08/31/2005 11:00PM

Counterfeit Gold class of field

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Prairie stakes winner Counterfeit Gold makes his turf debut Saturday.

Class versus experience versus a $10,000 supplemental entrant. That will be the battle in San Antonio on Saturday night when Counterfeit Gold, Sheri's Rubiano, and Mexican Train meet in the $100,000 Ketel One El Joven at Retama Park.

The one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds will share a card with the $100,000 M2 Technology La Senorita, for 2-year-old fillies going a mile on turf. The races make for one of the richest cards of the meet, and each drew a full field of 12. The El Joven and La Senorita are also part of a pick four encompassing races 6-9.

Counterfeit Gold is the established class of the El Joven as the field's lone stakes winner. He captured the $50,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile at six furlongs at Prairie Meadows July 3.

Counterfeit Gold followed that up with a second-place finish in the $40,000 Juvenile at Canterbury on July 23. He will be making his two-turn and turf debut Saturday.

"I worked him around two turns at Canterbury on the grass course up there," said Willie Padilla, who trains Counterfeit Gold. "I didn't work him hard. I just let him work the last part of it, and it looks like he handled it pretty good."

Counterfeit Gold, who went seven furlongs on firm turf in 1:33.20 on Aug. 21, will break from post 2 under Jeremy Beasley.

"I think he'll be fairly close to the pace," said Padilla. "He's got a lot of speed. He's never been worse than second or third on the pace going short in real fast fractions."

, a son of Twining, is one of five horses Padilla moved to Retama in August.

is a perfect 2 for 2, and both of those wins have come in turf routes. He won his maiden at Lone Star Park on July 10, then returned to win the local prep for the El Joven, a 7 1/2-furlong allowance, by 2 3/4 lengths Aug. 13.

In each of his races, Sheri's Rubiano put in strong closing bids. Terry Stanton again has the mount for trainer Paul Murphy.

Danny Pish trains Mexican Train, who was supplemented to the El Joven for $10,000. Mexican Train used stalking tactics to win his maiden in a 7 1/2-furlong turf race at Retama on Aug. 12.

Glen Murphy has the mount on , who figures to be stalking Counterfeit Gold. In the stretch, those two will have to hold off Sheri's Rubiano.

La Senorita: Hosanna Hit vs. Locke crew

Hosanna Hit will take on a four-horse entry trained by John Locke in the La Senorita.

C.R. Trout bred, owns, and trains Hosanna Hit, and said he took a chance last out when he started her as a maiden in the $70,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup at Lone Star on July 16. She won the race, and will get tested under new conditions - two turns and turf - Saturday.

"She's one of the better fillies that I've had as far as her talent, what she's going to be," said Trout. "We didn't know when we put her in that stakes race how she'd handle it as a maiden, and she obviously handled that pretty good."

Trout said Hosanna Hit, who is by Formal Gold, gets pedigree support for the two turns, and when he worked her on turf last month, she handled the surface well, he said.

Hosanna Hit, who will be ridden by Cliff Berry, is versatile, Trout said.

"If it's a slow pace, we'll go to the front," said Trout. "If anybody else wants to go, we'll lay off of it and see if we can catch them down the stretch."

Locke's starters are Lady Cosmo, Truly Social, Spanish Darling, and Prospect's Girl.

Others in the field include Royal Thunder, a daughter of Thunder Gulch who is a half-sister to Megas Vukefalos, a stakes winner of $708,208.