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Strong Wind Heads Cast Of Six In Golden Nugget Stakes
Strong Wind, a romping winner of the $100,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar, heads a cast of six 2-year-olds entered in Saturday’s $50,000-added Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
The Golden Nugget will be decided at six furlongs and is the featured third race on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. Post time for the Golden Nugget is 1:45 p.m.
Strong Wind is one of three-stakes winners in the Golden Nugget lineup. The others are Anytime Magic, a multiple stakes-winner who captured the Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate Fields and the Everett Nevin at Pleasanton, and Zeewat, who triumphed in the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes at Santa Rosa.
Strong Wind dominated fellow California-breds in the Graduation Stakes, winning the 5 1/2-furlong dash by 4 1/4 lengths in a front-running performance. Strong Wind ran third in the six-furlong I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar in his subsequent start and then faltered when stretched out in distance to 1 1/16-miles in the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. Strong Wind dueled for the lead in the Cal Cup but tired in the final furlong to finish ninth in the Oct. 13 race.
Strong Wind, who figures to appreciate the return to sprinting in the Golden Nugget, will be ridden by veteran Bay Area jockey Frank Alvarado. Owned in partnership by Gino Roncelli and Bill and Sue Tomasic, Strong Wind is stabled at Santa Anita and trained by Steve Knapp. Strong Wind has two wins and two thirds in seven career starts and $124,360 in earnings.
Anytime Magic and Zeewat are both based at Golden Gate Fields and trained by Bob Hess and Jerry Hollendorfer, respectively. In their lone meeting, Zeewat bested Anytime Magic by 5 1/4 lengths while winning the Cavonnier Juvenile.
Completing the Golden Nugget lineup are: Hunger, a ridgling who is 1-for-1 for trainer Steve Miyadi; Epic Electorate, a gelding who has finished in the money in all five of his starts for trainer Rene Amescua; and Outside Nashville, a colt coming off a smart victory in a six-furlong maiden allowance race at Golden Gate Fields. Outside Nashville is a stablemate of Zeewat in the Hollendorfer barn.
The field for the Golden Nugget, in post position order, is as follows: Hunger, Abel Cedillo rides; Epic Electorate, Eric Camacho; Anytime Magic, Alejandro Gomez; Strong Wind, Frank Alvarado; Zeewat, Russell Baze; and Outside Nashville, Dennis Carr. All of the starters will carry 120 pounds.
Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation. The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.