Spear, his second highest lifetime Beyer.

Always flashy in the mornings, Lammas had posted numerous quick workouts leading up to his return to the races off a five-month vacation last Monday. Although his past performances indicated he was not competing over his favorite surface, trainer Manny Badilla was not surprised Lammas ran well.

“He wants a dry, firm course,” said Badilla. “In most of his races on turf, they were over soft ground. He ran once at Del Mar and ran fourth, but the winner ran 1:33. That was over dry turf, and he ran well that day. He’s such a good horse…he’s got the biggest heart. [Jockey] Billy [Antongeorgi III] rode him perfect.”

A long-term goal for Lammas will be defending his title in the Grade 3 Berkeley, to be run in mid-November on the Tapeta. 5 of 6 lifetime wins for Lammas have come over synthetic surfaces. That said, Badilla now knows for sure that Lammas can run well on turf…as long as Mother Nature cooperates.


Below is a list of claims from last week’s races.


Race 5: Black Caspian (New trainer Victor Trujillo…new owner[s] James McIntyre and Colin Murray)


Race 2: Dino’s Dixie (Jack Steiner…Melvin Simonovich)


Race 4: Little Casino (Monty Meier…Brown Cattle Co. and William Branch)


Below is a list of Northern California horses and human connections competing at Del Mar this week:


Race 4: Love Candy (Trainer Sammy Calvario…Jockey Armando Ayuso)

Race 6: Tiger in My Tank (Jack Steiner…Armando Ayuso)

Race 8: I’m a Risque Girl (Andy Mathis…Umberto Rispoli)


Race 2: Blackened (Quinn Howey…Ricky Gonzalez)

Race 3: Princess Belle (Andy Mathis…Ricky Gonzalez)

Race 8: Mars on Fire (Steve Miyadi…Tiago Pereira)

Race 10: Dreamfyre (O.J Jauregui…Hector Berrios)


Race 3: Cardiff Crack (Bill McLean…Juan Hernandez)

Race 6: Larry’s Legend (Sammy Calvario…Armando Ayuso)

Race 6: Windribbon (Isidro Tamayo…Umberto Rispoli)

Race 8: Mr. T’s Thirsty (Sammy Calvario…Armando Ayuso)

Race 9: Golden Ae (Ed Moger Jr…Hector Berrios)

FINISH LINES: The marquee race on Saturday is Race 7, a first level allowance for filly and mare turf routers, while a first level allowance route on Sunday, Race 4, is the marquee event of the day with five geldings and one horse…Congratulations to jockey Frank Alvarado, who won four races in a row on Sunday. Alvarado is approaching a milestone: he is 7 wins away from career victory 4,000…Trainer Tim McCanna also had a big day on Sunday, with three victories. Alvarado was aboard for all three…17 fillies and mares are nominated for next Saturday’s Golden Gate Fields Turf Distaff at one mile and a sixteenth on grass. Among the nominees are Golden Poppy Stakes winner Rose Maddox, Santa Anita stakes winner Freedom Flyer, Emerald Downs invader Daffodil Sweet, and recent second level allowance winner Stoic Luna.

Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Friday, September 1, 2023


In Race 7 on Saturday, all seven contenders are entered for a $40,000 claiming tag. Yet on paper, the quality of competition reads as a highly competitive, salty allowance race. In an affair with old pros and class racers, horseplayers can make a case for any entrant in the race.

The well-bred Nolde was a dominant winner of a super strong starter allowance race on turf at Santa Rosa last month. He won the race by just under four lengths while geared down in the final sixteenth of a mile. A repeat effort would tab him as one of the horses to beat in Race 7 on Saturday, although the field he faces this time around is significantly tougher.

The last time we watched Kennebec compete on the Golden Gate turf course, he comfortably defeated a second level allowance field. Since then, he has failed to fire in two consecutive races: the Pleasanton Mile on dirt and a 50k claimer at Del Mar last month. In both losses, Kennebec went off at high odds. He appears well spotted for a much more competitive run this weekend.

