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