02/18/2008 1:00AM

Bold Chieftain wires field in Presidents' Day


Bold Chieftain ($5.60) relaxed on the lead and set comfortable fractions en route to a wire-to-wire victory in the $68,850 Presidents' Day Mile.

Jockey Roberto Gonzalez had Bold Chieftain a length in front of Plug Me In after a 23.44 quarter-mile. He was in front of Plug Me In by two lengths through a 46.92 half-mile.

Favored McCann's Mojave began to move up into contention on the second turn and pulled within a head of Bold Chieftain in the stretch before Bold Chieftain eased away to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:35.56 for the mile.

"When we found out Russell Baze wasn't going to be able to ride, I wanted to get Bobby," winning trainer Bill Morey Jr. said of Gonzalez. "We wanted to get Bold Chieftain into the race a little quicker. We had Bobby for a reason, and we drew the 1-hole."

"He rated very good on the lead," Gonzalez said. "He kept waiting on horses even though I had a lot of horse."

Frank Alvarado, aboard McCann's Mojave, knew the pace was slow, yet he had to sit patiently about three lengths off the pace.

"I can't believe everybody took back," he said. "At the five-sixteenths, I thought I had it - but Bobby still had plenty of horse."

Bold Chieftain, a Cal-bred son of Chief Seattle, earned $43,550 for the victory, his eighth in 16 starts. Owned by Morey, Ernest Langbein, Kenneth Robinson and Dwaine Hall, he has earned $499,325.