TAMAYO HAS BEST SHOT YET TO PICK UP FIRST CAREER STAKES WIN IN INAUGURAL MCCANN’S MOJAVE STAKES
When trainer Isidro Tamayo was a youngster, thinking he’d be a stake winning trainer one day may have just seemed like a crazy dream. Heading into this weekend’s McCann’s Mojave Stakes, that dream is as close as it’s ever been to reality. On Saturday, Tamayo saddles 4-year-old gelding Crazy Dreams (see what we did there) in the inaugural $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and up at nine furlongs on the Tapeta. The McCann’s Mojave is one of a trio of races added to the Winter/Spring meet stakes schedule this year. Crazy Dreams is the second favorite on the morning line at 9-5.
Crazy Dreams has run his best races in his last two afternoon appearances. Two starts ago, he was a better than looked third behind some of the top local horses on the grounds: graded stakes winner Freeport Joe and a second stakes winner in I’mgonnabesomebody. In his most recent start on February 19, Crazy Dreams stalked the pace, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and held off a late charge from 2022 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap winner Lammas in the final sixteenth of a mile.
“We took the blinkers off him late last summer and he’s learned to relax since then,” said Tamayo. “He’s a super smart horse. That’s one of the things I really like about him. I’ve always really liked this horse. He’s now just putting it all together.”
Tamayo, who trains over 60 horses at Golden Gate, believes that the mile and an eighth for Crazy Dreams is well within his scope.
“I think he’ll be okay,” said Tamayo. “[Jockey] Irving Orozco knows this horse. He’ll make the decisions [on where to place him early in the race].”
Orozco has ridden Crazy Dreams in his last three races and retains the mount for Tamayo and owner/breeder Paddy Brogan.
Four other challengers take on Crazy Dreams in the McCann’s Mojave. One of them, 5-year-old gelding Jimmy Blue Jeans, won the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita as a 3-year-old. His last win came a year ago, in March of 2022, beating a second level allowance field in gate to wire fashion. Runner up in the Crystal Water Stakes and Sam Spear Memorial last year, Jimmy Blue Jeans makes his second start in 2023 after an off-the-board finish sprinting. Assael Espinoza rides for trainer Andy Mathis and owners Perry Bruno, John Gezon, and Robert Jones.
Installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, American Farmer is obviously a legit threat to take home the gold medal. On February 19, Amercan Farmer was sent off as the 9-5 second choice in the wagering behind Lammas. He ended up finishing two and a half lengths behind race winner Crazy Dreams. His winning effort two starts ago, a victory over next out second level allowance winner Mr. Impossible, is fast enough to win the McCann’s Mojave. William Antongeorgi III and Steve Sherman team up for owners BKB Stables LLC and Sherman.
Old-pro Ward ‘n Jerry has battled for minor awards in his last two starts against first level allowance company and takes a legit bump up in class in the McCann’s Mojave for trainer Steve Specht, who employs go to rider Frank Alvarado to hop aboard once more. Among the 10-year-old gelding’s career highlights include a win in the 2020 San Luis Rey (G3) at Santa Anita and a Grade 2 placing in 2019. He has accrued lifetime earnings just shy of a half million dollars for breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, who have owned Ward ‘n Jerry for all 33 lifetime starts.
Bobby’s Alibi completes the field. The Faith Taylor trainee was fifth home in the El Dorado Shooter Stakes sprinting and tries the two-turn game for the first time in a couple years. Robert Jones owns the son of Curlin to Mischief.
The McCann’s Mojave is named after the California-bred millionaire owned and bred by Santa Anita Publicity Director Mike Willman. At Golden Gate, McCann’s Mojave won the Grade 3 All American and Grade 3 Berkeley in 2007 and 2008, respectfully. He was victorious in the Sunshine Millions Classic in 2007, The California Cup Classic in 2005, and the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders Cup Handicap in 2004. The son of Memo won seven stakes in a 7-year career, with five other lifetime wins. His career earnings read $1,513,565.
Nine races are on the docket this Saturday at Golden Gate, with first post at 1:45 PM.
Race 7 on Saturday (The $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta)
#1 Ward ‘n Jerry (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Steve Specht…Morning line odds of 6-1)
#2 Jimmy Blue Jeans (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis…5-2)
#3 Crazy Dreams (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…9-5)
#4 American Farmer (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman…8-5)
#5 Bobby’s Alibi (Alexander Chavez…Faith Taylor…10-1)
2022 GOLDEN NUGGET STAKES WINNER CLOVISCONNECTION MAKES 3-YEAR-OLD DEBUT FRIDAY
3-year-old gelding Clovisconnection never lost in a pair of sprints as a 2-year-old last year. The California-bred son of Vronsky broke the maiden in his career debut on October 2 and returned a little less than a month and a half later to win the Golden Nugget Stakes. Not a bad way to kick off a career, eh?
