Golden Gate Fields News and Notes: Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Trainer Isidro Tamayo was not surprised in the slightest that 3-year-old filly Derrygoolin took to the turf in her first career start over the surface, finishing a half-length behind the winner while outrunning a next-out victor for second. That effort came over the summer at Santa Rosa. Since then, the California-bred daughter of Gallant Son has strung together a series of solid efforts in races run on grass.

In her second career start over the lawn, Derrygoolin stalked the pace and drew off in the final furlong for a convincing three-length score against starter allowance company. She wheeled back two weeks later and won again, this time in a first level allowance restricted to 3-year-old fillies. In her most recent afternoon appearance on November 4., Derrygoolin put up an extremely respectable showing against older foes, placing as the runner up behind a much more experienced router.

“We had been trying for a while to get her in a turf race,” said Tamayo. “Her whole family ran really well on turf. Once we got her on it, she really hasn’t done anything wrong.”

This Thursday, Derrygoolin faces six other rivals in the feature race of the day on Thanksgiving: a first level allowance for fillies and mares at one mile and a sixteenth.

On what surface? I think you can take an educated guess.

Derrygoolin has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite.

“Since she got to the turf, she’s gotten more confident,” said Tamayo. “She’s also a little more aggressive now. It’s funny how some horses change their running styles over time. I’m happy how she’s coming into this race.”

Regular pilot Irving Orozco, who had a pair of two-win days last Saturday and Sunday, will be back aboard on Thursday.

Among the leading contenders set to challenge Derrygoolin is Vronsky Feint, a winner at this level on Tapeta last month. Two races back, Vronsky Feint finished third behind Derrygoolin while encountering traffic issues in the very late stages of the race. Two of Vronsky Feint’s three lifetime victories have come on turf. Another legit player is Rev Ree, who makes her second start off a five-and-a-half-month vacation and figures to improve with a race under her belt in the current form cycle.

Four racing days are on the docket for this week’s festivities. Our Thanksgiving Thursday Holiday cards kicks off at 11:15 AM with an 8-race sequence. The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday programs start at 12:45 PM.

Race 6 on Thursday (First level allowance for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward at one mile and a sixteenth on turf)

#1 Beignet (Jockey William Antongeorgi III…trainer Paddy Gallagher…morning line odds of 10-1)

#2 Derrygoolin (Irving Orozco…Isidro Tamayo…9-5)

#3 Worthy of Magic (Armando Ayuso…Brendan Galvin…10-1)

#4 Gea (Frank Alvarado…Tim McCanna…12-1)

#5 Rev Ree (Julien Couton…Steve Sherman…5-2)

#6 Mischievous Curlin (Kevin Radke…Faith Taylor…10-1)

#7 Vronsky Feint (Assael Espinoza…Ed Moger Jr…5-2)


2-year-old filly Majestic Oops has kicked off her racing career the right way. From four lifetime starts, she has never finished worse than second. Two wins, two second-place finishes. Not bad.

By California stallion Majestic Harbor, whose first foals are 2-year-olds of this year, Majestic Oops finished as the runner up in her first two career races. Third time was the charm at Sacramento in July, when she stalked the pace and handily defeated her competition in a maiden special weight. Majestic Oops wheeled back a couple months later on September 23 and defeated first level allowance company at Golden Gate, going off at a big price (16-1) and closing into a strong pace for the win.

After another two-month freshening, here we are in present day. Majestic Oops is entered to race on Friday, this time against stakes company in the 6-furlong, $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante. Eight 2-year-old fillies are slated to compete in the Friday feature.

“I always knew she was a runner,” said trainer Ed Moger Jr. “She’s not a very big filly but she was outworking her company whenever we put her up against someone. She tries hard. She’s doing great right now.”

Moger is having a terrific 2022 fall meeting, winning at a 20% clip (6 wins, 4 seconds, and 6 thirds from 30 starters) heading into the upcoming 4-day race week.

“We’re looking to keep it rolling,” said Moger Jr.

