Pepper Crown winning the 2014 San Francisco Mile.

Pepper Crown winning the 2014 San Francisco Mile.

William Vassar

Pepper Crown, Summer Hit Go Again in SF Mile

Rivals will contest Northern California turf stakes April 25.

Alex Paszkeicz's Pepper Crown and John Carver & Jerry Hollendorfer's Summer Hit will renew their rivalry in another one of Golden Gate Fields' premier stakes April 25, the $100,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT).

The pair met in last year's edition of the mile grass race, with Pepper Crown tracking down his rival in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length.

LAMARRA: Pepper Crown Gets First Stakes Win in SF Mile

The front-running Summer Hit got redemption exactly a month later, when he took the field gate-to-wire to win the mile All American Stakes (gr. III) over Golden Gate's Tapeta main track, with Pepper Crown 3 1/2 lengths back in fifth.

MITCHELL: Summer Hit Game in All American Victory

Summer Hit also has another win over Pepper Crown in a 2014 allowance race, but that was also over the Tapeta surface.

A California-bred, Summer Hit is a 6-year-old gelding by Bertrando who has two All American wins on his resume (2013 and 2014), as well as a victory in the Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) in 2013, but has been runner-up for both of his attempts at the San Francisco Mile. He will break from post 6 with Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze.

Pepper Crown, a 5-year-old horse by Peppered Cat, will break just to his rival's outside in post 7 with David Charles Lopez aboard. The California-bred also has a synthetic graded stakes victory in 2014's Berkeley Handicap.

Another one of Pepper Crown's rivals is another Hollendorfer-owned and trained colt G. G. Ryder. The 4-year-old by Chhaya Dance has defeated Pepper Crown in three different allowance races since November, but it was G. G. Ryder who finished second behind Pepper Crown in the 2014 Berkeley and their most recent battle, when Pepper Crown bested the colt by a neck in another allowance test.

Hollendorfer completes his trifecta of entries with allowance winner Toruk Makto, who will be making his stakes debut in the San Francisco Mile.

Graded stakes winners Are You Kidding Me, who last won the Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park in 2013 and Pennsylvania-bred Edge of Reality, who won the 2013 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) at Parx Racing, provide back class in field, while Polytechnicien and Tiz Dynamic are both coming off claming races.

All horses will carry 122 pounds.

Entries: San Francisco Mile S. (G3T)

Golden Gate Fields, Saturday, April 25, 2015, Race 7

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:50 PM (local)
11G. G. Ryder (CA)Ricardo Gonzalez122Jerry Hollendorfer-
22Toruk Makto (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePedro M. Terrero122Jerry Hollendorfer-
33Are You Kidding Me (KY)Brice Blanc122Neil D. Drysdale-
44Polytechnicien (KY)Catalino Martinez122Gil Matos-
55Tiz Dynamic (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateSilvio Ruiz Amador122D. Wayne Baker-
66Summer Hit (CA)Russell A. Baze122Jerry Hollendorfer-
77Pepper Crown (CA)David Charles Lopez122Alex Paszkeicz-
88Edge of Reality (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke122H. Graham Motion-