Presidio Heights Sizzles in Danville Upset

(from track report)
Presidio Heights put on a dazzling display of speed Saturday at Golden Gate Fields and upset 3-5 favorite El Dorado Shooter in the $67,400 Danville Handicap.

Presidio Heights, with Roberto Gonzalez aboard, took command immediately and opened up a two-length advantage over the speedy El Dorado Shooter by running the opening quarter mile in a sizzling 21.08 seconds and the half-mile in an eye-popping 42.89.

As expected, Presidio Heights slowed down a bit in the stretch but he had enough left to hold off El Dorado Shooter and win the six-furlong Danville by a neck in a quick 1:08.11.

"I was able to give him a bit of a breather on the turn and had something left for the stretch," said Gonzalez. "He didn't like the whip much so I just kept slapping him on the shoulder."

Presidio Heights, a 5-year-old gelding who has had 17 career starts, is trained by Art Sherman and owned by William J. Zellerbach of San Francisco. Bred in Kentucky, Presidio Heights earned his second stakes win and his sixth career victory.

"I always knew this horse had talent but he was accident prone," said Sherman. "He needed time to develop as a 3-year-old and it's really paid off now. We found a hairline fracture in his hind leg with the nuclear scan and gave him eight months off for it to heal."

Presidio Heights earned $33,650 for the Danville victory and paid $12.20 as the third betting choice in a field of six. El Dorado Shooter, ridden by Russell Baze, easily took second by three lengths over Texas Chili.

"At the sixteenth pole I saw Presidio Heights stick his head up in the air and I was sure I was going to blow by him," said Baze. "But then my horse ran out of gas. My horse never quit, he just ran out of gas."

(Chart, Equibase)