RACE IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR CAL-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 28, 2016)–After 11 starts, John Parker’s homebred colt by Private Gold, Gold Rush Dancer, has found a home on turf as he took Saturday’s $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes by a nose under Flavien Prat. Trained by Vann Belvoir, Gold Rush Dancer, who is out of Parker’s In Excess mare Dances On Water, sat a comfortable second to the top of the lane and in a protracted stretch drive, covered a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:49.37 while just holding off the late charge of Ralis and Mario Gutierrez.
With longshot Glory Bound and Edwin Maldonado carving out splits of 23.75, 48.56, 1:13.24 and 1:37.42, Gold Rush Dancer, who came off a length and a quarter win in the one mile turf Silky Sullivan Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 1, was into the bridle to the pacesetter’s outside until the pair reached the sixteenth pole and the winner inched clear as Maldonado steadied at the rail.
“When I saw the pace wasn’t quite as fast as we thought it would be, I was a little worried he’d be a little keen with Flavien,” said Belvoir. “In the race up north, he had cover and that helped him relax, but he ended up relaxing pretty well today up the backside.
“I’m more impressed with this race today, because he leveled so well through the stretch. They were really running there. I think he’s a lot better horse on the turf and that’s where he’s going to stay.”
The 3-2 favorite in a field of five sophomores, Gold Rush Dancer, who was making his second-ever start on grass, paid $5.00, $3.00 and $2.10. A winner of the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs near Seattle on Sept. 27, Gold Rush Dancer picked up his third stakes win and his fourth overall victory from 11 starts. With the winner’s share of $110,000, he now has earnings of $294,423.
“I had a good trip today, but he was still a bit aggressive,” said Prat, who was aboard for the win at Golden Gate as well. “Even though he’s run a lot, he’s still green, he’s still learning…He came in a little bit in the stretch but I don’t think he did anything wrong.”
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Ralis saved ground at the rail into the far turn, swung three wide turning for home and just missed, finishing second, 1 ¼ lengths in front of Tough It Out. Off at 2-1, Ralis paid $3.20 and $2.20
Tough It Out, ridden by Joe Talamo, sat a joint third with Ralis into the far turn and was a bit erratic through the drive, finishing third, three quarters of a length in front of Glory Bound. The second choice at 2-1, Tough It Out paid $2.10 to show.
The stewards posted the inquiry sign regarding the stretch run, but in a unanimous decision, determined that although Maldonado steadied at the sixteenth pole aboard a tiring Glory Bound, the winner was not at fault. Glory Bound ended up finishing fourth.