After setting blistering fast fractions in his route debut, the Gold Rush Stakes, Clovisconnection tired in the final furlong and hit the line fifth best. The race was won by Santa Anita stakes winner Passarando, with eventual El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos rounding out the exacta.
After the route try, trainer Blaine Wright opted to give Clovisconnection time off.
“He needed a little break after his last start. He got 30 days to relax, put some weight on, and fill out a bit,” said Wright. “There will be some good races later in the spring and summer for him. We’re right on schedule.
I knew it was a trap to throw him in that route race,” continued Wright. “It’s hard to properly train a horse in just [3 weeks] for the changes we asked him to adapt to [going from a sprint to a route, going up against more seasoned horses, etc.]. I think he’ll be a solid router.”
Clovisconnection returns with five timed morning works-a half mile drill and four 5-furlong trials-and begins his 2023 campaign in the featured sixth race on Friday, a first level allowance at six furlongs.
“He galloped out six furlongs the other morning in 1:14,” said Wright of his most recent morning workout. “He’s acting like he’s feeling good. I’m really satisfied with how he’s working. It’s a good race on Friday. [Talk About Autism] is an up-and-comer. Clovis needs to run well to win.”
Talk About Autism, the morning line favorite in fact, has racked off back-to-back starter allowance wins while earning strong speed figures. The son of Raised a Secret is trained by white-hot Sammy Calvario. Purchased by owner Johnny Taboada for $2,500, the Washington bred has won 3 of 4 lifetime starts with career purse earnings of $35,820.
Trainer Victor Trujillo saddles two entrants in the sixth race on Friday. Piper’s Causeway was a $20,000 claiming winner against state-breds on February 11 and tries allowance company for the first time. Earlier in the year, the son of Point Piper was a decisive victor against a starter allowance group. Stablemate Idaho Once was an open length winner against maiden special weight foes at Sacramento last summer and returned to finish second behind Passarando in a first level allowance sprint on September 3. Like Clovisconnection, Idaho Once makes his 3-year-old debut in Friday’s sixth race. He sports two fast workouts amongst a steady series of morning drills leading up to this race.
King Adrock moves from Southern California conditioner Luis Mendez’s stable to the barn of Reid France at Golden Gate. After a first-out win at Keeneland as a young 2-year-old in April, King Adrock failed to be competitive in a pair of stakes races. Following a fourth month layoff, he returned in January and won a 1,000-yard sprint against allowance company at the nighttime Los Alamitos meet. He has since finished off the board in two other allowance races.
First time starter Egon faces a tough task ahead of him. A first-time starter in against proven winners, the other Reid France trainee drilled the second fastest of seven works recorded at the six-furlong distance on March 4. As a yearling, Egon failed to meet his reserve at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale when potential buyers reached a high bid of $350,000. By Ghostzapper, Egon is out the Grade 2 winner Nashoba’s Gold, who herself is a half sibling to three-time Grade I winner Nashoba’s Key. Egon races for owner/breeder Williamson Racing LLC and picks up the services of leading rider Assael Espinoza.
8 races kick off a 3-day race week at Golden Gate. First post time is later than usual on Friday at 2:15 PM.
Race 6 on Friday (First level allowance for 3-year-olds at six furlongs)
#1 Idaho Once (Jockey Santos Rivera…Trainer Victor Trujillo…Morning line odds of 6-1)
#2 Piper’s Causeway (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo…7-2)
#3 Clovisconnection (Kevin Radke…Blaine Wright…3-1)
#4 King Adrock (Armando Ayuso…Reid France…5-1)
#5 Talk About Autism (Cristobal Herrera…Sammy Calvario…9-5)
#6 Egon (Assael Espinoza…Reid France…6-1)
PACIFIC CLASSIC WINNER TRIPOLI SHIPS IN TOWN FOR SUNDAY ALLOWANCE
2021 Grade I Pacific Classic winner Tripoli has competed over dirt and turf. He has yet to train or race over a synthetic surface. That changes this weekend, when Tripoli competes on Sunday in Race 5, an open allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on the Tapeta.
