Gabriel Charles.

Gabriel Charles.

Benoit Photo

Gabriel Charles Makes Return in SF Mile

Grade I winner battled back from 2015 colic surgery.

Although he'd ideally like to have a softer landing spot, trainer Jeff Mullins is just happy to get grade I winner Gabriel Charles back to racing April 30 in the $100,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) at Golden Gate Fields.

The 6-year-old Street Hero horse, owned by Michael House and Sam Britt, broke through at the top level in July of last year with a score in the Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) at Del Mar, but was forced out of training soon after with a bout of colic and an ensuing surgery. Back in the Mullins barn since late September, the road back has been a long one.

BALAN: Gabriel Charles Swings Wide to Win Read

"We would have preferred to get him in a race at Santa Anita (earlier in the year), but with the turf course the way it was, we were looking for other options," Mullins said of the Santa Anita Park grass that had issues during the winner and is set to be replaced. "We wanted to get him back on the track and get a race into him. We didn't want to be in a 14-horse field, but hopefully he'll run like we think he will."

In 2013 Gabriel Charles bowed a tendon, an injury that set him back 18 months before returning to racing in 2015.

"This horse—he's named after Mike House's grandson, and he's part of our family, as well," Mullins said. "Just to make it this far is a blessing."

With turf racing in Southern California on hiatus during the Los Alamitos Race Course meeting, the San Francisco Mile turned up loaded with talent. Six of the 14 entered are graded stakes winners, most notably Brazilian Triple Crown winner, grade III victor, and grade I-placed Bal a Bali , from the barn of Richard Mandella. The son of Put It Back has been a mainstay in Southern California's top turf races recently and in his U.S. debut in May of 2015 in the American Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita defeated Gabriel Charles. Most recently, Bal a Bali finished third in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT).

BALAN: Bal a Bali Surges to Win American in U.S. Bow

Tamarando  also has grade I credentials with his 2013 score in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and win on the Golden Gate main track in the 2014 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), but hasn't reached the winner's circle in 13 starts since.

G. G. Ryder, defending champion in the San Francisco Mile; Home Run Kitten, who won the 2014 Eddie D (gr. IIIT); and 11-time winner Alert Bay round out the graded stakes-winning entrants.

Also included in the full field are allowance winners Kenjisstorm, Docs Legacy, Montego Bay, Perfectly Majestic, P Club, Royal F J, Terrys Tom Cat, and Unusually Green.

Entries: San Francisco Mile S. (G3T)

Golden Gate Fields, Saturday, April 30, 2016, Race 8

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:57 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Tamarando (CA)Juan J. Hernandez122Jeff Bonde20/1
22Home Run Kitten (KY)Kyle Frey122David E. Hofmans10/1
33Kenjisstorm (KY)Giuseppe Ercegovic122Steve Knapp20/1
44Docs Legacy (IRE)Catalino Martinez122Manuel Badilla15/1
55Montego Bay (KY)Drayden Van Dyke122Neil D. Drysdale12/1
66Perfectly Majestic (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAbel Cedillo122Robert B. Hess, Jr.15/1
77G. G. Ryder (CA)Ricardo Gonzalez122Jerry Hollendorfer8/1
88P Club (CA)Cristobal Herrera122Ryan Kenney30/1
99Royal F J (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKayla Stra122Elmer January30/1
1010Terrys Tom Cat (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJulien Couton122Tim McCanna20/1
1111Alert Bay (CA)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze122Blaine D. Wright6/1
1212Bal a Bali (BRZ)Flavien Prat122Richard E. Mandella2/1
1313Gabriel Charles (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith122Jeff Mullins3/1
1414Unusually Green (CA)Frank T. Alvarado122Steven Specht30/1