Peter Redekop's Alert Bay was sent off at 3-5 to defend his title in the $100,000 San Francisco Mile (G3T) April 29, and the 6-year-old gelding had no problem doing so, as he held on gamely to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
"Everybody kept telling me that it was going to be a walkover, but I know better than that. It's a horse race ... He's a heck of a horse," winning trainer Blaine Wright said of his millionaire runner. "We've got to earn every one of them and I'm very happy to be standing here."
In the one-mile test over the firm turf at Golden Gate Fields, Many Roses went to the lead, as Alert Bay tracked closely to his outside. G. G. Ryder, winner of the 2015 edition of the San Francisco Mile, raced two lengths back in third, followed by Camino Del Paraiso, Star Student, and Stryker Phd at the back of the six-horse field.
Many Roses, the 5-2 second choice, set fractions of :23.81, :47.71, and 1:12.17 through the first six furlongs. Alert Bay, under jockey Juan Hernandez, moved up along the outside of the frontrunner around the turn, went three wide coming into the stretch, and was able to extend his lead in the stretch before he hit the wire in a final time of 1:35.12. G. G. Ryder made a move to the inside around the second turn and got a nose in front of Many Roses for second.
Star Student was 5 3/4 lengths back in third, and Stryker Phd and Camino Del Paraiso completed the order of finish.
Alert Bay returned $3.20, $2.40, and $2.10 across the board.
Bred in California by Thomas Newton Bell and Ross John McLeod, Alert Bay is out of the stakes winning Chilean-bred mare Hickory. The son of City Zip was purchased for $65,000 as a short yearling at the 2012 Keeneland January sale by ARB, agent, out of the Three Chimneys Sales offerings. Consigned to the 2012 Keeneland September sale, he was a $45,000 RNA.
The dark bay gelding now boasts a record of 14-7-2 from 31 starts and has more than $1.2 million in earnings. He is unbeaten in two 2017 starts, with a win in an April 2 allowance race on Golden Gate's all-weather track. Now a six-time graded stakes winner, Alert Bay has added at least one graded win every year since 2014.