The gutsy gelding Honos Man has finished first or second in his last four starts. The 7-year-old by Afleet Alex recently stalked, pounced, and pummeled over a first level allowance group at Santa Rosa. He returns to the races one month later with consistent form for one of the leading trainers at Golden Gate, Isidro Tamayo. Tamayo also campaigns Anitanewmercedes, who has strung together back-to-back first level allowance victories on two different surfaces as of late. The chestnut gelding enjoys racing on the lead; expect him to gun for the front and try to wire the field.

Dulas sports a pair of fast workouts leading up to his first start in almost seven months for trainer Manny Badilla. Beginning his career in Great Britain, Dulas broke his maiden overseas on a soft turf course and, since moving to America in the fall of 2021, has hit the board in a trio of second level allowance races over the GGF Tapeta.

The fresh Harmon makes his first start in about three months for trainer Monty Meier. Harmon’s last afternoon appearance resulted in a runner up finish behind next out allowance winner Seattle Bold at the same $40,000 claiming condition as Saturday’s seventh race. Harmon hasn’t seen the winners circle in a while; he last got his picture taken after a gate to wire win against open allowance company in April of 2022-eleven starts ago.

Sent off at odds of 3-1 in a $40,000 claiming heat at Sacramento on July 28, Conundrum stalked the pace and weakened to fourth in a disappointing effort. His last start on grass came at Golden Gate in April, when the son of Super Saver stalked the pace, battled for the win in midstretch and came up a length short of race winner One Fast Bro in a first level allowance.

8 races made the Saturday overnight. First post is 1:45 PM.

Race 7 on Saturday (40k claimer at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)

#1 Nolde (Jockey Alexander Chavez…Trainer Steve Sherman…morning line odds of 5-2)

#2 Kennebec (Brayan Pena…Ruby Thomas…7-2)

#3 Harmon (Catalino Martinez…Monty Meier…6-1)

#4 Conundrum (Frank Alvarado…Mike Lenzini…8-1)

#5 Dulas (Evin Roman…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#6 Honos Man (William Antongeorgi III…Isidro Tamayo…3-1)

#7 Anitanewmercedes (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…9-2)


It’s not often you see a runner up finisher in a first level allowance race immediately take a bump up in class to the second level condition. That is the case, however, with 4-year-old California bred colt Trip to Spain, as he tackles a small but highly talented group of rivals in Race 4 on Sunday: a second level allowance for sprinters on Tapeta.

A son of Grade 1 winner Stay Thirsty, Trip to Spain began his racetrack life surrounded by hype. Sent off at even money in his career debut as a 2-year-old in 2021, Trip to Spain clobbered a large field by over 4 lengths. He returned a few weeks later and placed second in the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar for state-breds. After given time off for the rest of the year, Trip to Spain returned as a 3-year-old and, within a span of six starts, won a pair of allowance races.

An issue popped up shortly after a gutsy victory in July of 2022. Trip to Spain was given over a year off. His comeback to the races came in his last start, a first level allowance at Santa Rosa, in which Trip to Spain was in for a $32,000 tag, dueled on a highly contentious pace, outkicked the early leaders turning for home, and got tagged late by race winner Gerlach’s. Trip to Spain earned a career high Beyer speed figure (80) for a much better than looked effort.

Since his trip to Santa Rosa, Trip to Spain has worked twice, including a sharp 47.80 half mile drill last weekend. Assistant trainer Troy Thomas, who works for his father Jamey, indicated the decision to run in Sunday’s second level allowance attributes to the way Trip to Spain has been training over the last few weeks.

“I like him more going into this race than in his last,” said Thomas. “Before his last start, he wasn’t showing us a ton [in the mornings]. We were happy with how he ran at Santa Rosa. After the race, he started to pick it up. He had a terrific breeze the other morning. He’s training forwardly, for sure. Right now, he’s doing as well as he could be doing.”

Trip to Spain faces a tough field on Sunday. Trainer Tim McCanna enters a strong 1-2 punch with Rager and Unraptured. Rager took the summer off after a pair of second level allowance wins in the spring and, most recently, a length and three-quarter loss in the Albany Stakes on turf. Unraptured, who got a confidence boosting win against $40,000 claimers in June, was last seen placing third in the Oak Tree Sprint on July 1. Both McCanna entrants are in for a $62,500 tag.

