Gig Harbor Wins Alcatraz Stakes In Wire-To-Wire Fashion At GGF

Gig Harbor Wins Alcatraz Stakes In Wire-To-Wire Fashion At GGF

     There was no catching Gig Harbor in the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

     Gig Harbor, ridden by Frank Alvarado and trained by Steve Specht, stole a
wire-to-wire victory in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.  Making his first start around two turns after going 2-for-3 in six-furlong sprints, Gig Harbor held off late-running Duke of Doom to score by a half-length in 1:44.17.  Cody Peak, at 36-to-1,   finished third.

     Gig Harbor led while setting modest fractions of :24.04 (opening quarter of a mile), :49.21 (half-mile) and 1:13.68 (six furlongs) on the Lakeside Turf Course.  The comfortable pace resulted in Gig Harbor having plenty left for the stretch run.

     “When I read the Daily Racing Form I thought I might be on the lead by myself and it worked out that way,” said Alvarado.  “He took the lead nice and easy in :24 and the half (mile) in :49 absolutely helped.  I kept waiting and waiting before I asked him.  It was his first time going 1 1/16-miles so you have to be patient.  He felt strong the whole way.”

     Gig Harbor, a Kentucky-bred son of City Zip, impressed his veteran trainer with the Alcatraz victory.

     “He’s got speed to sprint and he’s got stamina to hang around for 1 1/16 miles,” said Specht.  “He impressed me today because the other horses had all been a distance before. When you’ve got a horse with natural speed you don’t want to take him back. He’s not really a speedball; he’s got a long stride.  He’ll handle anything you want to put him on. I’ve got a lot of options with this guy.”

     Danny O’Neill of San Francisco owns Gig Harbor, who earned $45,000 for the Alcatraz win.  Gig Harbor was well-backed at the mutuel windows throughout the betting and paid $6.20 as the 2-to-1 favorite in a field of eight.

     Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.  Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 programs, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers, and $1 sodas.  The track’s spring concert series continues with Wonder Bread 5 taking the Trackside Stage to provide live musical entertainment between races.