11/18/2010 12:49PM

Cathy's Crunches to challenge males in Golden Nugget

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Cathy's Crunches, with Chad Schvaneveldt up, wins the Golden Gate Debutante.

After Cathy’s Crunches won the Golden Gate Debutante two weeks ago, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer thought she might make her next start in Southern California. But when the Golden Nugget, a $50,000 six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds, didn’t fill last week and was brought back Saturday, Hollendorfer took advantage of the opportunity and will run the filly against the boys.

Purchased privately by Hollendorfer and Mark DeDomenico after a maiden victory at Calder, Cathy’s Crunches has never finished off the board while running at four different tracks. She recorded her first stakes victory and third win at a different track when she beat Justenufappeal by 5 1/2 lengths in the Debutante on Nov. 6. Cathy’s Crunches got away with easy fractions in the Debutante under Chad Schvaneveldt, who will ride her again Saturday.

Cathy’s Crunches came out of the Debutante in good shape and had an easy half-mile maintenance work last Sunday. Although she will likely face more pace pressure in the Golden Nugget, she is advantageously drawn outside Jerry’s Fever and McKenzies Way, who would be her primary pace rivals.

Hollendorfer said he might use the Golden Nugget as a springboard to the $75,000 Corte Madera at one mile on Dec. 4. That would give him a chance to try Cathy’s Crunches at two turns, something he said he would like to do.

Although the Debutante was her best race yet, Cathy’s Crunches faces a tough challenge running again colts on Saturday.

McKenzies Way finished ninth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity off his maiden win, and came back to be a solid second the six-furlong Jack Goodman at Hollywood Park on Oct. 23. The Golden Nugget will be the Northern California debut for McKenzies Way.

Hollywood Fierce also will make his Northern California debut after winning his Oct. 16 debut at Hollywood Park.

Wealthy Aviator, who graduated here in his debut and then ran third in the Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex, returns home after a seventh-place finish in the Nov. 6 Real Quiet at Hollywood Park. He got off slowly in that 1 1/16-mile race.

Runaway Wildcat won his maiden at Pleasanton and has been freshened since an Aug. 21 starter allowance win at Del Mar.

Rounding out the field is Jerry’s Fever, who is coming off a maiden victory here on Oct. 31.