Royal Gem is the Jewel of Golden Gate BC

Royal Gem, who captured the Bay Meadows Derby in November, will make his 4-year-old debut Sunday on the grass at Golden Gate Fields in the $150,000 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).

Concerns regarding the storm that is scheduled to hit the Bay Area this weekend kept most Southern California horsemen from participating in the Golden Gate Breeders' Cup. Consequently, only four horses are entered in the 1 1/8-miles turf feature for
4-year-olds and up.

Royal Gem, trained by Bobby Frankel, followed up his Bay Meadows Derby score with a third-place finish in the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) on Dec. 1. Royal Gem has won three of his six career races and $201,760. He figures to be a strong favorite Sunday.

Three Bay Area-based runners – Ninebanks, Surprise Halo and Capt. Fly Hook – will join Royal Gem.

Ninebanks and Surprise Halo ran one-two in the $100,000 California Turf Championship at Bay Meadows in September. Capt. Fly Hook dead-heated for third in a $100,000 allowance/optional claiming race at Golden Gate on Feb. 23.

$150,000 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT), 4 7 up, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Rider, Wgt.
1. Surprise Halo, Frank Alvarado, 115
2. Royal Gem, Russell Baze, 118
3. Capt. Fly Hook, Joey Castro, 114
4. Ninebanks, Ron Warren, Jr., 116.