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Tigah Rallies From Last To Win $100,000 San Francisco Mile
British-bred Tigah rallied from last in a field of 10 to win the Grade 3 $100,000 San Francisco Mile by a neck over pacesetter Summer Hit Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
Tigah, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, surged by a very game Summer Hit and jockey Russell Baze in the final yards to earn his first stakes victory. Gallant Son, ridden by Dennis Carr, finished third.
Tigah clocked a time of 1:36.64 in winning Northern California’s top turf race and paid $6.20 after being made a slight favorite over Summer Hit by astute handicappers.
“I took back and ended up being last but I was able to swing him out and let him run his race,” said Quinonez. “I saw the seven (Gallant Son) was in perfect position and I just followed him to the middle of the second turn. I had to make a decision to either wait and try to split horses, or go around. I decided to go around because I saw the horse in front and knew I couldn’t wait any more.
“He just exploded when I swung him out (turning into the stretch),” continued Quinonez. “At first I thought I was going to go right by but when the six horse (Summer Hit) felt my horse, he responded. But my horse had all the momentum and kept on going.”
Baze was pleased with Summer Hit’s effort, even though he believes the 4-year-old gelding wasn’t keeping his mind on business in the stretch.
“He ran his eyeballs out,” said Baze. “You know, he really wasn’t focused down the lane. If he had put his head down and run I don’t know if the other horse would have caught him. Usually when you ask him, he lays his body down and runs for you. Today he shifted in when I hit him and wasn’t completely focused.
“You can’t take anything away from the winner,” continued Baze. “We were still running at the finish.”
Tigah, trained by top Southern California conditioner John Sadler and owned by Karnel Jawl, earned $60,000 for the SF Mile win. The victory was the fourth in 13 career starts for Tigah and Saturday’s payday increased his earnings to $178,604.
Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday with Dollar Day specials. Post time is 12:45 p.m. and general parking, general admission, programs, hot dogs, beers, and sodas cost just $1 each.
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.