Friday, November 21, 2008
CLASSY STAKES RUNNERS FEATURED FRIDAY AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDS
ALBANY -- Looking over the Golden Gate Fields races in Friday's Daily Racing Form would lead one to think they had mistakenly picked up a Saturday edition of the horse racing newspaper. That's because Friday's third and seventh races are stakes-caliber events worthy of spots on a weekend card.
The third race features Artiste Royal, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winner from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale. Idle since winning the $300,000 Charlie Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 7, Artiste Royal will face six opponents in a $39,000 allowance race that will be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Artiste Royal's opponents Friday include Vega's Lord, who ran second (beaten a nose by Chinese Dragon) in the 2007 San Francisco Mile on the Golden Gate Fields turf, and Matto Mondo, a multiple Grade 1 winner in his native Chile. Like Artiste Royal, Vega's Lord is trained by Drysdale.
The field for the third race, the co-feature Friday, is as follows: Yacht Spotter, Alex Bisono rides at 119 pounds, 6-to-1; Artiste Royal, Russell Baze, 119, 6-to-5; Saratoga's Magic, Roberto Gonzalez, 123, 8-to-1; Matto Mondo, Kyle Kaenel, 119, 10-to-1; Vega's Lord, Brice Blanc, 119, 5-to-2; Starcast, Frank Alvarado, 119, 10-to-1; and Cover Magic, Adan Landeros, 119, 15-to-1.
Friday's seventh race, a $39,000 allowance event for fillies and mares, will be decided at one mile on the turf. Heading a field of eight is Victorina, a 5-year-old mare who has been victorious in 12 of her 22 career starts.
Victorina, a multiple stakes-winner trained by Greg Gilchrist, is coming off an impressive victory in the one-mile Marina Stakes on Oct. 26 at Golden Gate Fields. The Marina was run on the track's synthetic Tapeta racing surface and Victorina defeated Unspoken Word by three-quarters of a length in 1:37.32.
Victorina was scheduled to race coupled with stablemate Wild Promises in Friday's co-feature, however, Gilchrist scratched Wild Promises Thursday morning.
Firetrail, winner of the King County Handicap at Emerald Downs, and In My Glory, who finished second to Wild Promises in the Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, are among the fillies looking to upset Victorina.
The field for Friday's seventh race is as follows: Millestan, Blanc rides at 119 pounds, 7-to-2; Firetrail, Bisono, 119, 12-to-1; In My Glory, Luis Martinez, 121, 3-to-1; Nottingham Forest, Alvarado, 119, 6-to-1; Wavy Lass, Juan Ochoa, 121, 12-to-1; Victorina, William Antongeorgi, III, 121, 5-to-2; Gadget Queen, Leslie Mawing, 121, 10-to-1; and She's Sensational, Kaenel, 119, 10-to-1.
Post time Friday is 12:45 p.m.
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