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.
COMEBACKERS HAVE APPEAL IN EIGTH RACE FEATURE ON ATTRACTIVE FALL MEET OPENING DAY SATURDAY CARD
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.
PACE A BIG FACTOR IN MONDAY SPRINT FEATURE
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.