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.