Northern California stalwarts Jerry Hollendorfer and Russell Baze teamed up once again in the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes for 2-year-olds at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 6, when Stand and Salute denied Kentucky invader Broughton Kitten (VIDEO).
Stalking the pace throughout the one-mile Tapeta test, Stand and Salute found an opening along the inside to get the lead from 32-1 Rye Patch in deep stretch and held on gamely under strong handling to post a half-length victory at odds of 11-2. The winning time was 1:39.26.
Owner John Brunetti's Red Oak Stable bred the winning 2-year-old son of Saint Anddan in Florida out of the Freud mare Gotham City Girl.
"He split horses and made a good move coming into the lane," said Baze, who guided Zeewat and Exit Stage Left to their victories. "It wasn't a very big hole but he fired right through it.
"It's always nice when you don't have to worry about them being scared of horses," continued Baze. "As big as he is, he shouldn't be scared of nothing. He acts like he's got even more talent than he showed today. I think he's going to develop into a pretty darn nice colt."
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Broughton Kitten was attempting to give hot new trainer Joe Sharp his first stakes win. Sharp, a longtime assistant who recently went out on his own, had won with 17 of his previous 41 starters.
Broughton Kitten, the third choice at 7-2 odds, trailed the field of seven for the first half mile and was fanned wide coming out of the far turn. But the Kitten's Joy colt closed steadily for jockey Juan Hernandez on the far outside through the lane only to run out of time.
It was one length farther back to Sandor the Hound and Kyle Frey in third.
Great Lou and Rye Patch dueled on the lead to the quarter pole, carving pedestrian fractions of :24.15, :48.68, and 1:13.76 before Rye Patch took over to forge a length's advantage in the stretch. But it wasn't enough to contain Stand and Salute, who got through an opening and continued on gamely under Baze's urging. Rye Patch finished fourth.
Southern California shipper Unblunted endured a wide trip throughout and finished fifth as the 11-10 favorite.
Stand and Salute graduated in his third and most recent start, an off-the-turf maiden event at Golden Gate Oct. 25. He now has two wins and a second in four races for Hollendorfer while banking $71,770.
The Gold Rush is a springboard to the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 17, and Hollendorfer said Stand and Salute will likely run in the 1 1/16-mile race for newly turned 3-year-olds.
"He's been asked a lot of questions already and responded pretty well," said Hollendorfer.
Under equal weights of 120 pounds, Stand and Salute paid $13, $4.80, and $3.80 as the fourth choice. Broughton Kitten returned $4.20 and $3.40, completing a $49.40 exacta. Sandor the Hound paid $8.60.