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HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

What's on Tap at Golden Gate?

After a pretty dormant last few months at Golden Gate Fields, we are ready for business to pick up and grass and the green appear to be just the answer.

The grass of course being the turf course which re opened last week to a great reception from horseman and an increase in field size.

The green refers to the money that will be earned as stakes races also return, following a two-month absence.

The last stakes race was the El Camino Real Derby, which was run on February 12th. Now eight weeks later, we ready for a stretch of  four stakes in the next five weekends.

The barrage starts off this weekend with the $75,000 guaranteed Golden Poppy Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf at 1 1/16th of a mile.

Expected to run are a pair of Jerry Hollendorfer fillies Alec’s Moon and Cathy’s Crunches.

Alec’s Moon is coming off of wins in the Pomona Oaks and Pomona Derby up in Washington and Cathy’s Crunches finished 3rd in the Grade 3 La Habra and 2nd in the China Doll Stakes, both at Santa Anita. Her last local race was a runner up performance to Lilacs and Lace in the California Oaks in January.

That loss doesn’t look to bad now after Lilacs and Lace just pulled off a 48-1 shocker in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes in Keeneland last weekend and now appears headed to the Kentucky Oaks.

Following the Golden Poppy is the $50,000 added Work the Crowd at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up to be held April 23rd. 

Named after the 1995 Northern California horse of the year trained by Greg Gilchrist, Work the Crowd won 14 of 22 races including four Grade 3 wins over a two year span, at Hollywood, Del Mar and Golden Gate Fields.

We then hit the big money events starting on April 30th, with the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile. The SF Mile will be worth $100,000 this year, as it was reduced by the Graded Stakes Committee from a Grade 2 (that is was in 2010) to Grade 3 status this year.

Expected to enter is the popular Bold Chieftain (left), who has won over $1.5 million in his career for trainer William J. Morey Jr.  Coming off a brief retirement, ‘Chieftain ran second in an allowance race on March 13th, losing by 1 ¾ lengths to Goggles McCoy.

Morey’s son, William E. Morey also expects to have a horse in the race as he in scheduled to enter Hudson Landing, who won a tough allowance race on the turf April 2nd. In that race, ‘Landing won by 1 length over longshot Posse Power (who is also expected to enter the Mile) and 2 ½ better than Awesome Gem, winner of the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup.

Rounding out the stakes run is the $75,000 Guaranteed Alcatraz Stakes at 1 1/16th of a mile on the turf.

The younger Morey is pointing California Derby winner Positive Response toward a possible inclusion in that race. You may remember the three-year-old just finished a disappointing 8th as the favorite in the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. He made it to that race by winning the John Battaglia Memorial, also at Turfway, by seven lengths in wire to wire fashion.
 

 

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Older Comments about What's on Tap at Golden Gate?...

Thanks for the correction Erin, I read the abbreviations wrong.
A nice piece on whats in store the next couple of months, but there is a correction needed to be noted on Alex's Moon's races up north. It was the Portland Oaks and Portland Derby at Portland Meadows in Oregon.

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Meet Don August

I have been involved in horse racing, from a fan to sportswriter, for the past 30 years. The first time my dad took me to the track, I picked a horse named "Black Tornado" and when he won, I was hooked.  From then on, I spent weekends and occasional school days at the race track, and my enjoyment of the sport led me to try my hand at being a jockey agent, which i did for 3 years. When that didn't work out as I had hoped, I concentrated on my writing career by covering big races and doing summer fair handicapping, off and on, for the Contra Costa Times.

Today, I stay involved in the sport by being part of a group that currently owns two horses stabled at Golden Gate Fields. As all owners, we have dreams of someday having that special horse.  Besides writing about horse racing I enjoy covering many sports and have had the honor of meeting and writing about some incredible athletes.