04/27/2017 9:46AM

Alert Bay tries for repeat in San Francisco Mile

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Alert Bay is among six locally based horses in the seven-horse field for the San Francisco Mile on Saturday.

The elite of Northern California’s turf talent will be on display in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields.

Northern California’s premier turf stakes for older runners, the Mile has been won by locally based runners in six of the past seven years. This year’s field of seven comprises six locally based horses – including two past winners of this race – and the Southern California-based Patentar.

The 6-year-old millionaire Alert Bay is the defending champion. He scored his first victory on the Tapeta main track in a one-mile prep race April 2, his first race since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs last August.

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Trainer Blaine Wright said Alert Bay has trained nicely since the prep.

“He knows how to train,” said Wright. “Everything seems on track. He’s done everything he’s supposed to.”

Alert Bay is versatile. He won this race last year using his usual stalking style, and in his prep victory, he came from double-digit lengths back off a very fast pace.

If Alert Bay wins, he would be the race’s second repeat winner, joining Battle Dance (1957-58).

Many Roses will take another crack at Alert Bay on Saturday. He was part of the pace picture in that prep race and ended up fifth. Trainer Ellen Jackson said he bled.

Many Roses scored front-running wins in his last two turf starts, both allowance races here. He may be challenged on the lead by Patentar, who went wire to wire in a 1 1/8-mile optional claimer on turf at Santa Anita April 23. Patentar, trained by Simon Callaghan, had never been close to the early pace in his eight previous starts in this country.

G. G. Ryder, the 2015 San Francisco Mile winner, has hit the board in five of six starts since trainer Jerry Hollendorfer gave him a three-month break last summer. He finished up last year with seconds in the Bull Dog Handicap at Fresno and the Grade 3 Berkeley on the main track here, and he’s hit the board in all three of his starts this year, including a third behind Alert Bay and Saturday rival Star Student in the prep.

“He had a little layoff and seems to be himself again,” said Hollendorfer.

Also entered is Stryker Phd, who won last fall’s Grade 3 Berkeley on the main track. A two-time winner of the Longacres Mile, his lone turf victory came here in his career debut.

Star Student, a stakes-winning sprinter, split Alert Bay and G. G. Ryder in the prep. Camino Del Paraiso makes his first start since finishing third in the Let It Ride at Del Mar in November.

San Francisco Mile, Race 7

Key Contenders

Alert Bay, by City Zip

Last 3 Beyers: 94-92-92

◗ He has four wins and a pair of seconds in one-mile races on turf.

◗ Alert Bay surprised Wright with his win in the prep. Wright said he wasn’t sure Alert Bay was ready to win after a 7 1/2-month layoff. Alert Bay has worked nicely since, but Wright doesn’t have strong stats in the second start off a layoff.

G. G. Ryder, by Chhaya Dance

Last 3 Beyers: 87-88-89

◗ This will be his first start on turf since he battled for the early lead and faded to fifth in last year’s Mile.

Patentar, by Teofilo

Last 3 Beyers: 94-89-94

◗ British import ran second in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham at Santa Anita last year. He’s making his third start after a seven-month layoff.