11/26/2011 9:10AM

Golden Gate Fields: Our Nautique holds off Bold Chieftain in All American

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Vassar Photography
Our Nautique holds off the late move of Bold Chieftain to win the All American.

In the end, it was a familiar story.

Our Nautique, who scored a front-running victory in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile earlier this year, got away with an easy lead and captured the Grade 3, $100,260 All American Stakes by a neck, holding off the late charge of millionaire Bold Chieftain.

The victory was Our Nautique’s fourth in five starts against Bold Chieftain and was also Bold Chieftain’s fourth straight photo-finish loss in a stakes race on the Golden Gate Fields main track.

Our Nautique’s winning time in the 1 1/8-mile race was 1:51.78. Dunmore East was third, a length behind the 3-2 favorite, Bold Chieftain. Our Nautique paid $11.80.

Our Nautique broke alertly, and jockey Kevin Krigger immediately went for the lead.

“That was the plan,” said Krigger, who won his third straight Golden Gate Fields stakes. “As soon as the gate opened, it was go to the front and hang on.”

Our Nautique, a 6-year-old Pins gelding foaled in New Zealand, established the pace through slow fractions of 24.54, 49.93, and 1:14.59. An expected pace challenge by Dunmore East, who beat Our Nautique in a Nov. 4 prep race, never developed.

“I just tried to ride him with confidence and keep him running at a steady pace,” said Krigger. “I knew they’d be coming, and I just tried to keep him rolling.”

Bold Chieftain rated in third behind Our Nautique and Dunmore East but didn’t seem to have much chance turning for home. Once  inside the eighth pole, he unleashed one last valiant try for victory in what could be his last race, pulling within a head before the final bob at the wire that left him a neck behind.

“It was frustrating,” said his rider Russell Baze. “I figured Dunmore East would hook him, and it didn’t happen. My horse ran a great race, and, if he runs again, I guarantee that we’ll go up and hook Our Nautique.”

Winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, a co-owner of Our Nautique along with breeder Rob Tunnicliffe, saw Our Nautique score his 10th career victory and earn $60,000 to raise his lifetime earnings to $313,040.

“Speed is always dangerous in any kind of event,” Hollendorfer said.

Hollendorfer said the track seemed hard for some horses to get hold of during the day.

“I didn’t know if this horse could get that much distance,” he said. “I don’t think some of the horses got a hold of the track today. He did, so we got a little lucky today.”