04/25/2010 11:00PM

Bold Chieftain achieves last major goal


ALBANY, Calif. - Mission accomplished!

Bold Chieftain attained the final goal set by his connections with his victory in the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile on Saturday on the Golden Gate Fields turf, notching his first graded stakes victory.

Bold Chieftain also provided Russell Baze with his first victory in the San Francisco Mile. Baze, who has more wins than any other jockey, had finished second in the Mile on six previous occasions.

The victory increases the 7-year-old Bold Chieftain's value as a sire for owner-breeders Bill Morey Jr. Kenneth Robinson, Dwaine Hall, and the Ernie Langbein Trust. Morey also trains Bold Chieftain.

"A graded stakes will open more doors for him as a [stallion] prospect," Morey said. "We want to place him where he'll be a happy stallion."

The San Francisco Mile was Bold Chieftain's 13th stakes victory - he's the only two-time winner of the California Dreamin on the turf at Del Mar and the California Cup Classic on the main track at Santa Anita - and 17th overall win in 36 starts. The $90,000 he won Saturday lifted his career earnings to $1,522,151. Morey has taken advantage of Bold Chieftain's Cal-bred status to find lucrative spots. Bold Chieftain has earned $799,040 in Cal-bred stakes.

With a second Cal Cup Classic win last year and victories in the Sunshine Millions Classic victory and San Francisco Mile this year, Bold Chieftain has attained millionaire status and has shown he can win on dirt, turf, and synthetic surfaces.

Morey has considered retiring Bold Chieftain for the past two years but never received what he and the ownership group considered a fair offer to stand the horse at stud. Morey says the economy is part of the reason.

"There's no doubt 10 years ago the phone would have been ringing," he said.

Prior to the San Francisco Mile, Morey said the best offer for Bold Chieftain had come from South Africa. With the Southern Hemisphere breeding cycle starting later in the year, Bold Chieftain could be standing there before the year ends. But, for now, Morey is considering where he will bring his star back.

"We'll back down with him just a bit," Morey said. "He's had two pretty good races in a three-week span."

Bold Chieftain went into the San Francisco Mile off a victory in the local allowance prep.

Morey said the most likely spots for Bold Chieftain's next start are the Grade 3 Berkeley, a 1 1/16-mile stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 31, or the Grade 2 Californian, a 1 1/8-mile race at Hollywood Park on June 12.

Just like in the allowance prep, Bold Chieftain ran down Monterey Jazz in the Mile. He won by three-quarters of a length.

Baze said Bold Chieftain responded when he chirped to him approaching the quarter pole.

"I thought Monterey Jazz might be gone, but then my horse started taking ground off him even before I had cocked my stick," he said.

Gallant Son ships to take Inglewood

Trainer Frank Lucarelli made the right decision scratching Gallant Son from the San Francisco Mile and running him Sunday in the Inglewood at Hollywood Park. Gallant Son won the Grade 3, $150,000 Inglewood, giving owners Chris and Diane Randall their first graded stakes victory.

Gallant Son, 4, won a pair of stakes as a 2-year-old at Emerald Downs, including the Gottstein Futurity, and last year won the Pasadena on the turf at Santa Anita.

Gallant Son may run in the Grade 1, $250,000 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on May 31, where he could face Monterey Jazz.

Early birds welcome this weekend

Gates will open early Friday and Saturday for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby cards from Churchill Downs.

On Friday, general admission, clubhouse, and top of the stretch gates will open at 7:15 a.m. with the turf club opening at 10 a.m.

All gates will open at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday when the first local post will be 11:45 a.m. The regular 12:45 p.m. post is in effect Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

A Run for the Roses hat contest with more than $1,000 in prize money will be held Saturday.

* In addition to the Dollar Day Sunday promotion, Golden Gate begins its spring concert series on Sunday with Tainted Love. Pride & Joy is scheduled May 9, Tito Garcia y su Orquesta Internacional on May 16, California Cowboys on May 23, Foreverland on May 30, Busta-Groove on June 6, and the Cheeseballs on June 13.