04/24/2012 12:04PM

Golden Gate Fields: Jeranimo to head San Francisco Mile field

Shigeki Kikkawa
Jeranimo will be favored in a field of about eight for the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on Saturday.

With four multiple stakes winners possible for the race, including the Grade 2 winner Jeranimo, Saturday’s running of the Grade 3, $150,000 San Francisco Mile could be one of the deepest in race history.

As of early in the week, the one-mile turf race looked as if it could attract eight runners.

Jeranimo is the likely favorite after running fourth, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in his last start. Also expected to run are the multiple stakes winners Gallant Son, who won the Grade 3 Inglewood in 2010 and was runner-up in this race last year; Calimonco, coming off a win at Santa Anita in the Sidd Finch Stakes; and Positive Response, who will make his turf debut.

The stakes winner Hudson Landing will return after running sixth in last year’s Mile. Dunmore East, Live Sundays, and Photo Shop are also being pointed for the race.

Jeranimo’s trainer, Michael Pender, said he has long had the San Francisco Mile on his star’s calendar, with an eye toward the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile June 20 at Hollywood Park.

“I wanted to get a good race before the Shoemaker Mile here, and this race falls perfectly,” Pender said Monday from his Hollywood Park barn.

Calimonco’s trainer, John Sadler, is hopeful his charge can reverse two defeats to Jeranimo last fall. Calimonco finished last in Jeranimo’s Oak Tree Mile victory but third after leading in the stretch in the Citation.

“My horse is doing great,” Sadler said.

Gallant Son, second in last year’s San Francisco Mile, will be making his first start in seven months. Trained by Frank Lucarelli, he comes into the race off a series of strong works, including a mile at Golden Gate in 1:39.80 on April 15.

Positive Response, still looking for his first victory of the year after spending nearly a year on the sidelines, has been the runner-up in allowance races in his past two starts. In his last race, which came April 12, he was beaten by Awesome Gem in a race that was transferred from the turf to the main track, and trainer Billy Morey will send him out Saturday without even a gallop on turf.

“I don’t think it’s that big a deal,” Morey said. “Either he’ll love it or he won’t, and I don’t think galloping over it will make a difference.”