Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, November 3, 2022


Govenor’s Party is an over achiever. Ever since finishing third at 119-1 in the El Camino Real Derby behind eventual Preakness winner Rombauer, Govenor’s Party has been a horse that Northern California racing fans have followed.

Although Govenor’s Party has only won three times in 27 lifetime starts, he outruns his odds in the races in which he fires his best shot. That was on display two starts ago, when the son of Govenor Charlie finished second behind European bred Lammas while earning a strong 84 Beyer speed figure. If he can duplicate that effort, he has a big shot to win the feature race on Friday at Golden Gate, a one mile and a quarter first level allowance on Tapeta.

“He’s doing good,” said Govenor’s Party’s trainer, Dan Franko. “I think the mile and an eighth, mile and a quarter is the distance for him. He doesn’t like turf, but he really likes the Tapeta.”

Since placing third the El Camino Real Derby, Govenor’s Party has finished in-the-money in six allowance races. Franko hopes that Friday will be the day for Govenor’s Party to get the money at the level, though the trainer admits he will need the right scenario to get the job done.

“He’s a little lazy. He’s got one move,” said Franko. “He needs an aggressive rider who will push him. On the turn, a lot of times you need to be patient. With [Govenor’s Party], you need to get moving on him. He doesn’t like being on the rail. He likes swinging outside and corralling ‘em. He’s a little tricky to ride. Once he gets going, he’s got a beautiful stride.

I love this horse,” continued Franko. “He’s my favorite. He has such a good heart and he’s a tough competitor. I only bought him for a thousand bucks at a sale. He’s come a long way.”

A strong group is assembled for Govenor’s Party to tackle. Southern California shipper Crosby Beach looks like a legit player if he shows up with a anything close to his best race. He makes his second start off a 6-month layoff for trainer Michael McCarthy after a last place finish against restricted 3-year-old company at Del Mar. Before the layoff, he finished third in the Pasadena Stakes-also a restricted race-behind next out stakes winner Sumter. Crosby Beach races over a synthetic surface for the first time and will be navigated by local pilot Assael Espinoza.

Trainer Isidro Tamayo saddles a pair of contenders in America Great and Vantage Point. Both racers enter this spot fresh off front running victories. America Great easily defeated claiming company two weeks ago and wheels back quickly while Vantage Point was last seen defeating rivals at this level routing one mile and a half. The latter is one of two runners (the other being Govenor’s Party) who cuts back in distance.

Well-bred professional Sacred Rider has won three races in a row and makes his first start off a re-claim for trainer Steve Specht, who lost this gelding at the claim box two starts ago. In fact, Sacred Rider has won four of his last five starts, including a trial last month at Fresno in this condition. With that, he should be taken seriously.

Big Flame has run fourth in his last two starts at this allowance level and switches from turf to Tapeta. Barhopsky takes a big bump up in class and rounds out the field. Muhammed Ali was entered to run and drew the rail but was reported as an early scratch on Wednesday.

First post on the 9-race card this Friday is 1:15 PM.

Race 8 on Friday (First level allowance at one mile and a quarter on Tapeta for 3 YO and up)

#1 Muhammad Ali (SCRATCHED)

#2 America Great (Jockey Evin Roman…Trainer Isidro Tamayo…morning line odds of 9-2)

#3 Crosby Beach (Assael Espinoza…Michael McCarthy…7-2)

#4 Big Flame (Irving Orozco…Victor Trujillo…6-1)

#5 Vantage Point (William Antongeorgi III…Isidro Tamayo…5-2)

#6 Barhopsky (Silvio Amador…Arnold Torres…12-1)

#7 Govenor’s Party (Santos Rivera…Dan Franko…10-1)

#8 Sacred Rider (Catalino Martinez…Steve Specht…9-2)


The 2-day Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, run at Keeneland Racecourse this Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, attracts the top equine athletes of our sport. Golden Gate Fields offers wagering on both days, where fans can play and view all races at Keeneland, Golden Gate, and other tracks across the country.

