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Russian Greek Comes From Behind To Win Gold Rush Stakes At GGF
Russian Greek overcame a stumbling start to capture the $75,260 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Russian Greek rallied from last to win the one-mile feature for 2-year-olds by a neck over Marshal Marini, who appeared to be home free after opening up a 2 1/2-length lead in midstretch. Blacky the Bull, the pacesetter, finished third.
Lucky Culprit, the 7-to-5 favorite, was pulled up by jockey Russell Baze after being bumped hard on the first turn.
“The problem was the three horse (Cahill Chrome) knocked him sideways on the turn and he went off behind,” said Baze.
William E. Morey trains Lucky Culprit and reported his gelding sustained a serious injury.
“He is lame in his left hind,” said Morey. “The sheath that connects to the Achilles tendon was torn away, leaving the tendon loose. His prognosis for racing again is very poor. It’s not life-threatening but it is career-threatening. There are a million ways for a horse to get hurt but you don’t think of this one.”
Russian Greek was ridden by Inoel Beato, who guided his colt to the rail for his winning stretch run. Beato said he was confident Russian Greek would be able to find racing room inside of Marshal Marini, a horse with whom he was familiar.
“I didn’t want to go outside so I took a chance on going inside,” said Beato. “I rode [Marshal Marini] at Fresno and knew he liked to drift out. It worked out.”
Russian Greek was dismissed at 7-to-1 in the wagering and paid $16.60 after recording his second victory in three starts. A Kentucky-bred colt by Giant’s Causeway, Russian Greek was timed in 1:39.18.
Russian Greek is owned by Olympia Star, Inc., and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who watched the Gold Rush on a television monitor at Hollywood Park. A few hours after the Gold Rush, Hollendorfer won the Grade I Hollywood Starlet with Killer Graces ($30.40).
“I saw the horse closing and he got lucky to get through on the rail, that’s for sure,” said Hollendorfer of Russian Greek. “He ran very well and is bred very well. We thought when we got him stretched out (in distance) he’d be better. I think we’ll probably go on to the California Derby.”
The $100,000 California Derby is a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that will be run Saturday, Jan. 14, at Golden Gate Fields.
Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday and the track is offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers, and $1 sodas. Post time is
12:45 p.m. and there is a carryover of $19,020 in the Pick Six. Gates open at 10 a.m. and fans can catch all the football games on television via the NFL Sunday Ticket.