In what appears as a wide-open race, the Golden Gate Debutante goes as Race 8 on a 9-race program.

5-2 morning line favorite Always At Ease takes a step up in company after a maiden special weight victory at Golden Gate on October 29. Purchased for a whopping $400,000 by owner Ben Gase, the daughter of Twirling Candy is trained by Southern California conditioner Keith Desormeaux and sports one workout at Santa Anita since the maiden score.

Rousing Jewel was a dazzling maiden winner in the spring, defeating stablemate and now stakes winner Passarando. In two starts since, she finished off the board in a stake at Santa Anita and, most recently, earned a silver medal as the 2-5 favorite in the allowance event won by Majestic Oops on September 23.

Trainer Jonathan Wong saddles a trio of maiden special weight winners: Imaginary, Ketanji, and Sally’s Sassy. Imaginary was a gate to wire winner at Golden Gate on October 1 and freshens up almost two months for her debut against winners. Well-meant Ketanji went off at 9-5 in her first career race at Fresno and easily defeated six rivals. Sally’s Sassy has more racing foundation than her two stablemates; she was a first-out winner sprinting on turf at Del Mar in August and most recently finished third behind runaway winner Quickly Park It in the Pike Place Dancer going two turns. Like Ketanji, Sally’s Sassy has never raced over the Tapeta main track before.

Bet de Vron was a 2-length maiden winner on dirt for trainer Faith Taylor and makes her first career start on Tapeta while entering this run off a three-month break. Juana Gallo sports a perfect 3 for 3 on dirt but has finished off the board in two races on turf and Tapeta. She figures to be part of the action on the lead early.

Race 8 on Friday ($50,000 Golden Gate Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs on Tapeta)

#1 Ketanji (Jockey Kevin Radke…trainer Jonathan Wong…morning line odds of 7-2)

#2 Always At Ease (Armando Ayuso…Keith Desormeaux…5-2)

#3 Juana Gallo (Santos Rivera…Felix Rondan…10-1)

#4 Majestic Oops (Cristobal Herrera…Ed Moger Jr…8-1)

#5 Bet de Vron (Irving Orozco…Faith Taylor…8-1)

#6 Rousing Jewel (Frank Alvarado…Steve Specht …5-1)

#7 Sally’s Sassy (William Antongeorgi III…Jonathan Wong…10-1)

#8 Imaginary (Brayan Pena…Jonathan Wong…7-2)


A quintet is signed up to enter the starting gate for the signature race of the fall season in Northern California: the $100,000 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward. On paper, it looks like a relatively evenly matched affair. On the track, it may come down to who gets the best trip based on each horse’s preferred running style.

Freeport Joe is the defending champion of The Berkeley Handicap and has a solid shot to become a two-time winner. The Gloria Haley trainee had to settle for second when finishing behind lone speed I’mgonnabesomebody in the November 5 Joseph T. Grace Stakes, a race that was originally scheduled for turf but was moved to the Tapeta after rain hit the Bay Area in the days leading up to the race. With his last loss in mind, Freeport Joe beat I’mgonnabesomebody in September and, from seven lifetime wins on the Tapeta, has beaten quality stakes winners like Camino Del Paraiso, Master Piece, and Navy Armed Guard over the surface. Regular jockey Assael Espinoza retains the mount in the Berkeley.

I’mgonnabesomebody sports “better than ever” form for veteran conditioner Bill McLean. The Kentucky bred son of Will Take Charge has won two stakes races this year-The Sam Spear Memorial in September and the Joseph T. Grace-and will likely be part of the pace in his graded stakes debut this weekend. Jockey Santos Rivera has been aboard for both stakes triumphs and retains the amount on Saturday.

Synthetic specialist Lammas draws the rail. An Irish-bred trained by Manny Badilla, Lammas was last seen finishing a length behind I’mgonnabesomebody and a quarter of length off Freeport Joe in the Joseph T. Grace. That day, he stalked the pace, found himself on the fence turning for home, and stayed on the inside for the length of the stretch. Kevin Radke got to know Lammas in the Joseph T. Grace and will be back aboard again in the Berkeley.

