First post for the Saturday Golden Gate Fields 10-race program is 2:15 P.M. We’ll have the entire card live, in HD, commercial free, beginning 30 before first post at 1:45 p.m. on xbtv.com. Join us!
We’ll kick things off with a $4,000 restricted claiming miler for older fillies and mares that finds the logical top pick #4 Tribella listed as the 6/5 morning line choice. Winless since the fall of 2014, the daughter of Tribal Rule will be racing at her lowest level ever and has recent speed figures that are better than par for this class, so it may be now or never time for this Markle-trained mare. Though a tad disappointing when third without mishap vs. $8,000 foes in most recent outing, she needs only to repeat her race before last – a strong runner-up effort when carrying a $6,250 tag – to handle this task. #2 Cacico Dulima, now in the Trujillo barn, plummets from $12,500 and probably is the one to fear most. She once could run some, having graduated vs. maiden special weight company at Santa Anita way back in the fall of 2014, but her recent numbers have stagnated so there’s no guarantee that the class drop will cure her ills. #5 Lizzy’s Atticus has a race two back that charts well here, though she did go backwards in her most recent outing. Rolling exotic players may find the need to use all three in a race that otherwise should be passed.
The second half of the early daily double is a fairly competitive $32,000 turf claimer over a mile for fillies and mares that attracted seven starters, all of whom have somewhat of a look. Southern California shipper #4 Intoxicating Move returns to her claim level while stretching out again; the veteran mare can be quite effective under these conditions and is a major contender based on recent speed figures and company lines at Santa Anita. The main concern is that the Belvoir-trained mare doesn’t have any real tactical speed, and closers over this turf course usually take the worst of it. She’s a contender at 5/2 on the morning line but there are others that might offer a bit more wagering value. #1 So Good to Go is a perfect one-for-one over this course, having scored in clever fashion vs. $20,000 foes two weeks ago, and if the short rest and double jump in class aren’t too much for her the Miranda-trained mare should be dangerous right back. She lands the good rail, retains Cedillo, and should draft into an ideal second flight, ground-saving positon. At 10-1 on the morning line she has to be included. #3 Top Tizzy always is dangerous when she’s the controlling speed and if she can shake loose early she could carry this field a long way, especially over course that plays quite kind to front-runners. The McLean-trained mare hasn’t been out since early January but has run well fresh in the past and the recent workout tab looks encouraging. These are the three we’ll prefer; those who can afford to go a bit deeper in their rolling exotics should also consider #2 Loveintheshadows (away since December but a remarkable 28 of 59 first or second in her career) and #6 Bottle Blonde (a good stalking style for this distance and with a bullet workout since raced for Hollendorfer)
Second-level allowance sprinting fillies and mares meet in the third race, with #6 Fast and Foxy the projected controlling speed after finishing a good third in the Camila Ursa Stakes over this course and distance in mid-March. She lands the cozy outside post and should be able to pop and go. Always thoroughly genuine and consistent but likely to go lower than her 9/5 morning line, the Evans-trained mare may rate as a single for some smaller rolling exotic ticket players, though both #3 Toomuchisnotenough and #1 Precious Time have a legitimate look as well. The former actually finished second in the aforementioned Camila Ursa (a half-length in front of Fast and Foxy) and has won half of her 12 career starts, while the latter is a first-off-the-claim for Utley and should draft into an ideal ground saving, stalking spot.
The fourth race is $5,000 claiming all-weather mile event for fillies and mares with #8 Artemisia deserving a slight edge; the Martin-trained filly comes off a solid win for $4,000 (nw-2) and was flattered when runner-up Emerald Green came back to win. First or second in four of 11 career starts, the daughter of Artie Schiller may have a bit more upside than most of the others. She’s not fast on numbers but at least appears to be moving forward. Despite just finishing second, Santa Anita invader #2 Winninginfashion plummets from $16,000 (nw-3) to this much lower level for Pender, who obviously is trying to unload her. She prefers to be in front and in fact catches a field without too much early zip, and a repeat of her last race may make her hard run down. #6 Emerald Green looked good winning her most recent start vs. $4,000 foes but moves up a notch after being claimed by low profile connections. Asking her to run two alike on the raise might be stretch, but she’s probably worth tossing in somewhere.
The 20-cent Pick-6 begins with the fifth race, a maiden $8,000 six furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies. #3 Mesquite Dancer, listed at 8/5 on the morning line, has the powerful blinkers-off angle that we like so much and if that weren’t enough she’s also a first-off-the-claim for Martin, whose stats with this angle are off the charts (40% with a flat-bet profit). Second in a similar spot when earning a career top speed figure in her most recent outing while four clear of the rest, the daughter of Lucky Pulpit should be able to open up early and hang on late. #7 Singleforthesummer has a work tab that isn’t half-bad for this class of filly and represents a bit of stranger danger from the competent Amescua stable. At 12-1 on the morning line she might be worth considering in the exotics.
