Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Thursday, May 3, 2023


On Kentucky Derby week, Golden Gate Fields offers Thursday through Sunday racing. The special Thursday program is comprised of seven races.

The Thursday card was originally scheduled as an “all turf” program. After off-and-on rainfall on Tuesday evening and parts of Wednesday, racing officials made the decision Wednesday morning to move the Thursday races to the Tapeta.

Five of the seven races on Thursday are at the one-mile distance. The other two are five-furlong sprints. The first race, a maiden event for sprinters, attracts first time starters Roy Hobbs and Jersey Babe. Roy Hobbs, a Nick Alexander homebred trained by Steve Miyadi, is a full sibling to last weekend’s Golden Poppy Stakes winner Rose Maddox. The Tim McCanna trained Jersey Babe is out of a multiple turf route winner who has produced five winning siblings to Jersey Babe. The morning line favorite in the race, Kerry Gold, is knocking on the door for a win after two narrow defeats.

Race 2 begins the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager. Heading into Thursday, the Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover is $24,385. Expected favorite and class dropper Noble Hearted ships in from Santa Anita and makes her first start for local trainer Miguel Ramirez in the second race. The start of the Late Pick 5 is Race 3, a maiden claiming sprint. First time starter Autism Shine is the 8-5 morning line favorite for trainer Jonathan Wong. 5-year-old Sensational City makes her debut for the Steve Miyadi barn and is another newcomer who could also garnish support in the wagering. Cry Me A Runner comes off a third-place finish at this level behind next out winner Big Strike and may be the strongest contender out of any runner that has racing experience.

The first leg of the Late Pick 4, Race 4, appears as a wide-open heat and features class droppers Shut Up Michael and Roaring Tiger and recent winners Mesa Empire and Vanisky. The last three races on the card have 7.6 horses per race-all which are also extremely contentious events.

First post on Thursday is 1:15 PM.


Per the Daily Racing Form’s Steve Anderson, plans for next possible starts for California Derby winner Prince Abu Dhabi and Grade 3 San Francisco Mile victor Balnikhov are already under discussion.

According to Anderson, Prince Abu Dhabi, who kept his unbeaten win record intact with a last to first victory in the $100,000 California Derby last Saturday, is possible for the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes for 3-year-olds at one-mile over turf on Sunday, May 28 at Golden Gate. If Prince Abu Dhabi were to race in the Alcatraz and take to the turf, then the possibility to try his hand on grass at Del Mar in a race like the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap could be an option down the road. Prince Abu Dhabi, a Kentucky-bred by Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice out of the Irish-bred High Chaparral mare American Girl, was purchased for $8,000 as a yearling by owners Lance and Steve Kinross and has earned $115,200 in four starts.

In the meantime, Grade 3 San Francisco Mile gold medalist Balnikhov is back at home at Santa Anita where trainer Phil D’Amato and owners Little Red Feather Racing, Old Bones Racing, and Madaket Stables are still finalizing plans for Balnikhov’s next start. According to Anderson, D’Amato noted that Balnikhov could race out of his own stall in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 29 or ship east to Belmont Park to compete in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes on Saturday, June 10.

To read Steve Anderson’s article on Prince Abu Dhabi:

To read Steve’s article on Balnikhov:


This Saturday, May 6 is an afternoon that racing fans around the world eagerly await. Now, it’s just a couple sleeps away.

Of course, the main event around the world is the Kentucky Derby, run on the First Saturday in May every year. Along with the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky has a plethora of stakes races on a 14-race marathon card that begins at 7:30 AM Pacific Time. Race 12 of 14 is the 2023 $3,000,000 Kentucky Derby at 10 furlongs (one mile and a quarter). Post time is set at 6:57 PM ET/3:57 PM PT.

Fans who attend the races at Golden Gate Fields will be treated with a festive atmosphere and nine live races. First post at Golden Gate is 2 PM. Gates open for simulcast wagering of Churchill Downs and other tracks around the country at 8 AM.