Two Southern California shippers complete the field. The first is old pro Rip City, who makes his second start off a $40,000 claim by Leandro Mora. In his first start off the purchase, the son of City Zip went gate to wire against a first level allowance group on grass at Santa Anita. Local jockey Armando Ayuso has the call on Rip City, a gelding who makes his synthetic debut in the Berkeley.

Tulsa Tornado runs out of his conditions but enters as a sneaky contender for trainer Michael McCarthy. He makes his second start off about a year layoff; McCarthy wins at a strong 24% clip with his trainees who make their second start off a break over 180 days. Tulsa Tornado’s first start off the layoff came in a first level allowance sprint, where he dueled on the lead before tiring in the final hundred yards. He ended up completing the superfecta. In his last start before the lengthy layoff, Tulsa Tornado finished second, only beaten a half-length by next out Grade 2 winner Law Professor in a two-turn, first level allowance. The aforementioned foe was last seen running fifth in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland. It is worth noting that Tulsa Tornado’s lone career victory came over the Golden Gate Tapeta in September of 2021.

Race 7 on Saturday (The $100,000 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward at one mile and a sixteenth on the Tapeta)

#1 Lammas (Jockey Kevin Radke…Trainer Manny Badilla)

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

#3 Rip City (Armando Ayuso…Leandro Mora)

#4 Freeport Joe (Assael Espinoza…Gloria Haley)

#5 Tulsa Tornado (William Antongeorgi III…Michael McCarthy)


Below is a list of claims from last week:


Race 5: Lookout Point (New trainer Marcelino Trujillo…new owner[s] Nancy Salas-Ibarra and Floriberta Trujillo)

Race 6: Reservenotmet (Jonathan Wong…MJVET Stables and Clay Sides)


Race 1: Get’em Tiger (Reid France…Lamonte Isom)

Race 2: Quiet Charm (Owner/Trainer Sergio Perez)

Race 4: Autism Blue (Sammy Calvario…Johnny Taboada)

Race 5: Berolijean (Reid France…Hat Trick Racing)

Race 5: Shotgun Express (Victor Trujillo…Colin Murray)

Race 7: Madeira Wine (Owner/Trainer Manny Badilla)

Race 7: Shezaghost (Sammy Calvario…Huntertown Farm LLC and Calvario)

Race 9: Fly Buddy Fly (Jonathan Wong…TAK Racing)

Race 9: Tiz Vicious (Miguel Ramirez…Mark Freeman and Peter Milburn)


Race 4: Pour On the Cole (Owner/Trainer Jose Puentes)

Race 5: Windribbon (Isidro Tamayo…John Tipton)

Race 7: Armour Plate (Owner/Trainer James Gilmour)

Race 7: Holyjazz (Angelo Tekos Jr…John Tipton)

FINISH LINES: Jockey Evin Roman injured a wrist after his horse clipped heels, stumbled, and unseated Roman in the stretch drive of Race 8 last Friday. Although in good spirits while visiting the Golden Gate backstretch on Wednesday morning, Roman will be sidelined for the remainder of the fall meet. Roman’s mount, Top Hat Tigress, walked back to the barn immediately following the incident…Along with the Berkeley Handicap on Saturday, two allowance races are on the schedule: Race 6, a first level allowance for routers on turf, and Race 8, a first level allowance for filly and mare sprinters on the Tapeta…5-year-old mare Carolina Mia is one of the top filly and mare sprinters at Golden Gate. On Saturday in Del Mar’s second race, the Felix Rondan trainee competes in a third level allowance at 5 furlongs on turf. Edwin Maldonado rides…Also at Del Mar on Friday, Rondan saddles 2021 Golden Nugget Stakes winner Dr Pescado in a one mile, second level allowance on dirt…$7,472 is carried over into the Super High Five wager for the next race on Thursday in which the wager is conducted…$5,889 is carried over into the Golden Pick Six jackpot wager on Thursday.