10/20/2008 12:00AM

Failure to communicate dooms Albany


ALBANY, Calif. - Last Saturday's canceled stakes race left some bruised feelings but could result in a new approach to stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

The track canceled the $50,000 Albany on Sunday because there would have been only four betting interests. The Albany, a six-furlong sprint, was carded as an overnight stakes, which can be canceled in the event of a short field - unlike regular stakes, which are required to be run no matter how many horses are entered.

Five runners were entered in the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, including two by trainer Greg Gilchrist. The Gilchrist horses, High Resolve and Victorina, are both owned by the estate of the late Harry Aleo and were coupled at entry time. Golden Gate Fields general manager Robert Hartman applied to the California Horse Racing Board to allow the pair to run as separate interests - which would have made for five betting interests - but Kirk Breed, the board's executive director, denied the request, and the stakes was canceled.

It turns out there was a dash of miscommunication involved.

CHRB spokesman Mike Marten said Breed was not informed that the race would be canceled if the entry were not split. Hartman was unhappy with the decision, but said he might not have made it clear to Breed that the race would be run only if the entry were split.

"I take some responsibility," Hartman said.

The cancellation angered Gilchrist and disappointed fans who wanted to see some of the best horses on the grounds run. In an effort to keep it from happening again, Golden Gate will cut back on its overnight stakes and replace them with regular stakes, Hartman said. Also, the board will routinely allow horses with common ownership to race uncoupled in stakes, Marten said.

The Gilchrist duo would have been odds-on as an entry on Saturday, and would have vied for favoritism had they been uncoupled. Victorina finished first and High Resolve third in an allowance race at Bay Meadows on Aug. 13.

Strong local participation in Cup

Four locally based horses will provide Northern California racing fans with rooting interest in the weekend Breeders' Cup races. Northern California has never been represented by more than two in one year.

Gilchrist will run Indyanne in Friday's Filly and Mare Sprint. Jerry Hollendorfer sends out Hystericalady, last year's Distaff runner-up, in the Ladies' Classic.

On Saturday, owner-trainer Bill Morey Jr. will run Bold Chieftain in the Mile, while Pete Anderson, who has been stabled since mid-September at Golden Gate with his daughter, Aggie Ordonez, will run Delightful Kiss in the Marathon.

Indyanne worked a half-mile in 46.60 seconds under Russell Baze at Golden Gate on Saturday.

"It was probably a little on the fast side, but these horses do it," Gilchrist said. "I'm happy."

Gilchrist was scheduled to ship Indyanne to Santa Anita on Tuesday with Delightful Kiss, who worked six furlongs in 1:12 under Baze here on Sunday.

Baze, who was scheduled to work Bold Chieftain on Tuesday, said after working Delightful Kiss, "So far, the ones I've got on feel like they're going into their races in great shape."

Morey's entry of Bold Chieftain was a bit of a surprise, but he said his fellow owners, led by 92-year-old Ernie Langbein, outvoted him 3-1 to run.

"Business-wise, this may not be the smartest move," said Morey, who planned to ship Bold Chieftain to Santa Anita on Wednesday following Tuesday's work. "The horse always shows up, and his blood work is as good as any horse I've ever seen."

* Golden Gate will have early posts Friday (11:55 a.m. Pacific) and Saturday (10:25 a.m.) and will conduct the Breeders' Cup Wine Festival on Saturday, including tastings and live jazz from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Six runners, including Victorina, are listed as likely for Sunday's $50,000 Marina, a one-mile race for fillies and mares that is also an overnight stakes. Also expected to run are Gadget Queen, coming off a win in the Belle Roberts at Emerald Downs; Wavy Lass, winner of four straight on the turf; Musical High; Rockella; and She's Sensational.