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


We’ll cut right to the chase. Tesoro has danced many dances. He has also been a project for trainer O.J Jauregui.

“When he wants, he can say, ‘Hey, not today buddy.’ He’s a good horse when he shows up,” said Jauregui.

Tesoro has failed to be competitive against stakes company on a handful of occasions but has won in his last three starts when competing at the second level allowance condition. Why try to fix what’s working, right? Which is why Jauregui has, once again, entered Tesoro in a second level allowance for 3-year-olds and up this Thanksgiving Thursday. Tesoro is 4-1 on the morning line and drew the rail in a field of seven.

“I thought he could be a better horse, but every time I tried [him against stakes company], the results weren’t good enough,” said Jauregui. “This is where he belongs.”

Tesoro got a confidence boosting win in his last start about a month ago, sitting close to a slow pace, moving up to challenge the front runners approaching the far turn run before ultimately out finishing runner up American Farmer and third place finisher Kennebec for the win.

“The most enjoyment [of Tesoro’s last win] was beating Steve Sherman [trainer of American Farmer],” joked Jauregui. “Nah, I’m kidding. Steve and I are actually pretty good friends. It’s part of our friendship. He rubs it in when he beats me. I’m hoping he doesn’t beat me this time and it comes back to bite me.”

American Farmer and Kennebec are both entered to face Tesoro in the marquee event on Thanksgiving. The one they’ll all have to beat is 8-5 morning line favorite Avenue, who ships north for Southern California conditioner Michael McCarthy. The son of Quality Road finished fifth at this level in his last start on November 2 at Santa Anita and makes his second start off a nine-month layoff. Exactly one year ago, on Thanksgiving of 2022, Avenue placed third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at one mile and a half.

A “wise guy” contender is the up and coming No Ice No Glass. After back-to-back wins against sprint company, the chestnut 3-year-old by Tapwrit attempted the route game for the first time. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, No Ice No Glass stumbled badly at the break, was much farther off the pace than he was projected to be, made an eye-catching move at the quarter pole before tiring in fourth. A better trip keyed with a recent route try under his belt could result in a much-improved effort on Thursday.

Golden Gate Fields offers four live racing days this week. Early first post on an 8-race card this Thanksgiving Thursday is 11:15 AM.

Race 6 on Thursday (Second level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta)

#1 Tesoro (Jockey Francisco Monroy…Trainer O.J. Jauregui…Morning line odds of 4-1)

#2 Dulas (Evin Roman…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#3 Avenue (Catalino Martinez…Michael McCarthy…8-5)

#4 No Ice No Glass (Alexander Chavez…Tim McCanna…5-1)

#5 Boaster (Santos Rivera…Sammy Calvario….20-1)

#6 American Farmer (Assael Espinoza…Steve Sherman…3-1)

#7 Kennebec (Sergio Salguero…Ruby Thomas…6-1).


The Steve Specht trained Grand Slam Smile was extremely well meant on debut. Sent off at 3-5 in a field of eight, the daughter of Smiling Tiger dominated her company with a four-length decisive victory. Since then, she has won a pair of stakes: the Fasig Tipton Debutante in June and, on the Breeders Cup Friday Undercard this past November 3, a 7-length romp against nine others in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Turf. Both victories came on the Santa Anita dirt.

Grand Slam Smile worked an easy five furlongs on Sunday morning and appears ready for another afternoon appearance. With that, Specht is putting Grand Slam Smile back on the field. It’s game time.

On the list of competitors set to take on Grand Slam Smile is stablemate and recent maiden winner Randos Lady. Not only did Randos Lady win at first asking like a prospect with talent, but she possesses the pedigree to be a decent racer. By Grade I winner Tamarando, Randos Lady is out of the five-time stakes winner Lady Railrider, who herself has produced five winners from six siblings to Randos Lady including stakes winner Pulpit Rider and stakes placed routers Fiery Lady and Sacred Rider. All five winning foals have earned six figure bankrolls. Three of those foals earned a quarter million dollars or more.

“Both fillies are doing well. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t run them,” said Specht. “I wasn’t surprised that Randos Lady won [her first race], but she might be better with a little more distance. Grand Slam Smile…she can do anything.”

In her first try at two turns and grass, 2-year-old filly Charlene’s Dream became a stakes winner in last month’s Pike Place Dancer Stakes. Stalking the pace under jockey Evin Roman, Charlene’s Dream took the lead around the far turn and held off multiple challengers in the final furlong for a length and a quarter score.

