The Alameda County Fair comes to an end this weekend with a pair of stakes races. On Saturday, the Everett Nevin Alameda County Stakes will give Mighty Monsoon a chance at redemption and on Sunday, the Sam J Whiting Memorial Handicap will feature 9-5 morning line favorite Goggles McCoy.
Last weekend, the favorites did pretty well in a trio of stakes races that highlighted the 13 day meet with some of the hottest runners Nor Cal has going.
We saw a horse on the rise, a horse that has arrived and a local legend fall just short again.
First up was the inaugural running of the Livermore Valley Wine Stakes and while a lot was made coming into the race about the Jeff Bonde trained Road Ready, after the race, all the talk was centered on the wire-to-wire winner, Ain’t No Other.
Road Ready was coming off a third place finish at Pimilco in the Chick Lang Stakes. But the speed favoring track played right into the hands of the front running Ain’t No Other, who won by an easy 1 ½ lengths while Road Ready checked in fourth.
Owned and bred by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Ain’t No Other won for the sixth time in eight career starts. He was coming of a third place finish in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes at Hollywood. Prior to that, the three year old won the Harry Henson Stakes.
Locally based Steve Miyadi trains the winner and he was ridden by Juan J. Hernandez. Hernandez has rode the son of Old Topper four times and has four wins. The Miyadi/Hernandez combination had been a good won all year at Golden Gate, winning at a 35 percent clip.
So far at Pleasanton they have 3 wins, and a third in just 7 starts. Hernandez has been riding since 2009 and last week notched his 200 career victory aboard Gold Plan.
The next day we had another solid performance by the best two-year-old in Northern California when City Route proved her win in the Lost in the Fog Stakes at GGF was no fluke.In that race she went wire to wire as the second choice behind favored Mighty Monsoon.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee easily wired the less proven field in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes under jockey Kevin Krigger, winning under wraps by four lengths for her third win in as many starts.
“All she has to do is like the dirt and she is gone” Krigger said prior to the race, referring to the fillies first start away from the Tapeta surface.
Obviously, the dirt was not a problem. We will continue to look for big things from City Route.
The weekend concluded with sentimental favorite Bold Chieftain being the even money favorite in the Alamedan Handicap, but he was second best to the Jeff Bonde trained Slew The Man. The winner again used the speed bias to post a wire-to-wire win by 1 ¼ lengths over the hard trying ‘Chief.
Bold Chieftain has now run three times since a short retirement and has two second and a third place finish.
Who says show bets don’t pay off?
Last Saturday, the Arabians had an unusual peri-mutual payoff when the heavy favorite, One Hot Chick, finished out the money. The weird thing was, an unusually huge show bet came in on the horse. When he wasn't in the top three, well i guess you could say it threw everything out of whack as you can see by the payoffs. Back in the day when my grandmother used to take me to races, she would have loved this payoff since she always bet $2 to show on half the field.