Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, October 20, 2022


Nine stake races are scheduled for the upcoming Fall Meet at Golden Gate, which kicks off this Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday, December 11. The Fall Meet offers 25 live race days, with first post each day at 1:15 PM unless otherwise noted.

The signature race of the meeting is the $100,000 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta. Set for Saturday, November 26, The Berkeley Handicap is likely to attract defending champion Freeport Joe, Fresno stakes winner A Man’s Man and possibly Sam Spear Memorial victor I’mgonnabesomebody.

The first stake of the season, the Pike Place Dancer for 2-year-olds fillies at one mile on turf, will be run on October 29. Seven days later, racers 3-years-old and upward take center stage-also on turf-in the Joseph T. Grace at one mile and a sixteenth.

A pair of 2-year-old stakes are part of the road to the El Camino Real Derby in February. The Golden Nugget, a 6-furlong Tapeta sprint slated for November 12, typically features a precocious and good quality field. The top finishers in the Golden Nugget usually compete three weeks later in another stake, the December 3 Gold Rush at one mile on the Tapeta. In the female division, 2-year-old fillies get their chance to shine in the Golden Gate Debutante, a six-furlong contest scheduled for Friday, November 25.

The best sprinters in the Bay Area will point towards the Oakland Stakes on November 19, for 3-year-olds and upward at six furlongs on the main track. A large field of 13 competed last year in the Bear Fan, a $75,000 stake restricted to California-bred or sired fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward. This year, the Bear Fan will be held on December 10. The Closing Day feature on Sunday, December 11 is the Miss America for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward at one mile and a sixteenth on turf.


Sat. October 29: $75,000 Pike Place Dancer Stakes (2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf)

Sat. November 5: $50,000 Joseph T. Grace Stakes (3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)

Sat. November 12: $50,000 Golden Nugget Stakes (2-year-olds at six furlongs on Tapeta)

Sat. November 19: $50,000 Oakland Stakes (3-year-olds and up at six furlongs on Tapeta)

Fri. November 25: $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante (2-year-old fillies at six furlongs on Tapeta)

Sat. November 26: $100,000 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap (3-year-olds and up at one mile and a sixteenth on Tapeta)

Sat. December 3: $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes (2-year-olds at one mile on Tapeta)

Sat. December 10: $75,000 Bear Fan Stakes (California-bred or sired fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at six furlongs on Tapeta)

Sun. December 11: $50,000 Miss America Stakes (Fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)


The newest edition to the Northern California training colony will saddle his first starter this weekend. Jorge Bautista, former assistant to Duane Offield, took out his trainers license a short time ago and campaigns first time starter Murloc Bay in Race 9 on Saturday.

“I’m excited to get started,” said Bautista. “I don’t really feel nervous because I’ve worked under Duane for a long time, and I had to make some training decisions on my own right before Duane passed [last month].”

Bautista, a cousin of Golden Gate trainer Jose and brother of assistant starter Hugo, began working as a groom in 1996. He moved to Offield’s barn in 2007 and was hired as the assistant for the outfit in 2016.

“Duane taught me a lot,” said Bautista. “He was a very patient trainer. He taught me to be patient.”

Bautista currently oversees a dozen horses. Nine of the 12 horses in his stable are owned by Rozamund Barclay, who was Offield’s most notable owner. One of Barclay’s horses, 6-year-old mare Northern Rose, won at 17-1 two days after Offield passed away and was Offield’s last winner.

“It was pretty emotional,” said Bautista on Northern Rose’s upset win. “Roz [Barclay] was so happy. It was a great moment.”

Bautista is hoping for a similarly special moment with Murloc Bay on Saturday.

“He’s working really good, but you never know what will happen in the race,” said Bautista.


The feature race on the “Opening Day” Friday card, Race 5, is a first level allowance for 3-year-olds and up. Seven runners have been assembled to sprint five furlongs on the turf. Among the contenders is a hard-knocking California-bred, an old pro, and a pair of impressive maiden winners. For the level, it’s a tough assignment, and the horses who fail to wear their best running shoes may prove vulnerable.

If Johnny Podres can come anywhere close to duplicating his last start, the others will be battling for the minor spoils. In a September 18 trial at this level over the Tapeta main track, Johnny Podres set the pace, drew off from his competition down the stretch and hit the wire about a half dozen lengths ahead of the runner up finisher. He stopped the clock for six furlongs in a sizzling fast 1:08.26, just .03 seconds off the track record set by Mah Gellin in 2016.

With that in mind, California-bred Johnny Podres is changing things up for Friday’s main event. He moves to the turf, a surface he was won thrice over, and cuts back in distance to five furlongs. Santos Rivera was aboard for last month’s runaway win and retains the mount for trainer Steve Miyadi.

Hard knocking 7-year-old Honeymoonz Over has been an admirable racer in Northern California throughout the years. With 66 lifetime starts to his name, Honeymoonz Over enters this race fresh off a three and a half-length score against high level claimers last month. In his last two starts sprinting on the turf-both at this level-he won once and lost by a half-length, respectively. D. Wayne Baker trains the Kentucky-bred by Congrats.

