Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, March 23, 2023


Golden Gate Fields will offer a mandatory payout this Sunday, March 26, in the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager. The Golden Pick Six is a 20-cent minimum bet and consists of the last six races on the card. This Sunday, the sequence goes as races 4 through 9.

Heading into Friday’s eight race program, the Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover sits at $95,472. If there fails to be a single ticket jackpot winner after the next two race days, the carryover amount for mandatory payout day Sunday will be in the six-figures.

“We are hopeful our pick six will be well received,” said Golden Gate Fields Vice President and General Manager David Duggan.  “We truly appreciate our dedicated horseplayers who continue to support Golden Gate Fields.”

First post on Sunday is 1:15 PM.


Jerry Haugg, a third-generation farmer, began claiming, owning, and breeding horses with his wife Brenda close to a decade ago. He named his racing operation BKB Stables. “BKB” represents the first letter of Brenda’s name, and the first initials of the two daughters they brought into the world, 18-year-old twins Kiana and Bianca. At peak, the Haugg’s owned close to 30 horses-a collection of broodmares, babies, and horses of racing age. To date, they have downsized to one, sole equine member of the family: American Farmer.

American Farmer, out of the Quiet American mare Farmer’s Wife, picked up his second lifetime stakes victory in the feature race last Saturday at Golden Gate, the inaugural McCann’s Mojave Stakes for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and upward.

“We’ve won about 60 races,” said Haugg from his home in South Maui, Hawaii earlier this week. “This was the best one by far. Nothing has topped this. I’m still on Cloud 9.”

American Farmer, owned in partnership by the Haugg’s and trainer Steve Sherman, has earned over $300,000 since beginning his racing career in 2019. Along with the McCann’s Mojave win, other career highlights include a runner up finish behind Azul Coast in the 2020 El Camino Real Derby and a victory in the Robert Dupret Derby that same year.

Haugg, who traveled with the whole family from Hawaii to watch American Farmer compete last Saturday, reminisced not only on Saturday’s win, but of his family’s journey with American Farmer.

“This has been about teaching my daughter’s life lessons, and it’s been a wonderful family experience,” said Haugg. “‘Farmer is a lesson of perseverance, patience, and waiting for your time to shine.”

The story of American Farmer begins when his older full sister, Blue Diva, was born. At the time, the Haugg’s owned Farmer’s Wife, the dam of Blue Diva and American Farmer who the family claimed during her racing days at Turf Paradise in Arizona.

“We got into racing because of my wife’s love for horses. She loved Secretariat,” said Haugg. “I’ve always been fascinated by the pedigrees of the horses. I was enamored with Bluegrass Cat and his A.P Indy bloodline, so when Farmer’s Wife became a broodmare, we bred her to Bluegrass Cat. We brought her right back to [Bluegrass Cat] for a second time because Blue Diva was so correct and so beautiful. That’s how we got American Farmer. So, if we didn’t have ‘Diva, we would have never had gotten ‘Farmer.”

Blue Diva raced for BKB Stables for the first half of her career. She was eventually claimed from the Haugg’s and returned one start later to win a stakes race for her new connections.

“These things happen,” said Haugg. “Let me tell you…it took a while to get over. I was pretty bummed out, to be honest. But you know what? We all picked ourselves back up. At the end of the day, we were happy for Blue Diva. She’s in foal to Candy Ride now. We wish her and the people who take care of her all the best. And now look how ‘Farmer has done? He’s been such a blessing, and we are so grateful. All of these experiences can teach us something.”

Jerry was quick to praise trainer Sherman and jockey Billy Antongeorgi III for American Farmer’s success.

“Billy’s ride on American Farmer? I mean…perfection,” said Haugg. “He rode him great. What a phenomenal person and jockey. Steve has done a phenomenal job with ‘Farmer. I never tell Steve what to do. He makes all the decisions. He’s a terrific horseman, and he’s a great guy who keeps me and my family involved even though we let him do his thing on his own. Whatever Steve thinks is right for the horse, we support him. We’ve known Steve and his dad Art for quite some time. They’re a wonderful family.”

Jerry says his daughters are “enamored” with Southern California. With that, they will be attending Loyola Marymount College in Los Angeles next fall. Jerry and Brenda, as of late, have also decided to move back to the Golden State. And although family will always come first for Jerry, he is not ruling out owning more horses in the future. If Jerry does, he says, he’ll be supporting the California breeding program.

“The California breeding program is great for owners,” said Haugg. “The incentives are a huge bonus, obviously, and there are a lot of good, stakes races you can win if you’re lucky enough to own a horse of that caliber.”

Luckily for the Haugg’s, the last chapter has not been written for American Farmer. There are more races for him to run, though the next afternoon appearance for the 6-year-old is still up in the air.

“Knock on wood, he’s come out of the race in good shape so far,” said Haugg. “Steve will watch him train and then we’ll come up with a game plan.”


