Golden Gate Fields had a big card last Saturday. There were twelve races, headed by two top-level stakes events: The California Derby and San Francisco Mile. Here's the recap:
The $100K California Derby was won by STALKING SHADOW, ridden by Evin Roman, trained by Jonathan Wong, owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC — with a powerful, well-timed rally!
STALKING SHADOW broke beautifully under Evin Roman and found the perfect spot behind two early-speedsters who cleared the lead. They went 23.73 for the quarter, and 48.72 for the half. JIMMY IRISH and PARNELLI were in a private little match race through the backside, opening up by at least eight lengths over the rest of the field.
As they round the turn, Evin Roman asks for more run from STALKING SHADOW, and his colt begins to roll. There's still a lot of ground to make up. When they reach the stretch, PARNELLI and JIMMY IRISH are still slugging it out, but from out of the clouds comes STALKING SHADOW! He hits his best stride late, bearing down on them with every stride, getting up just in time to run past the leaders for the win. JIMMY IRISH ran well to be second, with PARNELLI faded to third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth was 1:45.22.
STALKING SHADOW paid $16.20 to win, $6.00 to place, and $3.20 to show. He is by MINISTERS WILD CAT out of SILENT STALK by PETIONVILLE. He notches his third consecutive victory, pushing his earnings to $128,920, while earning his highest speed figure to date.
Winning jockey Evin Roman has kicked off his 2021 quarter to a terrific start, winning at a 25% rate, which is higher than any average of his previous five years. Congrats to him!
The $250K San Francisco Mile (G3) was won by WHISPER NOT, ridden by Geovanni Franco, trained by Richard Baltas, owned by Electric City Racing, Madaket STables LLC, Christopher T. Dunn, and Jeremy Peskoff — hard-fought victory!
WHISPER NOT broke a bit awkwardly, but recovered and found a good tracking spot in third, sheltered from the hot pace up front. It was set by 70-1 longshot DIAMOND BLITZ, who cleared the lead by eight lengths, opening the quarter in 23.54, the half in 46.58.
They raced strung out through the backside, around twenty lengths from front to back. WHISPER NOT relaxed into an easy gallop, three wide from the fence, as the frontrunners began to shorten stride and return to the field. With three furlongs to go, WHISPER NOT begins to move, cruising up to the leaders looking full of run, then is cut loose for his finishing kick. But to his inside, the mare KEEPER OFTHE STARS goes with him! The two of them hook up in the stretch, matching strides into the final half furlong. But it is WHISPER NOT running the better of the two — he sticks his head out in the last jumps to secure the victory. KEEPER OFTHE STARS ran superb in defeat, but settled for second, while RESTRAINEDVENGEANCE ran third. The final time for the one mile on turf was 1:35.94.
WHISPER NOT paid $4.80 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.40 to show. He is by POET'S VOICE out of POYLE MEG by DANSILI. He wins his second consecutive race, pushing his earnings to $253,292, while achieving his highest speed figure for the effort. This marks his first graded stakes victory.