04/22/2009 11:00PM

Golden Doc A vulnerable in return

Barbara D. Livingston
Golden Doc A will make her first start in nearly six months in Saturday's $150,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The sire Unusual Heat is well represented Saturday on the $1.3 million California Gold Rush card at Hollywood Park - offspring of the state's leading stallion are favored in four of the six stakes for California-breds.

They don't all have to win. Bel Air Sizzle (race 3), Beltene (race 6), and Medzendeekron (race 8) will be tough, but the leading active money winner by Unusual Heat - Golden Doc A - could be up against it in the $150,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes (race 1) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Golden Doc A is a Grade 1 winner, with earnings of $508,736 from 18 starts; there is little debate that she is the class of the field. The problem is it has been more than one year since Golden Doc A ran a good race, and nearly six months since she has started.

Trainer Barry Abrams said he "expects a good race out of her," but he added that she is only "85 to 90 percent ready."

Lady Railrider and Gambler's Justice, meanwhile, are racing-fit. Those two, along with front-runner Waveline, will give stretch-runner Golden Doc A a target. But if the B. Thoughtful unfolds as expected, Northern California shipper Lady Railrider can win the first stakes of the day.

Steve Specht trains Lady Railrider for owner-breeder Larry Williams; the Ride the Rails filly has won five races and $288,700 from 15 starts, mostly around two turns. Specht nominated Lady Railrider to two Gold Rush stakes - the B. Thoughtful sprinting on the main track and the Fran's Valentine (race 3), a 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Ultimately, surface was the main consideration.

"A mile and a sixteenth is a better distance for my filly, but I wasn't sure about the turf," Specht said. "I know she runs well on the main track, so I compromised the distance for the surface."

If the race unfolds as expected, it should not matter. Lady Railrider has tactical speed, and Specht expects her and jockey Frank Alvarado to be positioned right behind Waveline and Gambler's Justice.

"If she runs her race, the distance should be fine," Specht said.

The horse to catch may be Gambler's Justice, winner of the $200,000 Melair Stakes one year ago on Gold Rush Day, only to be disqualified for interference on a controversial decision that trainer Bill Spawr still maintains "was a bad call."

Gambler's Justice adds blinkers Saturday, and she also had a three-furlong wakeup work Thursday at Santa Anita.

"We're trying to get more speed in her, she's lazy," Spawr said.

Despite being disqualified and placed third last year in the Melair, Gambler's Justice has won 3 races and $174,324 from 14 starts.

Joe Talamo rides Gambler's Justice, who has speed.

"You're going to see it; she'll be in front," Spawr said.

If Gambler's Justice can clear Waveline, then she has a chance to wire the field.

If the fractions are too quick, then Golden Doc A could be along in time, despite the layoff. Garrett Gomez rides Golden Doc A. Other starters include Unwordly Heat and Inspiration Within. G.I. Betty is expected to scratch and wait for an easier spot.