Grade I stakes winner Sligo Bay hopes to tune up for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap with a victory in the $100,000 Tanforan Handicap at Golden Gate Fields Saturday. The Tanforan is a 1 1/16-miles turf race for 4-year-olds and up, and Sligo Bay is using the feature as a prep for the Grade I Big 'Cap, which will be decided at 1 1/4 miles on the main track at Santa Anita on March 1. The Tanforan will be Sligo Bay's first race following the biggest victory of his career -- a triumph in the grade I $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Nov. 23 at Hollywood Park. The Hollywood Turf Cup was run at 1 1/2 miles and Sligo Bay ran down Grammarian in the final furlong for a one-length victory.Sligo Bay, trained by Beau Greely and owned by Andrea Pollack's Columbine Stable, has earned $464,561 in 16 career races. Bred in Ireland, the 5-year-old horse will carry highweight of 121 pounds in the Tanforan and be ridden by Frank Alvarado.The Tanforan attracted a field of six and Sligo Bay will be spotting from four to seven pounds to his opponents. The field, in post position order, is as follows: Surprise Halo, Gary Baze rides at 116 pounds; Cappucino Kid, Russell Baze, 115; Sligo Bay, Alvarado, 121; Not For Me, Roberto Gonzalez, 114; Seinne, Ron Warren, Jr., 117; and Devine Wind, Matt Garcia, 117.Seinne, from the barn of Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, and Devine Wind, trained by Nick Canani, are both graded stakes-winners. Seinne captured the grade II Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita last year and Devine Wind took the grade III Bay Meadows Handicap in 2000.Bred in Chile, Seinne is a 6-year-old horse who races for Nelson Bunker Hunt. Runner-up in the grade II Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30, Sienne has won six of his 22 career starts and $365,033.Devine Wind, a 7-year-old gelding owned by Richard A. Englander, has seven victories in 30 career races and $532,438 in earnings. Bred in Kentucky, Devine Wind most recently finished fourth in the $259,000 Great State Challenge Turf at Sam Houston Race Park.
Cappucino Kid and Surprise Halo are both 2-for-2 on the Golden Gate Fields turf, and the latter is a remarkable 7-for-7 racing 1 1/16 miles on grass. Cappucino Kid has won three straight races and makes his stakes debut Saturday. Surprise Halo has 11 victories in 25 career races and was second in the California Turf Championship at Bay Meadows. Not For Me is coming off a fourth-place try in an allowance race at Hollywood Park.