At Golden Gate Fields, California-bred or sired horses are eligible to win at the first level allowance condition twice. 5-year-old gelding Tribal Nation pulled off an eye-catching win at the aforementioned level when opening up 10 lengths down the backstretch in a November 12 heat, only to miraculously hold off stakes caliber rivals Kings River Knight and Royal ‘n Rando for a three-length score.

Off such a monstrous effort, trainer Andy Mathis gave Tribal Nation two months to recover. Luckily, this was the first time that Tribal Nation had won (or competed) at the first level condition, meaning he could keep running at the level until he won a second time. Tribal Nation made his 2023 debut in, yes, a first level race, on January 15. That day, he attempted to emulate the same race he ran in November. The result was different however, and he got nailed in the final strides of the race. He wound up third, beaten just a length.

Jockey Assael Espinoza opted to rate Tribal Nation in his next start, also at the first level condition on February 26. He sat second, took the lead by a narrow margin in midstretch, and was beaten by a whisker, this time finishing a centimeter behind race winner Kodiaction. Although the loss might’ve been a tough pill to swallow for some, Mathis was pleased to see Tribal Nation put up a top-notch effort after sitting off a pacesetter, something he had not done in his last 11 starts.

“He had never rated and run well like that before,” said Mathis. “I think both riders [on the top two finishers, including Tribal Nation] rode smart races that day.”

In the featured eighth race this Saturday at Golden Gate, Tribal Nation is entered back in a first level allowance, still in search of a second lifetime win at the level. Other speedy routers are signed on: Lil Miracle Man does his best work on the front end while Stone’s River, who only finished a head behind Tribal Nation for second on February 26, is another who has been the quickest of his competitors in all the races in which he was won.

“I think the key is playing the break,” said Mathis. “The last time [Tribal Nation] won, he went 1:10 and change, so I’m not concerned if he’s going fast. We just don’t want to be going head and head and dueling with another horse going too fast. If he breaks well and can get the lead, we’re going to take it, but he can rate if somebody wants to go too fast.”

Tribal Nation certainly has the pedigree to be a decent horse. By Grade 1 winner Papa Clem, he is out of the mare Tribal Feathers, who produced stakes winner Tribal Storm, stakes placed racers Tribal War Chant and Tribal Impact, and 2 other winners.

First post on a nine-race card this Saturday is 1:15 PM.

Race 8 (First level allowance for 4-year-olds and up at one mile on the Tapeta)

#1 Chief Wild Eagle (Jockey Frank Alvarado…Trainer Tim McCanna…Morning line odds of 12-1)

#2 Conundrum (William Antongeorgi III…Mike Lenzini…6-1)

#3 Lil Miracle Man (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo…20-1)

#4 Tribal Nation (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis…9-5)

#5 Sugar Beets (Santos Rivera…Monty Meier…15-1)

#6 Gallant Warren (Irving Orozco…Tim Bellasis…8-1)

#7 Stone’s River (Evin Roman…Reid France…5-2)

#8 Crosby Beach (Assael Espinoza…Michael McCarthy…9-2)


Below is a list of claims from last week.


Race 1: Let George Do It (New trainer Jack Steiner…new owners Remmah Racing Inc.)

Race 2: Danzigs Star Storm (Ed Moger Jr…Terrance McFarlane)

Race 5: Northern Jewel (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)


Race 2: Truly Fabulous (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 4: Grigoro (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 4: Lady in a Hurry (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)

Race 5: Tiz an Edventure (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables)

Race 8: Affirm Chief (Jose Puentes…Luciano Medina and Jose Saldivar)


Race 1: Argentina Cries (Ed Moger Jr…Al P. Pitchko)

Race 1: Saxon Saga (Ed Moger Jr…Terry McFarlane and Bill Meikle)

FINISH LINES: 2021 Grade I Pacific Classic winner Tripoli beat last year’s Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap victor Lammas in a thrilling stretch duel in Race 5 last Sunday. The margin of victory was a nose. Tripoli and Lammas both earned 89 Beyer speed figures for their efforts…American Farmer also earned an 89 Beyer for his triumph in the McCann’s Mojave…Last Sunday morning, the Ed Moger Jr. trained Stilleto Boy had his first workout since winning the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 4. The son of Shackleford breezed a half mile in 51.40 seconds…The signature race of the day on Sunday is Race 5: a first level allowance for 3-year-olds fillies at one mile. Southern California invader Happy Gal faces the well-bred Delusively, well regarded Mastery Kat, and three others…Along with the $95,472 Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover on Friday, there is a Rolling Super High Five carryover of $5,599 in the next race on Friday where said wager is offered…The VALT Golden Gate Cars and Culture Show returns this Sunday, March 26 in the large, north end parking lot. For more information and or to purchase tickets, please go to and visit the VALT Cars and Cultures Events page.