SNOW CHIEF ONE OF FIVE STAKES CARDED ON CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY AT SANTA ANITA
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 23, 2014)–A Kentucky Derby hopeful prior to a disappointing eighth place finish as the favorite in the Grade III Spiral Stakes March 22, Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred Tamarando hopes to regain the form that enabled him to win the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and two other stakes as he heads a field of eight sophomores bred or sired in California in Saturday’s $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Ridden by Russell Baze, Tamarando was away slowly as the 2-1 favorite in a field of 12 in the Spiral and never got untracked en route to an 11 ½ length defeat, which was run on Turfway Park’s synthetic polytrack. An impressive half length winner under Baze two starts back in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, he has a grinding style that would be flattered by a fast early pace.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tamarando, a colt by Bertrando, is a three-time stakes winner on synthetic surfaces and he’ll be trying turf for the first time in the Snow Chief. In addition to his three stakes wins, he has been stakes placed four times.
With an overall record of 11-4-2-3, his earnings of $630,120 exceed the combined winnings of his seven rivals. He’ll get the services of Rafael Bejarano in the Snow Chief.
Hollendorfer will also saddle Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred Pray Hard, who will try two turns for the first time and help to ensure a solid pace. A gelding by Kafwain, Pray Hard was an impressive three length Cal-bred allowance winner as the 3-5 favorite two starts back going six furlongs and he comes off a fourth place finish at 6 ½ furlongs in the Echo Eddie Stakes April 5. He has earnings of $130,900 from an overall mark of 8-2-3-1.
Northern California-based trainer Blaine Wright got his first Santa Anita stakes win with Alert Bay in the Echo Eddie, as the City Zip gelding exploded late to win by a half length under Russell Baze. A one mile turf maiden winner three starts back at Golden Gate Feb. 2, Alert Bay seeks his fourth consecutive win in the Snow Chief.
Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd., Alert Bay has three wins and three seconds from six starts and earnings of $187,800.
The complete field for the Snow Chief Stakes, to be run as the 10th race on an 11-race program Saturday with jockeys and weights in post position order: Frensham, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Alert Bay, Tyler Baze, 123; Aotearoa, Mike Smith, 123; Awesome Return, Joe Talamo, 118; Kukaluka, Victor Espinoza, 115; Tamarando, Rafael Bejarano, 125; Pray Hard, Corey Nakatani, 120, and Patriots Rule, Fernando Perez, 118.
First post time on Saturday, California Gold Rush Day, is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.