DEFENDING WINTER/SPRING MEET LEADING RIDER ROMAN BACK IN ACTION ON FRIDAY
Jockey Evin Roman, who won the 2022 Winter/Spring meet jockey title with 87 wins, is named on five horses this Friday afternoon. The 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico has not ridden since suffering a broken wrist in a riding incident at the fall meet.
In the last race of the day on November 18, Roman was aboard post time favorite Top Hat Tigress. In tight between horses in upper stretch, Top Hat Tigress clipped heels with a rival in front of her, stumbled and unseated Roman. Although Roman was able to walk into the ambulance under his own power moments later, x-rays revealed a broken wrist. Top Hat Tigress emerged from the incident unscathed.
Fitted with a cast, Roman flew home to spend the holiday season with his family in Puerto Rico. Although Roman enjoyed the family time, he greatly missed riding in races.
“I was sad because [riding] is what I love to do,” said Roman.
After seeing a specialist and getting clearance to ride in the early weeks of 2023, Roman began working horses last Wednesday, January 18. He has breezed horses for numerous barns since returning to the track.
“I feel really good,” said Roman. “My wrist feels good. I am very excited for Friday.”
Roman will be aboard morning line favorite Chancery Way in the $75,000 Moscow Burning Stakes on Saturday. He has five mounts on Friday, three on Saturday, and four more on Sunday.
MANDATORY PAYOUT IN THE GOLDEN PICK SIX JACKPOT WAGER ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Last Sunday afternoon, Golden Gate Fields announced the Northern California bayside racetrack will offer a mandatory payout in the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager on Friday, January 27. First post on Friday is 12:45 PM.
The Golden Pick Six, a 20-cent minimum bet, has a $54,818 carryover heading into the Friday program. The Pick Six sequence goes as Races 3 through 8.
“We sincerely appreciate the horseplayers and fans who support Golden Gate Fields and the community here each and every race day,” said GGF Vice President and General Manager David Duggan. “We have a competitive sequence of races on Friday. We’re looking forward to good racing and a good payout for the horseplayers who take part in our Pick Six this Friday.”
The signature race of the day is Race 7: a second level allowance for fillies and mares at one mile on the main track Tapeta. Race 7 is also the penultimate race in the Golden Pick Six. Among the main contenders is stakes placed Clockstrikestwelve, Kentucky shipper Undisturbed, and recent second level allowance winner Madeira Wine.
The first race in the sequence, Race 3, is a high-level claimer for runners who possess allowance caliber talent. The major players include the speedy mare Lotsa Pepper, gutsy Cal-bred Lagatha, and stretch running Hot Rageous. This leading trio have all won allowance races in the past.
Another intriguing event in the sequence is Race 5: a high-level maiden claimer which could go to any of the seven entrants. Lemon Drop Shot has finished in the money in eight of 11 lifetime starts, a few of those runs which came against maiden special weight runners in Southern California. Cardiff Crack makes his first start off a lengthy break and has hit the board against maiden special weight company in the past. Talbot Bay makes his second lifetime start and drops in class out of the maiden special weight ranks after an even finish. Pollo D’Oro and Sixtyfour G T O also take a dip down in class. First time starter John Dunbar will likely get play for trainer Steve Miyadi while Kid Stole a Kiss has failed to be competitive in Southern California and seeks better results at Golden Gate.
Golden Gate Fields also has a Rolling Super High Five carryover of just over $6,000 in the first race on Friday in which there are seven or more starters.
CHANCERY WAY GETS BACK TO ROUTING, SUPPLEMENTS IN INAUGURAL MOSCOW BURNING STAKES
4-year-old filly Chancery Way will attempt to remain unbeaten in the signature race of the week at Golden Gate on Saturday, the $75,000 Moscow Burning Stakes for California-bred or sired fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward. The Moscow Burning is the first of three California-bred stakes added to the Winter/Spring meet calendar this year.
Chancery Way was well regarded before her first career start on June 4. Sent off at 6-5, the Jamey Thomas trainee went to the lead and easily defeated a next out maiden special weight winner. She returned in a first level allowance one month later and won by a bigger margin-this time by five and a half lengths.
Thomas changed things up in lifetime start number three; Chancery Way traveled two turns for the first time. Although she was all out to win, win she did, hitting the wire three quarters of a length ahead of the runner up finisher.
Chancery Way was given four and a half months off after the route debut and made her first start off the break in the Bear Fan Stakes, sprinting six furlongs against older foes. Sent off at 10-1, the daughter of Mr. Big showed front running speed and turned away runner up finisher Big Summer late in the stretch. Chancery Way was flattered weeks later when Big Summer won the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on January 7.
Not originally nominated for the Moscow Burning, Chancery Way was supplemented into the race by Thomas and owners Andy and Rob Smolich for $2,000. Troy Thomas, the son of Jamey Thomas and assistant to his father, indicated Chancery Way is ready to return to the route game on Saturday.
“In my mind, the fact that the owners and my dad supplemented [Chancery Way] into this race tells you how much they think of her,” said Troy Thomas.
Chancery Way has always been a good work horse, says Thomas, and continues to train well leading up to the Moscow Burning.
“We’ve been letting her gallop a little more,” says Thomas. “That’s how we’re getting her ready to go a mile. She’s fit. We’re just trying to keep her that way.”