A son of Kitten’s Joy owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Tripoli has been trained throughout his 22-race career by John Sadler. Since his last start, Tripoli has trained in Southern California under Sadler’s conditioning program before Sadler ultimately decided to ship his Grade 1 winner north for Sunday’s race. In the days leading up to his Sunday run, he trains and competes under the care of local conditioner Andy Mathis and his team.
So far, Tripoli has earned $924,460, with 4 wins, 4 seconds and 3 third place finishes. Leading up to his Golden Gate debut, he exits stakes company. In January, he crossed the wire fifth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes. His last race in 2022 resulted in a fourth-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the $200,000 Zia Park Championship at Zia Park in New Mexico. Local rider Armando Ayuso has the call aboard the 6-year-old horse.
One of the four entrants Tripoli must beat is local contender Lammas, winner of the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap in November. Since then, the European bred has lost as the favorite twice at this level: a subpar fourth place finish on January 15 and a neck loss to Crazy Dreams one month later. The aforementioned rival is the second choice on the morning line in the $75,000 McCann’s Mojave Stakes on Saturday.
Like Lammas, the Tim McCanna trained Long Lance was defeated in his two most recent afternoon appearances as the off-odds favorite. Both efforts, however, were very respectable. On January 14, he finished second behind McCann’s Mojave Stakes morning line favorite American Farmer and earned a career high 92 Beyer speed figure for the effort. In his most recent start, Long Lance was second home behind Southern California invader Mr. Impossible.
Seattle Bold makes his first start off a $32,000 claim for a new ownership group and trainer Steve Sherman. Kicking off his 2023 after a five-and-a-half-month layoff last time out, the son of Bold Chieftain placed fourth in a sprint race. He gets back to the route game on Sunday-something he has had success at in the past. As a 3-year-old, Seattle Bold was the runner up in the two-turn Silky Sullivan and Alcatraz Stakes. Both efforts were on the turf.
Completing the field is Harmon, third behind Crazy Dreams and Lammas on February 19. Although he has run well on dual surfaces, 6 of 8 lifetime wins for Harmon have come over the Golden Gate Tapeta main track.
Sunday’s 9 races complete a 3-day race week. First post is 1:45 PM.
Race 5 on Sunday (Open allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on Tapeta)
#1 Tripoli (Jockey Armando Ayuso…Trainer Andy Mathis)
#2 Harmon (William Antongeorgi III…Monty Meier)
#3 Lammas (Kevin Radke…Manny Badilla)
#4 Long Lance (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna)
#5 Seattle Bold (Evin Roman…Steve Sherman)
Below is a list of claims from last week:
Race 1: Jaycee (New trainer Simon Hobson…new owner Amy Hobson)
Race 3: Heat N Reheat (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)
Race 6: Two Twelve (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables)
Race 7: Baby Frankie (Jose Puentes…Luciano Medina)
Race 1: Kitten Calls (Manny Badilla…Jerry Jamgotchian)
Race 3: Alexander’s Dream (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)
Race 3: Holiday Hustle (Tim McCanna…Pat LePley)
Race 6: I’m Dr O (Owner/Trainer Sammy Calvario)
Race 1: Dad Bod (Jack Steiner…Gary and Deborah Lusk)
Race 1: Pollo d’Oro (Jamey Thomas…Lamonte Isom)
FINISH LINES: Assael Espinoza continues to lead the way in the jockey standings with 44 wins, 14 more than Armando Ayuso and Alexander Chavez, both tied for second…Jonathan Wong has the most wins out of any trainer at the current meeting with 33 victories. Isidro Tamayo sits in second place with 22 trips to the winner’s circle…Always Seeking and Carolina Mia, the one-two finishers in an open allowance sprint race on Sunday, are listed as probables for the Camilla Urso Stakes on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday, April 29…Last year’s Camilla Urso winner Sadie Bluegrass worked 3 furlongs on March 12, her fourth workout of the year. She has not raced since an off the board finish at Del Mar in July…Along with the McCann’s Mojave Stakes on Saturday, Race 5 is a salty second level allowance for filly and mare routers at one mile. Miss America Stakes winner Tiz an Edventure draws the rail for trainer Jack Steiner and runs against five others. Among them is Trojan Clubhouse, seeking her eighth win in a row for trainer Reid France. Others entered are the Manny Badilla trained pair of Madeira Wine and Signorina Merisi, and the Steve Sherman trained duo of Rev Ree and Undisturbed…$75,842 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager heading into Friday’s 8-race card. The Golden Pick Six begins in Race 3 on Friday.