01/18/2012 12:54PM

Golden Gate Fields: Bold Chieftain narrowly misses going out a winner

Benoit & Associates
Bold Chieftain will make one more appearance at Golden Gate Fields, parading in front of the grandstand on Sunday, before heading off to retirement at Victory Rose Farm.

The millionaire Bold Chieftain concluded his career by losing a tight photo to Dunmore East in an allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Monday.

Trainer Bill Morey Jr. thought for a moment that Bold Chieftain had gone out a winner.

“I’m never very confident about photos, but the angle we were sitting at, I thought he won,” said Morey.

Despite the loss, Morey was only momentarily disappointed.

“It was a great run with that horse,” he said.

The 9-year-old Bold Chieftain will be honored at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday before heading to his new home at Ellen Jackson’s Victory Rose Farm in nearby Vacaville. He will be paraded in front of the grandstand, and fans will receive free Bold Chieftain posters.

Bold Chieftain retires with $1,683,181 in earnings. He ran 47 times, winning 18 races (14 stakes), with 14 seconds and 4 thirds. And the record could have been even gaudier. He lost three straight runnings of the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap by a head, and he lost the Grade 3 All America by a neck last fall.

Bold Chieftain is the only runner with two California Cup Classic victories and he also won the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita.

Russell Baze, who earned more than $1.4 million in purses from 36 rides aboard Bold Chieftain, said it was “a pleasure being associated with him.”

“I admire his guts and determination,” said Baze, who added after Monday’s race, “Very seldom did he get beat from not trying.”

Bold Chieftain won on dirt, wet tracks, synthetics, and turf, and managed to stay sound throughout most of his career.

“He’s been very healthy,” said Morey. “I don’t recall him getting sick. His blood count was always high, and we never injected his knees or ankles in front. He’s not really heavy, but he is big and strong and always maintained a good, healthy physique.

“As horses age, 90 percent, maybe more, drop down the ladder. But he always played with the best on the grounds, Cal-breds down south and everyone up here.”

Morey, the late Ernie Langbein, Dwaine Hall, and Ken Robinson, bred and owned Bold Chieftain.

Tri-superfecta wager revived

Golden Gate Fields, which first introduced the tri-superfecta wager in 1993, is bringing it back beginning Saturday.

The tri-superfecta is a two-leg exchange wager which comprises a trifecta in the sixth race and superfecta in the seventh race.

The wager has a $1 minimum. Winning trifecta tickets from the first race qualify for a share of 50 percent of the net pool and also receive an exchange wager for the second leg superfecta. Winning superfecta tickets then share the remaining 50 percent of the net pool.

If there is no winning superfecta, the pool carries over to the next day where it will be added to the pool for the second half of the wager.

Because of the many possible combinations, the tri-super is extremely hard to hit. For example, to box four horses in the superfecta portion of the exchange wager, a bettor would have to have 24 winning trifecta tickets.