Playing Hardball has won three consecutive races while steadily climbing the class ladder for trainer Sammy Calvario. After Calvario claimed Playing Hardball off a $12,500 win, the 5-year-old son of Hard Spun reeled off a $20,000 restricted claiming victory. His most recent start against first level allowance company ended in a gate to wire win, and Playing Hardball earned a lifetime high 85 Beyer speed figure. His last two victories for the Calvario barn came over dirt; ‘Hardball has won twice over Tapeta in the past.

Rounding out the field is Cool Mountain Lad, whose last start on the Tapeta at this level in June resulted in a trip to the winner’s circle. He has made one start since: a well beaten, seventh place finish in the Oak Tree Sprint at Pleasanton.

8 races are on the docket for Sunday. First post is 1:45 PM.

Race 7 on Saturday (40k claimer at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)

#1 Rager (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Tim McCanna…morning line odds of 8-5)

#2 Trip to Spain (Alexander Chavez…Jamey Thomas…2-1)

#3 Unraptured (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna…5-1)

#4 Cool Mountain Lad (Evin Roman…Victor Trujillo…8-1)

#5 Playing Hardball (Catalino Martinez…Sammy Calvario…3-1)


The 5-year-old gelding I’mgonnabesomebody has firmly stamped himself as the top older horse in Northern California with victories in races like the Joseph T. Grace, the All American and, one year ago, the Sam Spear Memorial. This Labor Day Monday, the Kentucky-bred by Will Take Charge is ready to defend his title in the 2023 edition of the Sam Spear Memorial.

I’mgonnabesomebody got a legit acid test in the Grade 2 Eddie Read at Del Mar on July 30. Sitting four lengths off the lead early, the chestnut gelding plodded along down the lane and finished four and three-quarter lengths behind race winner Gold Phoenix. Gold Phoenix is a major contender in the Del Mar Handicap on Saturday.

“Those are good horses he ran against. I thought he ran well,” said McLean. “He didn’t get the greatest trip. I was a little surprised he was as far off the pace as he was. There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race and that’s why I entered him there [vs. the San Diego Handicap on dirt one day prior].”

Since the Eddie Read, I’mgonnabesomebody worked five furlongs out of the gate on August 27 at Del Mar.

“The key is to get him around there,” quipped McLean. “We just wanted to get some air in him. You don’t have to do too much with him once he’s fit.”

I’mgonnabesomebody is a versatile talent. He can either go to the front or stalk the pace. One horse who won’t be afraid to hook up with the likely favorite early is Jimmy Blue Jeans. Like I’mgonnabesomebody, Jimmy’ also last raced at Del Mar, placing fifth after setting the pace in the California Dreamin’ Stakes for state-breds. Jimmy Blue Jeans will be reunited with jockey Assael Espinoza, who was aboard the front running grey son of James Street for a second level allowance victory over this turf course in April.

Royal ‘n Rando outran his 36-1 odds in The California Dreamin’, sitting off a decent pace before rallying for fourth. He improved off his two starts ago effort: an off the board finish in the All American Stakes. The strong jockey/trainer combo of Frank Alvarado and Steve Specht team up with Royal ‘n Rando in the Sam Spear.

A wise guy contender may be Lammas, who hasn’t been seen since a nose loss to 2021 Grade I Pacific Classic winner Tripoli in March. Even though he has finished behind I’mgonnabesomebody on three separate occasions, Lammas defeated the aforementioned foe in the Grade 3 Berkeley last fall while earning a 96 Beyer. Lammas sports fast works leading up to his return to the races, including a 59 second flat, five-furlong drill on August 28. The surface Lammas races over on Monday is a potential concern: the European bred has never hit the board in four career runs on turf.

A pair of three-year-olds face older foes in the Sam Spear. Cousin Richie earned the silver medal behind Clovisconnection in the Robert Dupret Derby at Santa Rosa. In the spring, Cousin Richie was second best to Southern California shipper Game Time in the Alcatraz Stakes. Starter allowance victor Druidic came on late to round out the superfecta in the Robert Dupret and is also entered in the Sam Spear.

Completing the field is America Great, who has competed against claiming company in his last two starts. He is projected to go off at a price in the Sam Spear Memorial.

