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Positive Response Wires Field In Gold Rush Stakes at GGF
The 2-year-old gelding Positive Response and 29-year-old French jockey Julien Couton both earned their first stakes victory Saturday when they ran away with the $75,900 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
Positive Response broke alertly under Couton, sped to the lead and never looked back en route to winning the one-mile race for 2-year-olds by six lengths in 1:37.75. It was the second straight front-running win for Positive Response, who scored a 3 1/2-length victory in a one-mile starter allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 10.
Jockey Frank Alvarado rode Positive Response to the starter allowance win but opted to ride Luckarack in the Gold Rush Stakes. Luckarack finished seventh as the 2-to-1 favorite.
Couton was thrilled to pick up the mount on Positive Response and came away very impressed with the Florida-bred son of Pomeroy.
“He’s very professional for a 2-year-old,” said Couton. “He’s very mature and very manageable. He won last time on the lead and he broke good today and made the pace nice and easy. He was nice and relaxed all the way around the track. I’m very excited about him.”
Couton, a native of Nantes, France, came to the U.S. in 2006 and served as an exercise rider before taking out his jockey’s license in 2008. He moved his tack from Southern California to Northern California late last year.
Couton was floating after the Gold Rush. “It feels awesome,” said Couton of his first stakes win.
Positive Response, who began his career at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Canada, is now 2-for-3 since joining the barn of trainer William E. Morey, who owns the gelding in partnership with Saul Gevertz, Roger Newman and Ray Pagano. Morey purchased Positive Response after he broke his maiden at Woodbine in his second start.
Positive Response, who earned $45,000 for the Gold Rush victory, paid $7.60 as the 5-to-2 second choice in the wagering. Grand Maneuver took second by a neck over King Cola.
Morey said Positive Response will now be pointed for the $100,000 California Derby, which will be run Saturday, Jan. 15, at Golden Gate Fields.
Racing continues Sunday at Golden Gate Fields. Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 beers, $1 hot dogs, and $1 sodas. The track will show all the football games via the NFL Sunday Ticket.