04/18/2010 11:00PM

Bold Chieftain looks to plug hole in resume


Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 San Francisco Mile will be a rematch of an April 2 allowance prep that Bold Chieftain won over comebacking Monterey Jazz.

The Mile will be on the turf, while the allowance race was at a mile over the Tapeta. Monterey Jazz is a Grade 2 winner on turf, but Bold Chieftain has done well on grass, too, having earned nearly $500,000 of his $1.4 million bankroll on the surface. Bold Chieftain is the only horse to have won the grassy California Dreamin' at Del Mar twice.

The 7-year-old Bold Chieftain will be a sentimental favorite Saturday as he seeks the one thing that has eluded him during his 35-race, 16-win career: a graded stakes victory.

"He hasn't won a graded race, and at this stage of the game that's very important," said Bill Morey Jr., the horse's co-breeder, co-owner and trainer. "Our first goal for a while was to make him a millionaire. Now, it's to make him a graded winner so there will be more interest in him as a stallion prospect."

Bold Chieftain has won some graded-stakes-caliber races, including this year's Sunshine Millions Classic, and he's the only two-time Cal Cup Classic winner. But his record in 10 graded races is 0-3-2. He was fourth, beaten only two lengths, in the San Pasqual this year before winning the Sunshine Millions.

"He's run with as good horses as you can run with," said Morey.

Bold Chieftain is in remarkably good shape. He ran nine times last year and has already run three times this year.

Morey has never been afraid to give Bold Chieftain breaks in his schedule, but the horse has been away from the track only twice: to have an ankle chip removed after his 2-year-old season, and to take a rest after he ran eighth in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Mile.

Morey says groom Juan Botello does wonders with Bold Chieftain, who can be tough in his stall.

"He's a good horse," said Morey. "He doesn't need turf or dirt. He's won in the slop, and he's won on synthetic tracks.

"A good horse has to have a big heart, and he's got one. He's never run a race where we've said 'What's the matter with him?'"

The front-running Monterey Jazz may have pace company on Saturday in the form of Red Sun, who has won 4 of 5 career starts, including all three on turf. He'll be making his stakes debut.

Also listed as definite for the San Francisco Mile are Massone, Run It, and Sir Al. Gallant Son, Golden Balls and Kelly Leak also may run.

* Golden Gate Fields will continue its four-day race week for the next two weeks with the dark day Thursday instead of Wednesday to correspond to Hollywood Park's schedule. Golden Gate plans to resume five-day race weeks the first week in May.