08/15/2011 2:25PM

Golden Gate Fields: Hollendorfer closing in on 6,000 wins

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer enters the week with 5,994 victories and could reach the 6,000 mark at Golden Gate, which opens Friday.

Although he has branched out with a strong stable in Southern California and with national stars such as Eclipse champion Blind Luck, Jerry Hollendorfer’s roots remain deeply planted in Northern California.

With Golden Gate Fields opening for its summer meet Friday, you can be sure that track officials and Northern California fans are hoping to celebrate a milestone with Hollendorfer, who enters the week with 5,994 victories. Hollendorfer, inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame last week, will shortly join Dale Baird (9,445), Jack Van Berg (6,407) and King Leatherbury (6,324) as the only trainers with 6,000 career victories.

And hitting the milestone at Golden Gate Fields would be appropriate. He has won 38 meet titles at the track.

Though he had to settle for second and third in a three-way photo in Saturday’s Robert Dupret Derby at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, Hollendorfer was feeling better Sunday after watching talented 2-year-old Longview Drive win his second straight race when he captured the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes at Santa Rosa. It was a powerful victory, as the Pulpit colt pulled clear in the lane to defeat first-time starter Call Me Kelly by 5 1/2 lengths.

Longview Drive is a full brother of millionaire Pyro, winner of the Grade 1 Forego and runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Grade 1 Champagne as a 2-year-old. He is also a half-brother of graded stakes winner War Echo, and with his win Sunday, he made his dam, Wild Vision, 5 for 5 when it comes to producing winners of multiple races.

“I’m feeling good,” said Hollendorfer of his physical condition and prospects for continued success with runners such as Longview Drive.

Hollendorfer will bring the colt to Del Mar, where he will meet tougher competition.

Longview Drive ran second in his debut at 4 1/2 furlongs, losing at Golden Gate Fields to Sherman Bartlebort, who won the Everett Nevin in his next start at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton. Longview Drive also won at Pleasanton, scoring an odds-on, wire-to-wire victory over Fear the Beard at five furlongs.

He left Sherman Bartlebort in the dust in his wire-to-wire Cavonnier score.

“He looks fast up there, but when he gets to other tracks, he’ll probably end up stalking,” said Hollendorfer.

Given the colt’s breeding, Hollendorfer says Longview Drive should be even better when asked to route.

Mr. Candy Bar getting good

Trainer O.J. Jauregui always believed Mr. Candy Bar was a good prospect, and his game victory along the rail when he edged the Hollendorfer duo of Cody Peak and Life Is a Rock in the Robert Dupret Derby confirmed his potential.

Jauregui said Mr. Candy Bar, a 3-year-old son of Candy Ride, is maturing into the type of horse he expected. Mr. Candy Bar also will probably have to look to Del Mar for his next start. Golden Gate Fields will offer no stakes during its upcoming summer meeting, and it’s unlikely Jauregui will find a second-level allowance race for his colt, whose stakes victory was only the second win of his career.

“He definitely likes the turf,” said Jauregui.

Two jockeys injured

Jockey Vicki Warhol suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs in a Saturday accident when her mount, Corrie Song, clipped heels and unseated her. She was still in the Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, Calif., on Sunday.

Jockey Luis Godoy was taken to the same hospital with undisclosed injuries Sunday when his mount, Ebani, was forced wide on the first turn and unseated him. Godoy skidded into a pole on the outside rail.

Ferndale paying off

Price players, particularly in the mule and Arabian races, are enjoying healthy profits at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale. Nine of the meet’s 22 first-week races offered double-digit returns, and one potential $10.20 winner was disqualified to second.

Five of eight mule and Arabian races have seen double-digit winners.

Surprisingly, three of the double-digit mule winners hailed from the barn of Ray Thomas, who along with his wife, Ruby, is the leading mule trainer on the circuit. Thomas had one winner each day, paying $19, $10, and $24.40.

Ruby has saddled two winners, a mule and a Thoroughbred, and their son Jamey has saddled three winners during the first three days of the meeting.

“We hope we’re not going to stop,” said Thomas before he and Jamey added Sunday victories.

Thomas said top mule Bar JF Hot Ticket, who has won 44 of 53 starts, will miss the Ferndale meet, but he hopes the 8-year-old mare may be ready for the Big Fresno Fair.

She suffered a leg injury in an incident with a pony, and had to be scratched from a race in Santa Rosa because of the injury.

“I know the stewards were disappointed when she was scratched, because they were honoring Black Ruby that day,” said Thomas, referring to one of Northern California’s greatest racing mules. “I was hoping she’d be able to run because of my respect for Black Ruby.”

Thomas has five runners entered Wednesday, including Ima Fast Kid, who won Sunday and is also entered again Friday. He has 12 runners entered for the first three days of the meet’s second week.

Ruby Thomas has seven entered on Wednesday.