Jerry Hollendorfer has a trio of older runners set to go in the $100,000 San Franciso Mile (gr. IIIT) April 26, led by Summer Hit, as the Hall of Fame trainer attempts to win Northern California's top grass race for the third time.
A victory Saturday by Summer Hit, Longview Drive, or Tribal Jewel would give Hollendorfer a tie with Julio Canani for the most wins in the race. This year's San Francisco Mile, with a field of eight, will be contested as the seventh race at Golden Gate Fields with a scheduled post time of 3:45 p.m. PDT.
Summer Hit, who missed by a neck to Tigah in last year's SF Mile, shook off the tough loss to win both the All American (gr. III) and Berkeley (gr. III) stakes on Golden Gate's Tapeta main track, as well as the Harry F. Brubaker at Del Mar.
The speedy California-bred dark bay, owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and John Carver, comes off a front-running five-length allowance triumph March 15 on the Tapeta. Russell Baze has the return call on the 5-year-old Bertrando gelding from post 6.
While obviously effective on synthetic surfaces, Summer Hit is also solid on turf with three wins and three placings from eight starts. Overall, he has compiled a 10-2-3 mark in 18 races with earnings of $452,219.
Tribal Jewel has had just one race on turf, an unplaced finish at Del Mar in July 2012. A four-time winner overall from 10 starts, the 5-year-old California-bred son of Tribal Rule , bred and co-owned by Halo Farms, was second in a six-furlong allowance on the Golden Gate main track April 6.
Hollendorfer also entered Steve Beneto's Longview Drive, winless in three prior turf starts. The 5-year-old son of Pulpit won three of his first four career outs including a stakes at Fresno, the Charlier Palmer Futurity in October 2011, but he has dropped 16 in a row since then.
Others in the contest include Hudson Landing, who won the 2012 San Francisco Mile and was sixth last year, and Horizontalyspeakin, a speedy son of Medallist trained by Southern California's John Sadler, who shipped Tigah north to win the 2013 renewal.
Hudson Landing, a 7-year-old by Maria's Mon, was second by a neck to SF Mile rival Pepnic March 30 in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming test on the Tapeta. The stalker has lost 10 races in a row since taking the 2012 All American for trainer Blaine Wright.
Hronis Racing's Horizontalyspeakin, a Maryland-bred 4-year-old, has won his past two starts on the turf at the allowance level for Sadler at Santa Anita in front-running style, including a one-mile test in 1:33.30 Jan. 26. He makes his stakes debut here with Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard.
Pepnic, another with plenty of early speed, enters his first graded stakes competition for trainer Tim McCanna after being claimed out of his most recent start for $62,500. The 5-year-old California-bred son of Peppered Cat has been in extremely sharp form since last September, winning four his past nine races with three seconds and a third.
Dream Racing's Fast Track, on a three-race win streak over the Turf Paradise lawn in Arizona, steps up for Molly Pearson. Pepper Crown, making his initial stakes appearance off a close third behind Pepnic and Hudson Landing March 30, completes the field.
$100,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:45 p.m.), 3 & Up (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Hudson Landing (KY), J J Hernandez, B D Wright
2. Pepper Crown (CA), A Cedillo, A Paszkeicz
3. Longview Drive (KY), W Antongeorgi III, J Hollendorfer
4. Pepnic (CA), D Carr, T McCanna
5. Tribal Jewel (CA), A Gomez, J Hollendorfer
6. Summer Hit (CA), R A Baze, J Hollendorfer
7. Horizontalyspeakin (MD), J Valdivia Jr., J W Sadler
8. Fast Track (KY), T Piermarini, M J Pearson
Each assigned 122 pounds.