Fans who attend the races at Golden Gate this Saturday have the option of purchasing tickets to our annual Breeders Cup Watch Party. With a ticket to the Saturday Watch Party, patrons receive free self-parking, a race program, and admission to enjoy live racing at Golden Gate. Once in the grandstand, watch party attendees will head to the fourth-floor turf club where they will receive a table with a private TV monitor and a chance to divulge in an exclusive “All You Can Eat” Buffet.

Fans must purchase tickets online at For more information, please visit our website.


With Breeders Cup Day 2 the headliner of the racing world on Saturday, fans across the country and around the world will be locked and loaded for live racing throughout the United States. Golden Gate Fields is set to offer a 10-race card on Saturday, with first post at 12:45 PM.

The marquee race of the day is the $50,000 Joseph T. Grace, for 3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on turf. A field of nine made the overnight, with the best route horses in Northern California clashing in what should be a competitive and wild finish to the wire.

We begin with A Man’s Man, who has wracked off six consecutive victories and looks to extend his win streak to seven. Claimed for just $8,000 in May by trainer Jack Steiner and owners Remmah Racing Inc, the son of Mucho Macho Man has climbed the class ladder and comes off his best effort yet: a gate to wire win in the Bulldog Stakes at Fresno on October 16. From five lifetime starts on turf, A Man’s Man sports a 5-2-2-0 record.

“We’ve been so lucky and obviously very happy with how he’s done,” said Steiner. “The good news is he can run on any surface, and he is versatile. He can go to the lead, or he can stalk. Evin Roman is riding him for the first time on Saturday. He worked him the other morning and loved him.”

I’mgonnabesomebody picked up his first lifetime stakes trophy in the Sam Spear Memorial on turf in September. That day, he set the pace and held off all challengers through the length of the lane. Last seen running third in The Bulldog, I’mgonnabesomebody was off slowly from the gate, spotted the eventual race winner six lengths down the backstretch and came flying home to only lose the contest by a couple lengths. It was a much better than looked effort, says trainer Bill McLean.

“I don’t know what happened in the gate,” said McLean. “He came out shaking his head and didn’t break like he usually does. The favorite got a walking lead. I thought my horse ran well. He’s not a closer, but he swung wide and I was very pleased with how he finished. This time, hopefully he’ll break and lay close.”

Grade 3 winner Freeport Joe returns to the races after a dominant allowance victory over I’mgonnabesomebody five weeks ago. Said race was run over the Tapeta, a surface Freeport Joe thrives over. However, he sports a 1 for 8 lifetime record on grass. I’mgonnabesomebody, on the other hand, is 2 for 4 on turf and 0 for 3 on Tapeta.

The only Southern California shipper in the race is Kanderel, who drops in class after a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita. As a 3-year-old in 2020, Kanderel won the Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate. Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella conditions the son of Candy Ride, who will be ridden by Irving Orozco for the first time. Sticking with interviewing local connections, Orozco got his chance to speak on behalf of Team Kanderel.


“It’s always nice to ride for someone like Richard Mandella,” said Orozco. “Whenever he sends a horse up here, they are in with a good shot. He’s a horse that’s coming out of a tough race. If he runs the same type of race that we saw from him last time, then he’s got a really good shot to win. I think he’s most effective when he has a pace to run into.”

Trainer Andy Mathis campaigns Jimmy Blue Jeans, who freshens up two months after a second-place finish to I’mgonnabesomebody as the favorite in the Sam Spear Memorial. He must make up at least a half-length on the aforementioned rival while facing tough new shooters.

“He’s doing really good,” said Mathis. “He’s training really well. He’s got tactical speed in certain scenarios. Earlier on, he was a bit of a handful, but he’s gotten a little bit better over time. He’s been pretty solid with how he’s run for a while now.”

Sam Spear Memorial fourth and fifth place finishers Harmon and Black Caspian are also entered. Rounding out the field is Lammas, who will only run if the race is washed off the turf and moved to the Tapeta. The Saturday forecast indicates a 25% chance of rain from the early morning until about 3 PM, when the chance of rain increases to 40%. Post time for the Joseph T. Grace, Race 9 on a 10-race card, is 5:21 PM. First post is 12:43 PM.

