05/26/2016 12:10PM

Gold Rush Dancer on improve for Snow Chief

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Gold Rush Dancer made his turf debut when he won the Silky Sullivan Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – For a multiple stakes winner, Gold Rush Dancer is somewhat clueless.

“The thing that’s exciting about the horse is he’s still green,” trainer Vann Belvoir said. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. There is room for improvement.”

Gold Rush Dancer won the richest race of his career in the $100,450 Silky Sullivan Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 1, his first start on turf. The colt will have his Southern California turf debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds at 1 1/8 miles.

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The Snow Chief Stakes is one of five stakes on the California Gold Rush program, all for statebreds. Among the other stakes is the $200,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The Melair Stakes drew a field of six led by Enola Gray, the winner of a maiden race by 16 1/4 lengths April 10 in her only start.

Enola Gray is trained by Phil D’Amato, who has six runners in the stakes races, including Tough It Out in the Snow Chief. The Snow Chief Stakes has six entrants and is the fifth race on a program that begins at 2 p.m. Pacific.


Gold Rush Dancer, by Private Gold

Last 3 Beyers: 88-64-78

◗ Gold Rush Dancer won the Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles at Emerald Downs last September before joining Belvoir’s stable over the winter. In the one-mile Silky Sullivan Stakes, Gold Rush Dancer closed from fourth in a field of eight to take the lead in early stretch. He won by 1 1/4 lengths over Tough It Out.

◗ Belvoir said the added distance of the Snow Chief Stakes works in favor of Gold Rush Dancer.

“I love it,” Belvoir said. “He seems like the farther, the better. He improved on the turf, and I thought he would. He proved it. We’ve drawn a good post, and it’s a light field.”

◗ Flavien Prat rode Gold Rush Dancer for the first time in the Silky Sullivan Stakes and has the mount Saturday. They break from post 6.

◗ The colt races for owner and breeder John Parker of Washington.

Tough It Out, by Grazen

Last 3 Beyers: 86-74-76

◗ Tough It Out beat Gold Rush Dancer when they finished first and second in the $200,345 Echo Eddie Stakes for Cal-breds at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track here April 9. In the Silky Sullivan Stakes, Tough It Out closed from sixth with a wide trip under jockey Joe Talamo to finish second as the 9-10 favorite.

D’Amato said he was not discouraged by the loss and thinks that Tough It Out is more talented on turf.

“If you look at his numbers, they are better on grass,” D’Amato said. “He acts like he’ll run all day. Joe knows him now.”

Ralis, by Square Eddie

Last 3 Beyers: 77-80-78

◗ Ralis is the only Grade 1 winner in the field, having won the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last September. Ralis is winless in five subsequent starts, with his best finish in that span a fifth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes on the synthetic track at Turfway Park in Kentucky on April 2.

◗ The Snow Chief Stakes will be the 11th start for Ralis and his first on turf. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Ralis was 10th of 14 in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 7 on the Kentucky Derby undercard.

Midnight Ming, by Midnight Lute

Last 3 Beyers: 84-80-76

◗ Midnight Ming closed well to be third in the Silky Sullivan, his stakes debut. Trained by Billy Morey, Midnight Ming is a threat from off the pace.

◗ This will be the longest start of Midnight Ming’s career.