David Taylor Jr.'s Mana Strike will seek his second consecutive Golden Gate Fields stakes in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 16 at the Bay Area racetrack. Golden Gate Fields, Saturday, January 16, 2016, Race 7
A commanding winner—by 2 1/4 lengths—in the mile Gold Rush Stakes over Golden Gate's synthetic main track Dec. 5, the Washington-bred, gelded son of Papa Clem also won his six-furlong debut by an impressive four lengths at Golden Gate in October, with a sixth-place run in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes on the Del Mar dirt sandwiched in between.
The Frank Lucarelli trainee will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time in the California Derby and will face three return Gold Rush runners, including Algenon (second), Marqula (third), and Allaboutaction (fourth).
A contingent of Southern California invaders will also try for their first stakes wins, headed by Reddam Racing's graded stakes-placed Frank Conversation. The Quality Road colt trained by Doug O'Neill finished fifth last time out in the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) and came in third in the Cecil B. DeMille (gr. IIIT) on the Del Mar turf in November. Go Long and Canada will also make the trip up Interstate 5.
He's a Tiger is the only entrant with an unblemished record, 2-for-2 on the Golden Gate main track. The Sky Mesa colt trained by Jeff Bonde won his debut at 4 1/2 furlongs in May, then was on the sideline until Dec. 5, when he took a six-furlong allowance with ease by 3 1/4 lengths.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1He's a Tiger (KY) Juan J. Hernandez 116 Jeff Bonde 12/1 2 2Mana Strike (WA) Pedro M. Terrero 122 Frank Lucarelli 4/1 3 3Allaboutaction (KY) Russell A. Baze 119 Jerry Hollendorfer 5/2 4 4Algenon (KY) Ricardo Gonzalez 116 Len Kasmerski 8/1 5 5Go Long (KY) Leslie Mawing 116 J. Keith Desormeaux 20/1 6 6Frank Conversation (KY) Mario Gutierrez 116 Doug F. O'Neill 2/1 7 7Canada (KY) Alex O. Solis 116 Simon Callaghan 6/1 8 8Marqula (WA) Kyle Frey 116 Jeff Bonde 10/1
Golden Gate Fields, Saturday, January 16, 2016, Race 7