02/07/2012 12:46PM

Golden Gate Fields: Classy stablemates Lady Railrider, Antares World clash in allowance

Vassar Photography
Lady Railrider, who has earned more than $600,000 in her career, will face stablemate Antares World in an allowance race Friday at Golden Gate Fields.

The California-bred stablemates Lady Railrider and Antares World will line up to run against each other in a Golden Gate Fields allowance race Friday.

Both were bred and are owned by Larry and Marianne Williams, and are trained by Steve Specht.

Combined earnings for the two is $980,328 with Lady Railrider having earned $602,040 and Antares World $378,288. A victory by either of the two would boost their combined earnings beyond the $1 million mark.

The allowance for fillies and mares will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta. Antares World is probably better on the turf, having run second in the Grade 1 American Oaks on the Hollywood Park grass as a 3-year-old. She won the Pacific Heights on the turf here in December.

Antares World, 5, stalked the pace and ended up sixth in the Valentine Dancer on the turf at Santa Anita Jan. 28. Specht said he is bringing her back a little quicker than usual because the race didn’t seem to take much out of her.

Lady Railrider is coming off a second in a Tapeta allowance at Golden Gate. Now 7, Lady Railrider has finished second five times since last spring, but has not won since last March.

Specht rues the day when he will get the inevitable phone call that Lady Railrider will be retired.

“I’ve kind of been expecting them to give me a call,” said Specht. “She’s never had any leg problems. Her only issue is she’s been prone to get quarter cracks, so she’s had a couple pretty good breaks that have added up to a year, but she’s still made over $600,000.”

The Williamses still have her dam, and, as Specht points out, even though Lady Railrider has lost a step, she still won $158,850 last year with two wins and three stakes placings.

John finds new home up north

Kerwin John came north from Southern California for the Golden Gate meeting and is fourth in the jockey standings with 21 victories. Considering he scored only 25 victories all of last year, John thinks he’s in the right spot at the right time.

“I wish I’d made the move last year,” he said.

John, a 38-year-old native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, had been riding on the Southern California circuit for several years. He hit a dead end last fall at the Oak Tree and the Hollywood Park meetings, going a combined 0 for 79.

“I didn’t have horses,” he said. “It’s tough getting mounts with the short fields down there.”

Trainer Dean Pederson, who took his barn from Golden Gate to Southern California last spring, talked to John and encouraged him to consider riding in Northern California.

At the same time, Kevin Krigger, another St. Croix native, was enjoying success at Golden Gate Fields and decided to head south. Pederson hooked up John with Boone McCanna, who had been booking mounts for Krigger.

“It’s worked out as well as we hoped it would,” said McCanna.

John has gotten off to a good start here, riding both for locally based outfits and for Southern California trainers who ship horses north.

“He’s a seasoned, veteran rider,” McCanna said. “He’s polite and comes across well to trainers. He’s smart when he gets on a horse.”

◗ Russell Baze moved ahead of Aaron Gryder in the jockey standings with a four-win day on Saturday to break a tie. Gryder had two wins Saturday. Both had a pair of wins Sunday, and Baze leads the race, 43-41.