Alert Bay, recent winner of the City of Hope Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, will prep for the $250,000 Seabiscuit Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 27 at Del Mar with a loaded no-conditions allowance race Nov. 6 at Golden Gate Fields.
The 1 1/16-mile turf allowance Friday attracted six entrants, all stakes winners. In addition to Alert Bay, graded winners G. G. Ryder, Tamarando , and Pepper Crown are also entered. Post time for the race, the sixth on the eight-race card, is scheduled for 3:14 p.m. PST.
Alert Bay, a 4-year-old City Zip gelding, has won eight stakes at four different racetracks and has a 10-4-2 record from 19 starts, which include four graded wins. Prior to his City of Hope score, he bested G. G. Ryder by 2 1/4 lengths in the Rolling Green Stakes at Golden Gate Sept. 7.
Because Alert Bay is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, owner Peter Redekop and trainer Blaine Wright elected to bypass that event and point toward the Seabiscuit, which is also at 1 1/16 miles. When the Friday allowance race filled, they decided to use it as a prep for the Seabiscuit.
"It would have been two months between races, and if this race didn't fill, we would have needed to train him up to (the Seabiscuit)," Wright said. "Sometimes horses get complacent when they train, so when this race went, we thought it'd be better to run him instead of working him six furlongs. It's good timing, as it's 21 days out (from the Seabiscuit)."
Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze will ride Alert Bay, the even-money morning-line favorite, from post position 5.
G. G. Ryder and Outside Nashville, a pair from the barn of Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, respectively finished second and third in the Rolling Green before running 1-2 in the Bull Dog Handicap Oct. 11 on the dirt in Fresno. G. G. Ryder's accomplishments include victories in the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) and the All-American (gr. III) this year, both at Golden Gate.