The Sam Spear Memorial is named after the Bay Area media legend who was part of the Northern California racing community for decades. Throughout a large portion of his career, Sam Spear held the position of publicity manager at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows. He hosted “At the Track with Sam Spear,” a popular morning radio show every Sunday, and a daily race replay show that debuted in 1978 and ran through 2018 on KTSF-TV. Spear had strong connections with Bay Area newspapers, radio and TV stations and worked closely with those channels to promote horse racing. He also consulted several notable figures who showed a passion for horse racing. Among them: rapper MC Hammer, Hall of Fame baseball player Joe DiMaggio, and Hall of Fame baseball manager Earl Weaver.

Eight races will be run on Labor Day 2023 at Golden Gate. First post is 1:45 PM.

Race 7 on Monday: $50,000 Sam Spear Memorial (For 3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)

#1 I’mgonnabesomebody (Jockey Alexander Chavez…Trainer Bill McLean)

#2 Cousin Richie (Alejandro Gomez…Sergio Ledezma)

#3 Lammas (William Antongeorgi III…Manny Badilla)

#4 America Great (Luis M. Jimenez…Monty Meier)

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

#6 Druidic (Epifanio Garcia…D. Wayne Baker)

#7 Royal n’ Rando (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht)


Below is a list of claims from last week


Race 3: Dick Best (New trainer Jack Steiner…New owner Melvin Simonovich)

Race 5: Crescendo Molto (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)


No claims 


Race 1: Dancing Bonbon (Owner/Trainer Isidro Tamayo)

Race 1: Elegance Code (Leobardo Rivera…Javier Ortiz)

Race 5: Teagans Atm (D. Wayne Baker…Baker, Porlaris and Santoro)


Below is a list of Northern California horses and human connections to watch for at Del Mar this week:


Race 4: Capo Luigi (Ed Moger Jr…Hector Berrios)

Race 5: Chickenfingerfriday (Bill McLean…Geovanni Franco)

Race 5: Developingtheway (Steve Miyadi…Antonio Fresu)

Race 6: Almost Snow (Tim McCanna…Edwin Maldonado)

Race 10: Stilleto Boy (Ed Moger Jr…Kent Desormeaux)


Race 6: Canam Gal (Bill McLean…Jose Gregorio [J.G.] Torrealba)

Race 11: Elevado (Andy Mathis…Ricky Gonzalez)

Race 11: Goldensunrise (Andy Mathis…Julien Couton)


Race 1: Kamaina Cruiser (O.J Jauregui…Armando Ayuso)

Race 4: Sea Breeze Boy (Reid France…Tiago Pereira)

Race 4: I Got a Guy (Ruby Thomas…Armando Aguilar)

Race 10: Blevy’s Tiger (Manny Badilla…Juan Hernandez)

Race 11: Give Me the Lute (Andy Mathis…Juan Hernandez)

FINISH LINES: The Ed Moger Jr. trained Stilleto Boy drew post 3 and is 8-1 on the morning line in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. The Pacific Classic, a one-mile and a quarter Grade I dirt race, goes as Race 10 on an 11-race card. Post time for the ‘Classic has been set at 6:13 PM…Not something you see often at Golden Gate: a Texas-bred in the winner’s circle. That was the case on Monday with first time starter Charlene’s Dream, who won Race 4, a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies. A $35,000 sale purchase by multiple Grade 2 winner Qurbaan, Charlene’s Dream paid $14.20 to win for the Moger barn and owner Domeyko Taylor LP…An open allowance (Race 7) on Sunday features a strong group of contenders: stakes winners Anthony’s Cleopatra and Tam’s Little Angel, recent Governors Cup Stakes runner up finisher Lexington Humor, and hard tryers Blue Wildcat and Miss Union…The fastest 2-year-old filly on the West Coast is in the barn of a Golden Gate trainer. O.J Jauregui and owner Danny Eplin campaign the speedy Dreamfyre, undefeated winner of the Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton and, most recently, a dominant winner of the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. This past Monday morning, the $140,000 sale purchase by Flameaway drilled a half mile in 48.80 seconds, her first work since the Sorrento triumph. She’s tabbed to run next in the Grade I $300,000 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante on Saturday, September 9…On Monday, Golden Gate maiden winner Blevy’s Tiger faces state-bred 2-year-old fillies in the $125,000 Generous Portion Stakes at six furlongs. Manny Badilla trains for owners Martin Bach and Daniel Weiner.