Bold Chieftain Takes Aim at Bay Meadows Handicap

After back-to-back stakes victories, the hard-trying California-bred Bold Chieftain may never have a better opportunity to notch his first graded win than in the $150,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the San Mateo track's turf course Sept. 22.

Trained by William Morey Jr., the 4-year-old Chief Seattle colt was assigned top weight of 120 pounds in a field of 10, and he'll have the services of regular rider Russell Baze in the nine-furlong test. Although several in the field are in sharp form, just one -- the Bobby Frankel trainee Chattahoochee War -- is a previous graded stakes winner, and that victory came in 2005.

Bold Chieftain, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive 1 1/4-length triumph as the favorite in the California Dreamin' Handicap for state-breds on grass at Del Mar Aug. 3. The dark bay won Pleasanton's Alamedan Handicap versus open company on dirt by four lengths before that. Bold Chieftain is remarkably consistent, having won six of 11 lifetime starts with two seconds and two thirds. His only out-of-the-money performance came as a 2-year-old.

The versatile colt also has shown a fondness for the local turf, finishing second in the 1 1/8-mile Bay Meadows Derby (gr. IIIT) behind Proudinsky last November.

Owned and bred by the Morey family, Ernest L. Langbein, Kenneth Robinson and Dwaine Hall, Bold Chieftain finished third in the '06 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows -- less than three lengths behind the victorious Cause to Believe.

Amerman Racing's Chattahoochee War looked like a top colt with his nose victory in Keeneland's Transylvania (gr. IIIT) in April 2005. After performing admirably against his age group during that spring and summer, the son of War Chant went to the sidelines following a third-place finish in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park in August.

Now 5, the bay horse has started just twice in the succeeding two years, most recently finishing third in Del Mar's Harry Brubaker Handicap Aug. 16. Victor Espinoza takes over the riding duties for the Frankel charge, who gets six pounds from Bold Chieftain.

The Irish-bred Heatseeker was grade I placed in his final start in his native country more than two years ago, but the 4-year-old Giant's Causeway   colt has won just once in the U.S. for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, that coming via disqualification after a second-place finish in a high-priced allowance race on the Hollywood Park turf June 30. Heatseeker gets back on the lawn after two tries on Del Mar's Polytrack, including a fifth-place showing in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II).

Isipingo put in a game effort to get third at odds of 28-1 in the Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT) Aug. 19 in his stakes debut for trainer Craig Dollase, finishing less than two lengths behind the winner, Crossing The Line. The 4-year-old Horse Chestnut gelding had won three races in a row before that.

Jack's Wild doesn't win often, with four victories to show in 29 starts, but the 5-year-old gelding put it all together in his last try over the Bay Meadows sod, closing strongly to take the one-mile California Turf Championship Handicap for state breds by 1 1/2 lengths Aug. 25 for trainer Jorge Gutierrez.

Now Victory finished a close third in that same race.

Trainer Neil Drysdale ships the English-bred Macduff north following a fourth-place finish in Del Mar's 11-furlong Cougar II Handicap. Macduff ran third in the Golden Gate Fields Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his previous start more than two months earlier. Mike Smith will ride.

$150,000 Bay Meadows Breeder's Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:15 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Blue Torpedo (KY), 113, Francisco Duran
2. Shining Day (CA), 114, Alex Bisono
3. Chattahoochee War (KY), 114, Victor Espinoza
4. Isipingo (KY), 117, Michael C. Baze
5. Macduff (GB), 115, Mike E. Smith
6. Bold Chieftain (CA), 120, Russell A. Baze
7. Sweet Roberto (KY), 115, David G. Lopez
8. Heatseeker (IRE), 114, Fernando Jara
9. Jack's Wild (CA), 119, Brice Blanc
10. Now Victory (CA), 119, Frank T. Alvarado

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