Saturday, June 02, 2012


ALBANY -- Best Present Ever, a winner of two straight races on turf, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

The Campanile is a one-mile grass race for 3-year-old fillies bred in California. The feature will be run at 4:25 p.m. and is the seventh race on a nine-race program that begins at 1:15 p.m.

Best Present Ever will break from post position four in the field of seven and be ridden by Russell Baze. Trained by Eric Kruljac, Best Present Ever has run three races on grass and fired every time.

Best Present Ever made her turf debut at Santa Anita on March 2 in a race down the track’s famed hillside course and rallied to finish second in the maiden contest run at “about 6 1/2 furlongs.” Best Present Ever came back 29 days later to break her maiden down the hillside at the same distance, scoring by 1 1/2 length as the 6-5 favorite.

Kruljac stretched Best Present Ever out in distance in her next start and the daughter of Unusual Heat responded with an off-the-pace score in a 1 1/16-mile grass race at Hollywood Park on April 29.

Owned and bred by Dennis and Norine Grenier, Best Present Ever has earned $77,200 in her three turf races.

The 5-2 second choice in the Campanile is Oh Molly Brannigan, who finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Poppy Stakes on the Golden Gate Fields turf on May 6. A speedy filly trained by Andy Mathis, Oh Molly Brannigan won a one-mile allowance race on the grass prior to the Golden Poppy.

The field for the Campanile, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Carolina Grande, Abel Cedillo, 8-1; Jewel Seeker, Frank Alvarado, 6-1; Mohanna Breeze, Inoel Beato, 8-1; Best Present Ever, Baze, 2-1; Billie’s Bling, Julien Couton, 15-1; Oh Molly Brannigan, Juan Hernandez, 5-2; and Warren’s Amber, Aaron Gryder, 4-1. All of the starters carry 120 pounds.

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