625K KEENELAND YEARLING PURCHASE SOHO SEEKS BLACK TYPE IN PIKE PLACE DANCER
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 PICKS UP MILESTONE 4,000TH CAREER VICTORY AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
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.
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.
NEW SHOOTER, STAKES PLACED DESHAMBEAU FACES FULL FIELD IN SUNDAY FEATURE
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.