Multiple grade II winner Jeranimo stands out in a field of 11 drawn for the $150,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) April 28 at Golden Gate Fields.
Jeranimo, most recently a close fourth in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita March 3, is easily the most accomplished of the entrants. But with three other multiple stakes winners in the field, it figures to be a competitive heat. Jeranimo's stalking style could be compromised by drawing the rail on the narrow course in a big field. And he has won just once in five lifetime starts at a mile.
Others in the field that should get plenty of backing are stakes winners Gallant Son, Calimonco, Positive Response, and Hudson Landing.
The San Francisco Mile, contested at equal weights of 122 pounds, is the seventh race on Golden Gate's Saturday card with a 4:15 p.m. PDT post.
Trainer Michael Pender is pointing Jeranimo to the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park June 30.
Winner of the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood last November, the 6-year-old Jeranimo is winless in two starts in 2012 for owner B.J. Wright. The son of Congaree started the year with a runner-up finish as the 7-10 favorite in the nine-furlong San Gabriel Stakes (gr. IIT) when he failed to last after leading in the stretch.
Jeranimo shortened up for his next start in the Kilroe, in which he was in contention between horses but lacked the needing closing kick while 1 1/2 lengths behind the victorious Willyconker.
Besides the Citation, Jeranimo also won the Oak Tee Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita last year. He went on to finish seventh in the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) after pressing the pace. The big bay owns a 7-5-4 mark in 26 starts with earnings of $858,400. Mike Smith takes the mount for Pender, replacing Martin Garcia.
Though he finished behind Jeranimo in both the Oak Tree Mile and the Citation, fellow Southern California shipper Calimonco comes into the race in good form, winning the Sidd Finch Stakes at Santa Anita April 1. Trained by John Sadler for Martin Wygod and Ballena Vista Farms, the 6-year-old son of Storm Cat ran fourth in the Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT) Feb. 4. Calimonco drew favorably in post 6 and will also have a new rider in Mario Gutierrez.
Gallant Son, recently returned to Northern California, ran second to Our Nautique in last year's San Francisco Mile. Trained by Frank Lucarelli, the gritty 5-year-old by Malabar Gold has not raced since an eighth-place effort in a minor stakes at Del Mar last August. Gallant Son is stuck on the extreme outside. Leslie Mawing takes the call.
Positive Response made some noise on the Triple Crown trail last year for trainer William E. Morey, winning the Gold Rush Stakes and California Derby at Golden Gate and the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Following an 11-month layoff the 4-year-old Pomeroy gelding has been winless three times in allowance company on the Golden Gate main track since March 1. He has finished second in his past two outings. This is the first start on turf for the five-time winner in 12 starts.
Hudson Landing, racing for Chappell Alpine Farms and trainer Blaine Wright, has been popular at the claim box. He has been taken five times in high-priced claiming races since last July at Hollywood Park. Since his most recent claim, the 5-year-old son of Maria's Mon has posted back-to-back wins on Golden Gate's Tapeta main track against allowance/optional claiming fields. Hudson Landing, who has won five of 15 lifetime starts on turf, was sixth in last year's San Francisco Mile.
$150,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:15 p.m.), 4 & Up (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Jeranimo (FL), M E Smith, M Pender
2. Worth Repeating (KY), F Duran, R E Mandella
3. Photo Shopped (KY), F T Alvarado, S Specht
4. Positive Response (FL), J Couton, W E Morey
5. Sanger Silver (CA), A Cedillo, E Miranda
6. Calimonco (KY), M Gutierrez, J W Sadler
7. Hudson Landing (KY), J J Hernandez, B D Wright
8. Dunmore East (KY), K John, L C Mason
9. Live Sundays (CA), A T Gryder. V M Trujillo
10. Mr. Candy Bar (KY), I Beato, O J Jauregui
11. Gallant Son (KY), L Mawing, F Lucarelli
All assigned 122 pounds.