Ridden by Juan Hernandez and trained by Blaine Wright, Hudson Landing won Northern California’s top turf race by a half-length over Jeranimo in 1:37.29. Gallant Son, the runner-up in the 2011 SF Mile, finished third in the 2012 edition while making his first start in eight months.
“I’ve watched this horse for the past two years,” said Chappel. “I put in a claim twice (for $32,000 and $40,000) but lost the shake (a drawing to determine who gets the horse when multiple claims are put in for a runner) before I got him for $50,000.”
Hudson Landing won back-to-back allowance races at Golden Gate Fields before scoring his 8-to-1 upset in the SF Mile.
“He had to win a couple of times to try this race, and he did that,” said Chappel, who races his horses under the stable name Chappell Alpine Farms. “He loves this track and this grass. To be able to take a shot like this and have it pay off is amazing.”
Hudson Landing, who paid $19.60 to win, rallied from sixth in a field of 10 to take the SF Mile.
“He relaxed and did everything perfect,” said Hernandez, who has been aboard Hudson Landing for the three-race winning streak. “When we were coming to the quarter pole I moved him outside and hit him, and he took off. He ran strong down the stretch.”
The SF Mile is the second stakes victory on the Golden Gate Fields lawn for Hudson Landing, who captured the Alcatraz Stakes on the grass in 2010. Overall, Hudson Landing has 10 wins, five seconds, and three thirds in 29 career starts and $365,688 in earnings.
Jeranimo, an owner of four Grade 2 stakes victories, dropped back to ninth in the early stages of the SF Mile and came up just a bit short with his stretch rally. Jeranimo was being ridden for the first time by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who next Saturday will ride top contender Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby.
“I didn’t have a very good trip,” said Smith. “I got him to relax but he relaxed a little bit too much. I got caught behind a bunch of horses that were stopping and I had take the overland trip and ended up going too wide. I think he was the best horse, but you have to give the winner credit. He ran a very good race.”
So did Gallant Son, who was making his first start since Aug. 17 and was beaten only
1 1/4 lengths by Hudson Landing.
“He ran a great race,” said jockey Leslie Mawing of Gallant Son. “I wish he’d had a race under his belt because then he would have been super tough.”
Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday. Post time is 1:15 p.m. and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 programs, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers and $1 sodas.