Race 8 on Friday (First level allowance at one mile and a quarter on Tapeta for 3 YO and up)

#1 Freeport Joe (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Gloria Haley…morning line odds of 2-1)

#2 Lammas (MAIN TRACK ONLY ENTRANT) (Jockey Kevin Radke…Trainer Manny Badilla…6-1)

#3 A Man’s Man (Evin Roman…Jack Steiner…3-1)

#4 Black Caspian (Frank Alvarado…Manny Badilla…8-1)

#5 I’mgonnabesomebody (Santos Rivera…Bill McLean…9-2)

#6 Kanderel (Irving Orozco…Richard Mandella…8-1)

#7 Jimmy Blue Jeans (William Antongeorgi…Andy Mathis…7-2)

#8 Harmon (Julien Couton…Monty Meier…10-1)


A pair of Steve Sherman first time starters caught the eyes of race watchers on Sunday with admirable wins to kick off their racing careers.

Harcyn, a 2-year-old colt by Goldencents, broke from the inside post in Race 7 and went to the lead after bouncing out of the gate sharply. He set swift fractions of 21.87, 44.93 and 57.38 before kicking away from his company and winning the race by 3 and ¾ lengths. He hit the wire with his ears pricked up and earned a 71 Beyer speed figure for an effort that stopped the clock for six furlongs in 1:09.94 seconds. Harcyn was bred in Kentucky by owner Jerry Moss.

“I’ve always really liked him,” said Sherman. “When he drew the rail, I was a little bit concerned. Turning for home, it looked like he was idling a bit but [jockey] Billy [Antongeorgi III] gave him a couple taps on the shoulder and he kicked on again.”

The Lawrence and Anne Jett homebred Heavenly Prince has been a work in progress for Sherman. It took him until age 5 to make it to the races, but the wait was worthwhile given how well he performed in his first start on Sunday. Sent off at odds of 9-2 in the nightcap, the Kentucky-bred son of Cairo Prince bobbled slightly at the start, sat last by about 15 lengths down the backstretch, began a move on the outside turning for home and flew by 7 rivals to win the sprint contest by a measured length. His Beyer came out to be a 70.

“I was a little surprised when he was so far back early on in the race,” said Sherman. “I didn’t necessarily think he’d be on the lead, but he was pretty far out of it early. He was another one that showed us talent in the mornings. To see him finish the way he did was really nice.”

Antongeorgi III navigated both maiden winners. He had a successful three-day work period last week, winning a combined six races from 14 rides. One win came in the feature race of the week on Saturday, the $75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes, aboard 2-year-old filly Quickly Park It. Owned and bred by Harris Farms and trained by Sean McCarthy, 12-1 shot Quickly Park It defeated runner up finisher Ami Please by a half dozen lengths. Plans for her next start are to be determined but will likely take place in Southern California.

“It was a great week,” said Antongeorgi III. “All the horses fired. It’s pretty nice when you have a week where everything just seems to be clicking and the momentum is going your way.”


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 3: Whoa Buddy (New trainer Jesus Ramos…New owner [s] Candelario Barragan and Hector Rangel)

Race 7: Imperial Creed (New Owner/Trainer Rene Amescua)


Race 1: Jerry Jeff Walker (Leobardo Rivera…Manuela Franco Sosa)

Race 3: Polacco (Jack Steiner…Steiner and Randy Marriott) 


Race 1: Speed Grazy (Owner/Trainer Dan Franko) 

FINISH LINES: Congratulations to 2-year-old gelding Passarando, trainer Steve Specht and owners Larry and Marianne Williams. On Saturday in Race 8 at Santa Anita, Passarando wore down 2-5 race favorite Giver Not a Taker to score an 11-1 upset in the $175,000 Golden State Juvenile for California-bred or sired 2-year-olds. Umberto Rispoli guided the son of Tamarando to victory…Congratulations are also in order for apprentice Adrian Escobedo, who picked up his first two-win day at Golden Gate on Sunday. Escobedo won the opener aboard Into Bourbon and guided Don’t Tell Hydee to a runaway win in Race 6. Both horses are conditioned by Jamey Thomas…10 races made the Sunday overnight, with first post set at 12:15 PM. The main event is Race 9, a first level allowance for filly and mare sprinters that drew a full field of 12.