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HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

Who are the top two-year olds in Northern California?

This weekend closes the two week meet at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton and center stage will be a couple stakes races that will go a long way in showing who are the top two-year olds in Northern California. 

Saturday, the $50,000 Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes will bring a field of seven to post, including a very highly regarded filly out the Jerry Hollendorfer barn named Broken Sword.

The daughter of Broken Vow out of Katana, had been burning up the Pleasanton dirt in workouts with a pair of five furlong drills of 59.2 and 59.4 in her last two attempts. Russell Baze will be in the irons for the morning line 2-1 favorite for her debut.

Second choice is Island Frolic from the Jeff Bonde barn. She has good works and will be ridden by Ronald Richard.  Two others come into the race off of a win and they are Egyptian Femme and Shesatopattraction.

Egyptian Femme, trained by Genaro Vallejo, won a maiden special weight on her second attempt, and Shesatopattraction just wired a maiden $12,500 group by 9 lengths just seven days ago. Steve Miyadi trains the filly and Abel Cedillo will be in the saddle.

On Sunday, the boys take over in the $50,000 Everett Nevin Stakes and 10 will go postward.

The favorite is likely to be Lost in the Fog winner Anytime Magic. The Bob Hess trainee won at first asking in the stake that closed the Golden Gate Fields meet and did it very easily. David Lopez will again be in the saddle, but there are a handful of challengers.

Seven of the other nine entrants have won a race, two of which Karens Good Boy and My Jealous, won earlier in the meet. The latter, from the Jeff Bonde barn, won by 4 ½ in his debut and will be ridden once again by Billy Lewis. Lovmeister is coming up from southern California and will have Jose Valdivia Jr. riding for Walther Solis.

O.J Jauregui’s Go Papi Go, who was favored in the Lost in the Fog, and Lloyd Mason’s Danz with KJ will also take a lot of betting support.

Nations, Baze team up to win Stake

Bailouttheminister came from last at the ¼ pole to run down pace setter Ain’t No Other in the final strides to take the $75,000 Sam J. Whiting Memorial on the 4th of July.

The son of Ministers Wild Cat had 2 wins, 2 second and a third in five races at the GGF meet and was coming off a narrow loss to Comma to the Top in a turf sprint three weeks ago.

“We tried him going long, but I think hes just a better sprint horse right now, “ trainer, Keith Nations said. “He keeps getting better and better. I was a little worried because he didn’t run to good here last year but we brought him over and worked him last Wednesday and he worked fantastic in fact Russell had to hold him a little bit so he wouldn't go too quick.”

Breaking form the rail, Baze found a seam between horses turning into the stretch and caught the leader just before the wire as Shudacudawudya ran third.

“It went like we thought it would’” Baze said. “The only question was would I have somewhere to go and a little seam opened up at the head of the lane and he squirted right through there and away he went.”

Nations couldn’t be happier with the way his horse is going right now.

“We have two options right now. The owners and myself are both from the Seattle area so were possibly thinking about the the Longacres Mile,” Nations said. “If we decide not to do that and he comes back great there is a 5 furlong turf race at Santa Rosa.  At some point we need to give him a little vacation but it’s kind of hard when he’s running as good as he is right now.” 


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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.

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