Three allowance races at Golden Gate-Races 6, 7, and 9-are the co-featured trio of races on the nine-race program. Race 6, a five-and-one-half-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, consists of a half dozen up and coming sophomores.

Recent allowance winner Idaho Once was bred in California, meaning he is eligible to win at this first level allowance condition twice. Last time out, we saw the Victor Trujillo trainee duel on the lead before shaking clear of his competition, winning the six-furlong event by a length and three-quarters. Idaho Once has finished either first or second in his last four starts.

First out maiden winners St. Paddy’s Charm and Welton add depth to the field. St. Paddy’s Charm, trained by Dan Markle, sat last off a quick pace on April 15 and rallied strongly between horses down the stretch, defeating ten other rivals at the finish. The Kentucky-bred by Preakness winner Cloud Computing out of the Sligo Bay mare Bide a Wee Island is a half sibling to Grade 3 winner Island Commish. Welton, conditioned by Jonathan Wong, sat off the speed and finishing well for a narrow win on March 4. He freshens up two months and boasts a steady series of morning works since earning the maiden diploma. A Kentucky bred by Creative Cause out of the undefeated Lemon Drop kid mare Iadorakid, Welton is a half sibling to a 3-time winner.

Southern California shipper Mila’s Papa was a gritty state-bred maiden special weight winner at Santa Anita in January for trainer Adam Kitchingman but failed to hit the board in his next start routing on the turf. He makes his first afternoon appearance in three months while trying Tapeta for the first time. If Nauvoo runs, he’ll be wheeling back in six days after an off the board finish in the California Derby. That said, all of his best work has come routing. Strength of Autism, coming off a runner up finish against state-bred claimers, bumps up in class and rounds out the field.

The seventh and ninth races on the card were split into two divisions after 15 horses made the entry box for the race. Both first level allowance divisions are scheduled at one mile on the turf.

In Race 7, the one to beat is arguably One Fast Bro, a California-bred who won at this condition three weeks ago on April 15. The Quinn Howey trainee earned an 83 Beyer speed figure in his three most recent starts. Other main contenders are Supermazel, who finished a length behind One Fast Bro on April 15, recent starter allowance winner Caisson, and Sea of Liberty, who earned a strong Beyer speed figure (85) when defeating five others at this level in September. He makes his first start in seven and a half months for trainer Jamey Thomas. Seven equines comprise the seventh race field.

The nightcap on Saturday (Race 9) attracts eight horses. Conundrum was the runner up behind One Fast Bro on April 15 and should be supported in the wagering, especially if One Fast Bro were to run well in Race 7. Enos Slaughter was in the photo for second with Conundrum on April 15 and has shown an affinity for turf in four lifetime starts over the surface. Tribal Nation is a main track only entrant, meaning he would run only if Saturday’s ninth race was moved from the turf to the main track Tapeta. If that becomes the case, the speedy Tribal Nation would be the one to catch on the lead.

Race 6: First level allowance (for 3-year-olds at five and one-half furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Strength of Autism (Jockey Alexander Chavez…Trainer Isidro Tamayo)

#2 Mila’s Papa (Assael Espinoza…Adam Kitchingman)

#3 Welton (Brayan Pena…Jonathan Wong)

#4 Nauvoo (Evin Roman…Jonathan Wong)

#5 Idaho Once (Santos Rivera…Victor Trujillo)

#6 St. Paddy’s Charm (Frank Alvarado…Dan Markle)


Race 7: First level allowance (For 3-year-olds and up at one mile on turf)

#1 One Fast Bro (Jockey Armando Ayuso…Trainer Quinn Howey)

#2 Caisson (Assael Espinoza…Manny Ortiz Sr.)