The sixth race is a better-than-average $12,500 nw-2 sprint that brings back the recent impressive low-level maiden claiming winner #1 Compratore. Away for 11 months and returning cheap for Martin two weeks ago, the six-year-old gelding crushed his rivals by four lengths while earning a strong figure, one that makes him tough right back, assuming he doesn’t regress off short rest. If he leaves cleanly from the rail, the son of Redattore should be on or near the lead throughout. #6 Bornatthetrack turns back in trip and seems most effective as a late-running sprinter. The Bernardini gelding from Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer has several back numbers that are good enough to win and the barn’s go-to rider Terrero takes the call. #10 Wise Tale, a closing third for $25,000 in his first start over the local strip last month, shows up for half that amount today in a bit of a suspicious class drop. The Miranda-trained gelding has enough gate speed to settle just off the pace and have every chance. If he has one good one left he’s certainly a threat to win, though it may be significant that Cedillo, who we assume could have ridden him back, opts for Compratore.
The seventh race ushers in the 50 cent late Pick-4 and showcases state-bred fillies and mares over a mile and one-sixteenth on grass. #2 Hotsy Dotsy flashed plenty of promise in her debut when a strong-closing fourth in a California-bred sprint at Santa Anita in mid-March but then has the misfortune of hooking the monstrous Enola Gay and wound up third, beaten 18 lengths, in an extended sprint three weeks later. The daughter of Unusual Heat is bred to love the lawn and with the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern for Hansen this San Luis Rey Downs shipper should be set for a major forward move. At 6-1 on the morning line she would appear to offer considerable value in the straight pool. However, there are a few other possibilities to consider in exotic play. #7 Stipend is a 10-race maiden, but arguably her two best outings were in two-turn grass races, conditions that she’ll enjoy today. The Cecil-trained daughter of Square Eddie vans up from Santa Anita fresh from a career-top effort in a similar event in which she rallied from 13 lengths back with the help of the race-shape to wind up third. Not much more will be needed today. #3 Doris Johnson, fourth in the same race Stipend exits, will be making her third start off a long layoff and is likely to produce another forward move for McCarthy. Baze rides her back and should have her within striking range throughout.
The featured $100,000 San Francisco Mile, a Grade-3 event on turf for older horses, attracted a full field of 14 and is one of the stronger races to be carded at Golden Gate Fields in quite some time. When last seen nine months ago, #13 Gabriel Charles was winning the Eddie Read S.-G1 at Del Mar in what was supposed to serve as a prep for the Arlington Million-G1, but the veteran son of Street Hero went under the knife after a colic attack shortly thereafter and had to be stopped on. He’s been training very well for his return, and the Mullins-trained veteran must be considered the class of the field, though his poor 13-post certainly makes his task more difficult than it should be. In a contentious field he’s certainly not a single but clearly is the one to beat. #12 Bal A Bali has credentials as well; the Brazilian import probably is just a cut below the best grass horses on the West Coast. In the frame in three recent graded stakes races, the Mandella-trained import will race with blinkers for the first time, and it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the equipment change has. #5 Montego Bay deserves strong consideration at 12-1 on the morning line. At age seven he’s had just 13 career starts and has been unable to maintain any type of extended campaign, but based on his career-top speed figure earned in his most recent win down south the Drysdale-trained gelding has never been better or healthier. He runs his best for Van Dyke, has enough tactical speed to secure a good mid-pack position, and with another forward move should be able to produce a serious late run. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but there are several others with good credentials. Good racing luck might decide it.
Straight maidens bred in California occupy the ninth race, a middle distance turf affair that appears made to order for #8 Country Road. After a couple of promising runs in Southern California, the son of Thorn Song seems ready to graduate. The Drysdale-trained gelding most recently finished a strong third in a highly-rated event at Santa Anita after closing a big gap when getting his feet wet in a downhill turf dash in his debut earlier this year. A healthy series of recent workouts should have him spot on for a huge effort and with good racing luck Van Dyke should have him along in time. #5 He Could might be worth including on a saver ticket or two. The son of Vronsky was a solid runner-up in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita in his comeback (in his first outing for good trainer Black) and seems certain to improve with that race behind. We’ll prefer Country Road on top but use both in our rolling exotics.
The finale is a maiden $20,000 claiming turf miler for older runners, and if you’re in need of a rolling exotic single, #6 Winning Cause should fill the bill. Second as the odds-on favorite on the main track when dropped to this level in his first start in 11 months, the son of Giant’s Causeway may have been a tad short when beaten a half-length, but won’t have that excuse today. His best numbers came on grass in his earlier days, and in a race without much pace he could easily inherit the role as the controlling speed. But under any circumstance the Josephson-trained gelding will be hard to beat, though probably not offering much in the way of wagering value. #1 Ace Deuce looks on paper to be the one to fear most, but he’s a 23-race maiden, so if he wins, we lose.