05/20/2009 11:00PM

Feisty Suances tries turf


Feisty Suances and Massone, a pair of talented Southern California runners that are becoming familiar faces at Golden Gate Fields, head a field of eight 3-year-olds in the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes on Saturday. The race will be run on the turf, and the connections of both horses want to try them on the surface.

Feisty Suances just scored his first stakes victory, winning the Silky Sullivan here on May 2 in a race that was transferred from the turf to the main track because of heavy rain. Massone was second in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby behind Chocolate Candy on the main track here Feb. 14. He ran third in his last start, the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Feisty Suances's trainer, Darrell Vienna, considered running the horse in the $100,000 USA Stakes on the turf at Lone Star on Monday, but decided to come to Golden Gate Fields because the travel was easier.

"We have wanted to get him on the turf," Vienna said. "There's a portion of his pedigree that suggests he'll handle turf fine."

Vienna trained Suances, Feisty Suances's sire, who won the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Bay Meadows.

Fancy Suances set turf-like fractions on the Golden Gate Tapeta in the 1 1/16-mile Silky Sullivan, cruising on the lead early and finishing strong.

When asked about how he expects Feisty Suances to take to grass, Vienna quipped: "There are three possibilities - he'll run better, the same, or worse on the turf."

Better is what Vienna is looking for, although the same would not necessarily be a bad thing considering the colt did run second in the Grade 2 San Felipe earlier this year on the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita.

Massone shipped up not only to run on grass, but to avoid having to face older horses, said Dan Landers, the assistant to Massone's trainer, Ron McAnally.

"He's been running well, and we've wanted to try him on turf," Landers said. "Keeping him with his age group is good too."

Longtime Northern California owner Lewis Figone owns Massone, so there is a local tie, too.

Massone's style seems well suited to turf as he's closed nicely in graded stakes in his last two .

Lesson in Deceit and Winning Vow, first and second in the Tempe Handicap on the turf at Turf Paradise on March 14, are also entered. Also in the field are Miguel's Mascot, Robs Hero and Run It, who have all won on turf, as well as Arden Park.