#3 Supermazel (William Antongeorgi III…Steve Sherman)

#4 House of Lords (Alexander Chavez…Isidro Tamayo)

#5 Chief Wild Eagle (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna)

#6 Bandera Azteca (Brayan Pena…Isidro Tamayo)

#7 Sea of Liberty (Hugo Herrera…Jamey Thomas)


Race 9: First level allowance (For 3-year-olds and up at one mile on turf)

#1 Gallant Warren (Jockey Francisco Monroy…Trainer Tim Bellasis)

#2 Table for Two (Santos Rivera…Victor Trujillo)

#3 Runkerry (Hugo Herrera…Gloria Haley)

#4 Anitanewmercedes (Evin Roman…Isidro Tamayo)

#5 Conundrum (Alexander Chavez…Mike Lenzini)

#6 Tribal Nation (Main Track Only) (Assael Espinoza…Andy Mathis)

#7 Secret Club (Alejandro Gomez…Ed Moger Jr)

#8 Enos Slaughter (Cristobal Herrera…Marcelino Trujillo)



Race 3: Remember Sue (New trainer Jack Steiner…new owner Melvin Simonovich)

Race 9: Thanks Maggio (Jonathan Wong…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)


Race 3: Stoic Luna (O.J Jauregui…Danny Eplin)


Race 4: Tiger Queen (Isidro Tamayo…Taboada Racing Stables LLC)

Race 6: Phantom Drop (Gary Greiner…Ernie Meza)

Race 6: Stretch Run (Owner/Trainer Jorge Maravilla)

Race 10: Idiot’s Gold (Blaine Wright…Chappell Alpine Farms LLC)

FINISH LINES: With five more weeks to go at the current Winter/Spring meet, jockey Assael Espinoza has the most wins out of any rider with 63 trips to the winner’s circle. Armando Ayuso is second with 56 wins while Evin Roman rounds out the top three with 46…In the trainer standings, Jonathan Wong leads the way with 45 wins, seven more than Isidro Tamayo. Steve Sherman and Jack Steiner are tied for third with 22 wins apiece…Jockey Irving Orozco is home and in good spirits following a fall last Saturday. We look forward to seeing Irving in the winner’s circle again soon…Congratulations to owner/breeder Nick Alexander, who won three of the eight stakes races on Gold Rush Weekend. His Alice Marble won the Camilla Urso Stakes for filly and mare turf sprinters on Saturday while Rose Maddox was victorious in the Golden Poppy Stakes for filly and mare turf routers. On Sunday, 3-year-old filly Carole Lombard beat state-bred fillies in the one-mile Campanile Stakes. All three Alexander homebreds are by Alexander’s stallion Grazen. Alice Marble and Carole Lombard are trained by Phil D’AmatoSteve Miyadi, who conditions Rose Maddox, picked up his 1,800th career win with the Golden Poppy victory…In other stakes news, local Top Harbor won the Lost in the Fog Stakes for sprinters and added a fourth lifetime stakes victory to his resume with the first place finish…The Michael McCarthy trained Lily Poo was a decisive winner of the California Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Tapeta to kick off the stakes action on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday…Hacking It Up was a half-length victor in the last stake event of the weekend on Sunday, the Silky Sullivan Stakes for California-bred or sired 3-year-olds at one mile on turf…The first race on Gold Rush Weekend Saturday resulted in a dead heat between Chicago Soldier and Naughty Niko, both shipping in from Southern California…Also on Saturday, Southern California based jockey Umberto Rispoli won four races: the second race with She’s Resilient, the California Oaks atop Lily Poo, the Camilla Urso aboard Alice Marble and the San Francisco Mile alongside Balnkihov…A friendly second reminder: live racing is offered on a Thursday through Sunday basis this week. First post on Thursday is 1:15 PM, racing on Friday begins at 1:45 PM, and the Kentucky Derby Day program at Golden Gate this Saturday kicks off at 2 PM. First post on Sunday will be announced on Thursday afternoon when entries are taken…PLEASE NOTE: gates open for simulcasting wagering on Friday, May 4 (Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs) at 9 AM. Gates open for simulcast wagering on Saturday, May 5 (Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs) at 8 AM.