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!