“He’s doing really well,” said Baker. “I think he’s going to get a good set up. His turf sprint numbers are comparable with every horse in this race.”

Recent maiden graduates Blazing Jamie and To Speight Her face winners for the first time. Blazing Jamie had been knocking on the door for a maiden win and picked up his diploma last time out sprinting on the Tapeta for trainer Cliff DeLima. To Speight Her, a $100,000 sale purchase, ran fourth in a large field on debut at Del Mar in July and returned five weeks later to break the maiden on turf at the aforementioned seaside oval for trainer Andy Mathis.

“We’ve always thought To Speight Her had ability,” said Mathis.

I’m Corfu was claimed off a $32,000 victory at Del Mar by trainer Isidro Tamayo but has finished off the board in three races since. His last start at Golden Gate came against salty company, finishing fourth behind stakes winner Cool Mountain Lad and multiple allowance winners Irrefutable and Unraptured.

Star Racer has competed down south in his last 10 starts for trainer Angelo Tekos Jr. The California-bred son of Vronsky began his career at Golden Gate in 2020 and has always been well regarded. But since winning a California-bred allowance race at Del Mar last year, Star Racer has lost seven consecutive races. Moving back to Golden Gate in search of improvement in form, he adds blinkers and picks up the services of veteran rider Frank Alvarado.

Love Candy makes his first start as a gelding for trainer Ed Moger Jr. The last time Love Candy raced, he competed against restricted 3-year-old company at this level in January and finished as the runner up. He sports a steady series of drills off the layoff including one 6-furlong work and a 7-furlong stamina building drill.

Race 5 on Friday (First level allowance at five furlongs on turf)

#1 Johnny Podres (Jockey Santos Rivera…Trainer Steve Miyadi…morning line odds of 8-5)

#2 Love Candy (Francisco Duran…Ed Moger Jr…12-1)

#3 Honeymoonz Over (William Antongeorgi III…D. Wayne Baker…6-1)

#4 Star Racer (Frank Alvarado…Angelo Tekos Jr.…10-1)

#5 I’m Corfu (Assael Espinoza…Isidro Tamayo…8-1)

#6 To Speight Her (Kevin Radke…Andy Mathis…5-2)

#7 Blazing Jamie (Pedro Terrero…Cliff DeLima…9-2)


4-year-old filly Tiz an Eventure was clinging onto a four-race win streak heading into her last start, the Golden Gate Turf Distaff. She ran fourth, soundly beaten for the top three placings by a pair of multiple stakes winners and a Southern California shipper.

No biggie. Trainer Jack Steiner, who claimed Tiz an Edventure in April for $25,000 along with co-owner Randy Marriott, would be the first to say that she has done exceptionally well since moving to his stable. After being claimed for the $25,000 tag, Steiner gave Tiz an Edventure a confidence booster when aggressively dropping her in class to a $16,000 claiming condition. She won the race by three-quarters of a length, defeating a next out winner in the process. Shortly thereafter, Tiz an Edventure won a pair of first level allowance races and then, two starts back, finished ahead of a decent second level allowance group on August 28.

“She has exceeded expectations,” said Steiner. “A really nice filly to be around in the barn. She’s a real light filly and isn’t a heavy eater. She just goes out there and does her thing. She’s tried hard every race we’ve had her.”

Tiz An Edventure gets back to the second level allowance ranks in the sixth race on Saturday, a one-mile turf route for fillies and mares. Coincidentally, the second and third place finishers behind Tiz an Edventure on August 28 (La Reine’s Legacy and La Vikina) are also entered in the sixth race on Saturday.

“She’s doing phenomenal,” said Steiner with a smile. “The plan is to win again.”

Also entered in the sixth race on Saturday is recent first level allowance winner Shezaghost, the Blaine Wright trained pair of La Reine’s Legacy and Strike At Dawn, European bred Scherzo, and 3-year-old allowance winner Isola Mia.

Race 6 on Saturday (Second level allowance at one mile on turf)

#1 Scherzo (Jockey Irving Orozco…Trainer Manny Badilla…morning line odds of 12-1)

#2 La Reine’s Legacy (Kevin Radke…Blaine Wright…8-1)

#3 Shezaghost (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman …9-2)

#4 Isola Mia (Assael Espinoza…Michael McCarthy…7-2)

#5 Strike At Dawn (Silvio Amador…Blaine Wright…6-1)

#6 Tiz an Edventure (Evin Roman…Jack Steiner…2-1)

#7 La Vikina (Santos Rivera…Isidro Tamayo…3-1)

FINISH LINES: With a new meet starting Friday, the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager begins anew…An intriguing race part of the Golden Hour Late Pick 4 on Saturday: Race 8. A full field of 10 filly and mare sprinters dash five furlongs on the turf. Among the leading entrants is Althea Gibson, a Nick Alexander homebred shipping north while making her first start under the care of trainer Steve Miyadi…Apprentice jockey Oscar Gonzalez will be making his Golden Gate debut at the Fall Meet. A 10-pound apprentice, Gonzalez has won 3 races from 41 thoroughbred mounts, with 13 other in-the-money finishes. He has ridden at Los Alamitos, Ferndale and Fresno and will be represented at GGF by agent Luis Fierro.