GOLDEN GATE FIELDS MOVES FRIDAY LIVE RACE CARD TO THURSDAY CITING PROJECTED WET WEATHER
Golden Gate Fields track officials announced late Monday morning that the decision has been made to move the Friday, March 10 live race card to Thursday, March 9 out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with industry stakeholders. The national weather service is forecasting high winds and heavy rain for the Bay Area on Friday.
8 races are on the program for the now-Thursday live race card at Golden Gate. First post time remains at 12:45 PM. Santa Anita Park, also running on Thursday, has an 8-race card with first post at 12:30 PM. With both California tracks in play on Thursday, the Golden Hour Double and Late Pick 4 wagers will be offered.
HOMETOWN HERO/BIG CAP WINNER STILLETO BOY RETURNS TO GOLDEN GATE
Sent off at an overlay price of 13-1 last Saturday at Santa Anita, 5-year-old gelding Stilleto Boy stalked the pace before outkicking Grade I winners Proxy and Defunded to win the 2023 edition of the illustrious Santa Anita Handicap. Stilleto Boy, given a masterful ride by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, won the $500,000 contest by a neck.
On Sunday afternoon, Stilleto Boy had already occupied a van and was traveling along the I-5 freeway back to Golden Gate Fields, where he has been training since the fall. As a 4-year-old last year, Stilleto Boy trained at Santa Anita and Del Mar. Trainer Ed Moger Jr., who purchased Stilleto Boy for his brother, owner Steve Moger, for $420,000 as a 3-year-old, hauled Stilleto Boy to and from ‘the Great Race Place’ himself.
Along with Stilleto Boy, the Moger trained pair of Chase the Chaos and Tarantino raced on Big Cap Day and were back home at Golden Gate by Sunday evening. El Camino Real Derby winner Chase the Chaos was a non-threatening seventh against a tough field in the Grade 2, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds while Tarantino, who raced in a second level allowance on the turf, finished second. Both will regroup at Golden Gate before their next starts are determined. Reported by Santa Anita’s Victor Ryan, Stilleto Boy could make his next start in either the $1 million, Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 22 at Oaklawn Park or the $1 million, Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on June 10 at Belmont Park.
STAKES WINNER COOL MOUNTAIN LAD MAKES 2023 DEBUT IN SATURDAY FEATURE
2022 Oak Tree Sprint Stakes winner Cool Mountain Lad makes his first start of the year in the featured fourth race on Saturday, a second level allowance for older sprinters. The five and one-half furlong contest drew a field of six. Respected by horsemen and fans alike at Golden Gate, the consistent 5-year-old son of Unionize has placed in the top 3 spots in 15 of his 20 lifetime starts.
Cool Mountain Lad, whose most recent trip to the winner’s circle came at Golden Gate on September 2, took time off after a pair of off-the-board finishes against stakes company. The last time he raced, he finished about 3 lengths behind Top Harbor in the Oakland Stakes on November 19. Trainer Victor Trujillo has prepped Cool Mountain Lad for his comeback run with five morning workouts.
One can easily find legit contenders signed up to tackle Cool Mountain Lad in Race 4 on Saturday. Trainer Tim McCanna saddles the two inside runners: Rager and Unraptured. Rager ran a very respectable race when placing second behind Star Racer, who has as good of form as any sprinter in the Bay Area right now. A similar effort from Rager would make him a major threat in Saturday’s fourth race. Like Cool Mountain Lad, Unraptured makes his first start of the year. In his last afternoon appearance, Unraptured finished third behind Cool Mountain Lad. The son of Uncaptured has always been well regarded by his connections and has competed in stakes races at Golden Gate and Woodbine Racecourse in the past.
Southern California invader Code Duello flew home from another zip code to win a first level allowance race at Santa Anita on New Years Eve. He returned five weeks later and ran fourth as the favorite in a second level allowance turf sprint, also at Santa Anita. The Craig Dollase trainee tries competing over a synthetic track for the first time and picks up the services of local rider Evin Roman.
War Games has won at this level before but finished off the board in his last two races at the condition. The Cliff Delima trainee is expected to be on the lead. C’Mon Man makes his first start off a $25,000 claim by trainer Jonathan Wong and takes a bump up in class while cutting back in distance.
9 races made the Saturday overnight. First post is 12:45. Healthy field sizes comprise the second half of the card. Race 6, which kicks off the Golden Gate Late Pick 4, drew a salty field. The list of contenders includes stakes placed Kiwi’s Dream, stakes winners Nolde and Our Silver Oak, allowance winners Black Caspian and Memo Daddy, and the Ed Moger Jr. trained pair of I’m Dr. O and Love Candy. Race 8, a first level allowance for filly and mare routers, drew a close to full field led by Southern California shipper Agreetodisagree and locals Momma Mocca, Naughty Nadine, and Vronsky Feint. Race 8 is the second leg of the Golden Hour Late Pick 4. The last leg of both the Golden Hour Late Pick 4 and Golden Hour Double is Race 9 at Golden Gate: a maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies. A full field of 12 are entered.
Race 4 (Second level allowance for 4-year-olds and up at five and a half furlongs)
#1 Rager (Jockey Assael Espinoza…Trainer Tim McCanna)
#2 Unruptured (Armando Ayuso…Tim McCanna)
#3 Code Duello (Evin Roman…Craig Dollase)
#4 C’Mon Man (Edwin Gonzalez…Jonathan Wong)
#5 Cool Mountain Lad (Brayan Pena…Victor Trujillo)
#6 War Games (Alexander Chavez…Cliff Delima)
Below is a list of claims from last week.
Race 1: Party Foul (New trainer Jonathan Wong…new owner MJVET Stables)
Race 2: Mystic Tbilisi (Reid France…Kendal King)
Race 4: Can’thelpfallin (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)
Race 4: Sherilinda (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)
Race 8: Practical Bid (Sammy Calvario…Huntertown Farm LLC and Calvario)
Race 2: Auspicious Style (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)
Race 3: Stanford Miss (Jack Steiner…Joe E. Burke)
Race 4: Conquest Rocks (Reid France…RKJ Stable)
Race 1: Snow Hill (Owner/Trainer Isidro Tamayo)
Race 7: Daniella Bella (Guillermo Preciado…Danuario Ramirez Garcia)
Race 9: Berolijean (Owner/Trainer Felix Rondan)
Race 9: Night Proof (Isidro Tamayo…Johnny Taboada)
FINISH LINES: 3-year-old filly Bulletproof Too makes her career debut in Race 9 on Saturday for KMN Racing LLC and Victory Rose Thoroughbreds. She is a full sibling to three-time stakes winner Bulletproof One and stakes placed sprinter In Our A. Cristobal Herrera rides for trainer Ellen Jackson…$59,605 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six on Thursday…Nominations close on Thursday at midnight for the inaugural $75,000 McCann’s Mojave for California-bred or sired 4-year-olds and up at one mile and an eighth on Tapeta. The race will be run next Saturday, March 18…Assael Espinoza leads all riders in the jockey standings while Jonathan Wong continues to hold the lead in the trainer standings…Simulcast wagering will be offered at Golden Gate on Friday for horseplayers in the Bay area who wish to watch and wager with us on track.