Photo: Don August
Each year, a dark horse comes out of Golden Gate Fields and makes the nation take notice.
In 2012, I wrote about Nonios, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee, who at the time was 2-for-2 in his career by the bay. He went on the win the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park and ran second in the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park, the Swaps Stakes, the Awesome Again and the Native Diver Stakes (losing to Game on Dude).
Earlier this summer, I highlighted She’s a Tiger after her debut win at Pleasanton and she went on to finish first in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies only to be disqualified and placed second.
Now a less heralded two-year-old filly has caught our attention. Her name is Look Quickly.
Trained by veteran trainer Bill Morey and his assistant Manny Badilla, Look Quickly has begun raising eyebrows of many in the Bay Area. Her latest conquest was a 1 3/4 length win in the Golden Gate Debutante Stakes on Friday. The win raised her career record to 4-for-4.
“She’s awesome man, she’s far out. That’s all I can say,” Badilla said after her latest win. “That last race against the boys really set her up for this. She’s been working good, Russell (Baze) got to test drive her once in the morning, he even commented after the race that she drug him around the turn. I been around some good horses and this is another one.”
Look Quickly, by Run Away and Hide, out of the Western Fame mare, Fame’s Fame, has won her four races at three different distances, at four different levels and two different surfaces. She has even been ridden by three different jockeys. The win in the Debutante is her second stakes win. She won the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at Pleasanton in just her second race and beat the boys in an allowance race last month.
So far she has passed every test put in front of her. But as a trademark in the Morey barn, her path has been slow and deliberate.
“We have a race kind of picked out for her at Hollywood next month but we will have to see how she comes out of this race, “ Badilla said. “ She had a month off before this one and a few months before that one. Bill is such a good trainer, he really takes his time with good horses like this.”
The only knock against her right now is she hasn’t been facing many fields with any depth. Her last two wins have come in four and five horse fields but hey, it’s not her fault not many want to run against her. If indeed her next start is at Hollywood Park, we will get a better indication of what kind of runner she really is. But right now, she is the queen of the two year old fillies in the bay.
Carr Nominated for Woolf Award
GGF jockey Dennis Carr is one of five jockeys in the running for the 2014 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award presented by Santa Anita in conjunction with the Jockeys Guild. The award honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.
Other nominees are Scott Stevens, the older brother of former winner Gary Stevens, Aaron Gryder, David Amiss, and Corey Lanerie.
Of the nominees, Stevens, 53, has won the most career races 4,262 and Gryder has scored wins in the Dubai World Cup in 2009 and the Breeders Cup Marathon in 2012.
“To be recognized for this award to me is a career highlight,” Carr said. “It takes into account how you handle yourself on and off the race track, professionalism and stuff like that. To just be nominated, shows you're doing something right and you just hope to live up to it. Whoever wins, if it isn’t me, I’m happy for them.”
During his career, Woolf won such races as the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Handicap, the Preakness, and the Arlington Handicap among others. He also guided Seabiscuit to a win in the Hollywood Gold Cup in 1938. He also won aboard “the Biscuit” in a pair of famous match races, beating War Admiral and Ligaroti in separate races in 1938.
But in 1946, Woolf fell off his mount Please Me, rounding the clubhouse turn at Santa Anita, and after landing head first, never regained consciousness, He died the next day of a brain concussion.
The last two winners of the award were Mario Pino and Ramon Dominguez.