11/23/2011 3:19PM

Golden Gate Fields: All American matches familiar rivals

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Our Nautique figures to lead the way early in the Grade 3 All American at Golden Gate.

Whose turn will it be to win when six runners line up in Friday’s Grade 3, $100,000 All American at Golden Gate Fields?

The top four contenders have taken turns beating each other, and the other two should be ready for improved efforts in the 1 1/8-mile Tapeta event.

The millionaire Bold Chieftain, Our Nautique, Uh Oh Bango, and Dunmore East have been trading decisions this year. Highway Bandit is making his second start off a layoff, and Skipshot has yet to reach his Grade 2-winning form of 2010.

The millionaire Bold Chieftain, who drew the rail, has lost three times to Our Nautique this year and to Uh Oh Bango in the Grade 3 Berkeley. But Bold Chieftain reversed the loss to Uh Oh Bango when he won the Oct. 16 Bull Dog at Fresno at this distance, and his losses to Our Nautique came on turf. In their lone meeting on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface, Bold Chieftain defeated Our Nautique.

Bold Chieftain, now 8, has a win and five seconds in seven starts this year, which will be his last before heading to stud. Trainer Bill Morey Jr. was particularly pleased with the victory in the Bull Dog.

“It was very satisfying to see the horse still wants to win,” Morey said.

Uh Oh Bango has split decisions with Bold Chieftain while also defeating fifth-place Our Nautique in their only meeting, which came on the Golden Gate Tapeta in the Berkeley.

Our Nautique, for his part, has 3 wins and 2 seconds in 6 Northern California starts this year.

Dunmore East was no match for Our Nautique and Bold Chieftain on the turf in the Joseph Grace at Santa Rosa, but ran down Our Nautique in a Nov. 4 prep for this race. Trainer Lloyd Mason said he thinks Dunmore East can repeat that effort in the All American with the help of another stalking trip behind Our Nautique.

Highway Bandit finished fourth behind Dunmore East, Our Nautique and Skipshot in that Nov. 4 prep in his first start in 8 1/2 months.

Skipshot, third in that prep, is still rounding into form after being sidelined for 13 months. He is talented enough to have won the Grade 2 Swaps at Hollywood Park in 2010.