Our Nautique holds off Bold Chieftain to win the All American Stakes at Golden Gate.

Our Nautique holds off Bold Chieftain to win the All American Stakes at Golden Gate.

Vassar Photography

Our Nautique Handles All American Distance

Front-runner digs deep to hold off old pro Bold Chieftain at Golden Gate Fields.

Front-running Our Nautique maintained a hefty advantage into the stretch and held on gamely in the final strides to edge the closing favorite Bold Chieftain by a neck in the $100,260 All American Stakes (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Nov. 25. (VIDEO)

The speedy New Zealand-bred gelding was piloted to victory by Kevin Krigger for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the 6-year-old gelding in partnership with Rob Tunnicliffe, who bred the winner.

Our Nautique, third in last year's All American after setting the pace in the 1 1/8-mile event, posted his first graded stakes win since capturing the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) on the Golden Gate turf in April. He has four wins and three seconds to his credit in nine races in 2011.

"I didn't know if this horse could get this much distance—he never had before," Hollendorfer told HRTV. "He had just enough to hold off Bold Chieftain. I think some of those other horses just weren't getting hold of the track."

Our Nautique, who carved easy fractions of :24.64, :49.93, and 1:14.59, while leading Dunmore East by two to three lengths to mid-stretch, came home in 1:51.78 over Golden Gate's Tapeta main track.

"This horse does it so easy," said Krigger. "He went down the backstretch on cruise control. I just sat on him around the turn and when he changed leads, he took off."

The old pro Bold Chieftain, stalking the pace to the second turn as the 3-2 choice for Russell Baze, rallied in the stretch while about three lengths behind Our Nautique. He was grinding closer with every stride after angling off the rail but had just a little too much to do and was forced to settle for second. Bold Chieftain, a lifetime earner of more than $1.6 million in 46 career starts, finished one length in front of Dunmore East, ridden by Inoel Beato.

Uh Oh Bango, who leapt in the air at the start and trailed in the six-horse field when jockey Aaron Gryder momentarily lost his left iron, finished up willingly for fourth. Highway Bandit and Skipshot  followed.

Our Nautique is by the Australian sire Pins out of French Tide, by Dauphin Fabuleux. Winner of the J.T. Grace Stakes at Santa Rosa in August, he was coming off a runner-up finish in a 1 1/6-mile allowance heat at Golden Gate Nov. 4.

The winning share of $60,000 boosted Our Nautique's career earnings to $313,040. He has started 30 times with 10 wins, five seconds and, and four thirds.

Under equal weight of 123 pounds, Our Nautique paid $11.80, $4.60, $3.80 as the fourth choice in the field. Bold Chieftain returned $3 and $2.60 and completed a $37.40 exacta. Dunmore East paid $3.20 to show.