After battling with favored Chips All In for the lead all the way around, Stoney Fleece overcame a two-length disadvantage at mid-stretch to get up in the final bob of the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes on the turf at Golden Gate Fields (VIDEO).
In a terrific race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf, Stoney Fleece finally prevailed over his Southern California rival by a nose after having lost twice to Chips All In during the Santa Anita Park meet.
John Sadler trains the winning son of Decarchy —Gold Fleece, by Deputed Testimony, for Gary and Cecil Barber. Kevin Krigger was the winning rider. Joseph T. Alvarez III bred Stoney Fleece in California.
The winning time was 1:43.70.
Chips All In, the 3-2 favorite for trainer Jeff Mullins in the field of six, got the advantage out of the gate along the inside and led Stoney Fleece narrowly. He posted fractions of :24.37, :48.78, and 1:12.68 with Stoney Fleece clinging stubbornly close into the lane. Chips All In edged away from Stoney Fleece approaching mid-stretch and appeared to be in charge in the final furlong.
But a dogged Stoney Fleece refused to give in, closing in steadily in the final sixteenth of a mile to win as the two exchanged head bobs in the final couple of strides.
Longview Drive, making his turf debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer after competing on the West Coast Triple Crown trail this year, was 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third.
Chips All In had defeated Stoney Fleece while winning the Eddie Logan and Pasadena stakes, both at one mile on the Santa Anita turf. Stoney Fleece had raced once since then, finishing a strong second in the Snow Chief Stakes on the Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park April 28.
Stoney Fleece's last win came in the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Nov. 27. He had lost his past five starts. The $1,200 Barretts buy as a 2-year-old in January 2011 improved his lifetime record to 5-2-2 in 12 races with earnings of $291,860.
Under equal weights of 120 pounds, Stoney Fleece paid $6.60, $3.20, and $2.40 as the second choice. Chips All In, losing for just the third time in eight career starts, returned $2.60 and $2.20, completing a $17.60 exacta. Longview Drive paid $2.40.