With then next stake on the calendar for freshman fillies coming in a one-turn Tapeta sprint, Ed Moger Jr. is cutting back his stable’s star two-year-old to a one-turn distance. Earlier this year, Charlene’s Dream broke her maiden sprinting on the Golden Gate main track and was the runner up behind well regarded filly Blevy’s Tiger in an allowance race at one turn.

“I’m really high on this filly,” said Moger. “I’m as high on this filly as I’ve been on any horse. She’s really, really nice. I’m expecting another big effort.”

Another first-out maiden special weight winner entered in the Golden Gate Debutante is Tour Queen. The O.J Jauregui trainee tried routing in the Pike Place Dancer and tired to fourth after setting the pace. She must work out a good trip from the rail post position.

Lusma was a maiden winner in June and returned to finish third behind eventual Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes winner Dreamfyre and future Golden Nugget victor Wild Jewels in the Everett Nevin Stakes. Lusma makes her second start off a three-month break for trainer Jose Bautista, having last settled for fourth in the allowance race won by Blevy’s Tiger.

Wok Don’t Run earned the silver medal in a starter allowance and takes a significant class bump up in class for trainer Matt Troy.

Nine races are on the docket this Saturday. First post is 12:45.

Race 6 on Saturday (Golden Gate Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs

#1 Tour Queen (Jockey Brayan Pena…Trainer O.J. Jauregui))

#2 Wok Don’t Run (William Antongeorgi III…Matthew Troy)

#3 Lusma (Alejandro Gomez…Jose Bautista)

#4 Charlene’s Dream (Evin Roman…Ed Moger Jr.)

#5 Randos Lady (Assael Espinoza…Steve Specht)

#6 Grand Slam Smile (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht)


Below is a list of claims from last week


Race 1: Anthony’s Best (New trainer Jose Puentes…New owner Jerald Carmody)

Race 3: Silver Maty (Jack Steiner…Remmah Racing Inc.)

Race 5: Canelito (Rod Cone…Al Pitchko)

Race 6: Boss of Themoss (Mike Lenzini…Gary Marrone)

Race 8: You Enjoy Myself (Jack Steiner…Gary and Deborah Lusk)


Race 5: Code Ribbon (Owner/Trainer Jacqui Navarre)

Race 5: Tura Lura (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

Race 9: Harbor Sky (Isidro Tamayo…Mean Girls Racing Stable)

Race 9: My Dominator (Owner/Trainer Luciano Medina)


Race 1: Dark Mystery (Gary Greiner…Renee Greiner)

Race 2: Honorable Gal (Victor Trujillo…Fred Montini and Trujillo)

Race 7: Will Is Chill (Owner/Trainer Luciano Medina)

FINISH LINES: Nine races are on the schedule for Friday. The signature race on the card, Race 8, is a good one: a full field of filly and mare first level allowance routers voyage one mile on Tapeta. The well-bred Delusively was last seen in the California Oaks and returns for trainer Jose Bautista while Carole Lombard lost by a head at this level two starts ago and is a major contender if she can duplicate that effort… Entries for Sunday will be drawn today…Trainer O.J Jauregui reports that three-time stakes winner and recent Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf also-ran Dreamfyre has been given three weeks off at a local farm. “She’s had one week off and has two more to go. The time off will do her well,” said Jauregui…2023 Santa Anita Handicap winner Stilleto Boy returned to the worktab with an easy quarter mile drill last Thursday morning and, yesterday morning, a three furlong move in 35.80 seconds for trainer Ed Moger Jr. “We’re pointing him to the San Antonio Stakes [at Santa Anita on December 26],” said Moger Jr…There is a $4,794 Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover heading into the Thanksgiving Thursday card. Last Saturday, one sharp horseplayer hit 6 of 6 and scooped up the $59,597.98 jackpot…A huge weekend for Alexander Chavez, including four-win days on both Friday and Sunday, propelling him to the top of the jockey standings with 10 more racing days to go at the current Fall Meet. Evin Roman sits in second with 18 wins…A good battle for the training title: Andy Mathis holds the #1 spot with nine wins, just one better than Jack Steiner and Blaine Wright…Track announcer Matt Dinerman has one final week of race calling at Golden Gate Fields before moving to Hot Springs, Arkansas for Oaklawn Park’s five month meet, which begins on Friday, December 8 and runs through Kentucky Derby Day 2024. “This isn’t a goodbye…it’s a see ya later,” said Dinerman before adding, “I’ll still be tuning into Golden Gate regularly. One of my favorite tracks, of course, with great people and great fans.” Santa Anita and Saratoga race caller Frank Mirahmadi will be on the mic for the final two weeks of the Fall Meet.