Chancery Way has never been anywhere other than the lead in all four lifetime starts. Although Thomas believes Chancery Way has the mind to sit off a pacesetter if need be, he doesn’t necessarily envision it happening this Saturday.
“I feel like she can sit off the pace if a horse or two goes way too fast,” said Thomas. “I think she would relax ok. I don’t think she necessarily prefers to do that, though. She likes to show her speed and she’s competitive; if she can get ahead of horses, she likes to be in front. She’s competitive.”
Chancery Way is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the inaugural Moscow Burning. The second morning line choice at 5-2 is Rose Maddox, who makes her second start off a seven-month vacation. Before the break, the Nick Alexander homebred finished as the runner up in the Melair Stakes traveling the distance of 8.5 furlongs at Santa Anita. Steve Miyadi employs Assael Espinoza to ride for the first time.
2022 She’s a Tiger Stakes winner Tam’s Little Angel was third home in the Bear Fan Stakes over Chancery Way and looks to turn the tables. Tam’s Little Angel’s lone prior try at a mile on the Tapeta resulted in a dominant win against first level allowance company. She earned the second highest speed figure of her career that day. Steve Specht trains the Larry and Maryanne Williams homebred.
All Dialed In ships north from Southern California for trainer Sean McCarthy and Harris Farms LLC. Her last afternoon appearance resulted in a fifth place finish behind Chancery Way and Tam’s Little Angel. In May of last year, All Dialed In won a California-bred allowance at the one-mile distance she competes at on Saturday.
Allowance winners Momma Mocca and Shezarunaway and maiden winners Belleo’s Forest and Exactly Wendy round out the 2023 Moscow Burning field.
The Moscow Burning goes as the eighth of nine races on Saturday afternoon. First post is 12:45 PM.
Race 8 on Saturday: $75,000 Moscow Burning Stakes (For California-bred or sired fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward)
#1 Belleo’s Forest (Kevin Radke…Brendan Galvin…morning line odds of 12-1)
#2 All Dialed In (Armando Ayuso…Sean McCarthy…5-1)
#3 Tam’s Little Angel (Catalino Martinez…Steve Specht…4-1)
#4 Momma Mocca (Irving Orozco…Manny Badilla…10-1)
#5 Chancery Way (Evin Roman…Jamey Thomas…2-1)
#6 Exactly Wendy (Santos Rivera…Manny Badilla…20-1)
#7 Rose Maddox (Assael Espinoza…Steve Miyadi…5-2)
#8 Shezarunaway (William Antongeorgi III…Dan Markle…15-1)
MOGER JR. READY TO STEP ON THE BIG STAGE ONCE AGAIN WITH STILLETO BOY IN 2023 PEGASUS WORLD CUP
Last year, chestnut gelding Stilleto Boy finished third behind Breeders Cup winners Life is Good and Knicks Go in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Ed Moger Jr. and owner Steve Moger-Ed’s brother-returned to California with a $292,500 check for picking up the bronze medal.
One year later, Stilleto Boy and the Moger family are back to take another crack at the large purse and a chance to win this year’s edition of the Pegasus Dirt. Stilleto Boy drew post position 11 in the full 12-horse field and is listed at 30-1 on the morning line. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be aboard for the second time.
Smith got to know Stilleto Boy in his 2023 debut, the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes, where he finished second behind last year’s Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer. Stilleto Boy makes his second start off about a month break and is ready for his best effort, says Ed Moger Jr.
“He’s on the plane to Florida now,” said Moger Jr, when speaking to Golden Gate media before the races at Golden Gate on Sunday.
Last year, Stilleto Boy trained at Santa Anita in Southern California and ran in some of the top races for older handicap horses in California. He won the Grade 2 Californian in April and was also third home in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap one race earlier. Over the summer, Stilleto Boy hit the board in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar but failed to fire in the Pacific Classic behind champion racehorse Flightline.
“We gave him a little time after the Pacific Classic,” said Moger Jr. “He’s trained well into this race. He looks good over the Tapeta. He’s just a good horse. We drew the 11 post, but we’re gonna give it a shot. He’s doing just as well as he always has.”
The Pegasus World Cup is the last race on a thirteen-race card at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. Post time for the Pegasus is 5:40 PM Eastern, 2:40 PM Pacific time.
Below is a list of claims from last week:
Race 1: Union Gig (New trainer Sammy Calvario…New owner Bits N Bubbles Racing)
Race 5: Crystal Proof (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)
Race 1: Cal Rough (Owner/Trainer Sammy Calvario)
Race 4: Cowboys Daughter (Librado Barocio…Mia Familia Racing Stable)
Race 3: Polacco (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables)
Race 4: Dance Lady (Jonathan Wong…Clay Sides and MJVET Stables)
FINISH LINES: Jockey Edwin Gonzalez has three mounts for trainer Jonathan Wong on Saturday at Golden Gate. Gonzalez will be represented by agent Leo Rodriguez…The feature race on Sunday is the nightcap, Race 9: a first level allowance for filly and mare routers that drew a field of nine. European bred stablemates Naughty Nadine and Signorina Merisi face stakes winner Rose Dawson, allowance winners Worthy of Magic and Vronsky Feint, improving Ascendency, and three others…Fans on track at Golden Gate on Saturday can watch and wager on the trio of Pegasus World Cup races and the supporting undercard from Gulfstream Park.