09/12/2012 1:12PM

Golden Gate Fields: Shudacudawudya, Beach Blonde pointing to Cal Cup


Trainer Lloyd Mason enjoyed victories by Shudacudawudya and Bleach Blonde last week and said after their victories their owner “was happy with me this week.”

Brett Mason, Lloyd’s son and the owner-breeder of both stars, is probably still happy with his trainer-father. His two stars have won more than $610,000 between them.

The two victories came in the special allowance races Golden Gate Fields cards to give better runners a chance to compete when there are few stakes chances for them.

Shudacudawudya scored a half-length victory over pacesetting stablemate Cardiffbythesea, who is owned by Lloyd Mason.

“It was a lot of fun to watch,” said Mason, even though his horse lost to his son’s horse.

As with many of the special allowance races, this was a stakes race in everything but name. Cardiffbythesea, who had won all three career starts, was the only runner in the race who did not have a stakes win.

Longview Drive, who finished third, won the Cavonnier and Charlie Palmer last year and had also placed in a pair of Grade 3 events. Reconstruction, who ran last, won the Livermore Valley Wines Stakes at Pleasanton this summer.

Ain’t No Other, a multiple stakes winner who is also graded stakes-placed, was a vet scratch the day of the race.

Shudacudawudya, coming off a turf victory in the Jess Jackson at Santa Rosa, sat third before rallying in the stretch. His task might have been made tougher by Ain’t No Other’s scratch since it appeared he and Cardiffbythesea would engage in a pace duel making it easier for Shudacudawudya’s closing kick.

Mason said he is considering the $100,000 Cal Cup Sprint on Oct. 13 at Santa Anita for Shudacudawudya’s next start.

Shudacudawudya has tender feet and missed virtually all of his 3-year-old season. He has handled Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface nicely, and Mason is careful with his schedule.

“We’ll probably work him here 10 days before the race and then send him down and let him train to get a feel of the track,” he said.

Though Cardiffbythesea suffered his first defeat, Mason was encouraged by what he saw.

“I thought he ran a real good race,” he said. “Shudacudawudya is a very experienced horse.”

Bleach Blonde’s victory last Saturday was equally impressive, albeit a bit more surprising. She won a six-furlong race by four lengths, only the second time she has run that distance in 36 starts.

She’s a stalking-type router but, not surprisingly, was last early before rallying to win the sprint.

“She was real impressive,” said Mason. “I think she was dead fit. She’d had 33 straight routes before that race.”

Bleach Blonde is also being geared up for the Cal Cup. The 6 1/2-furlong, $125,000 Distaff on the turf is her objective.

Baze, Couton in close battle

Russell Baze and Julien Couton enter the final weekend of the Golden Gate Fields summer meeting tied with 21 wins apiece.

Baze, Northern California’s perennial leader, has five mounts Friday and seven Saturday. Couton has six mounts Friday and seven Saturday. They go head-and-head four times Friday and five times Saturday.

Couton’s first mount Friday is aboard Trueno in the second race, a one-mile $4,000 claimer where This Is My Day looks like a strong favorite.

He then rides Lana Lang in the third race, a one-mile maiden claimer on the turf, for trainer Bill Delia, whom he has been teaming with quite successfully. Lana Lang finished ninth of 10 in a troubled sprint debut but does drop into the claiming ranks.

Couton and Baze face each other in the fourth and fifth races. Couton rides Curly Girls, the runner-up in both career starts under Baze in the maiden claiming sprint in the fourth while Baze opts for first-timer Lovetobehold. In the fifth, a one-mile turf claimer, Baze takes the call back on Mardi’s Tough Game, who is doubling her claiming price following a main-track victory, while Couton rides That’s Vista’s Girl, who is also stepping up but does have a win and two seconds in four starts over the local turf course.

Baze rides Format V., a recent claim by trainer Billy Morey, in a claiming sprint in the sixth race. Format V. is likely to be well-backed.

Both ride the final two races of the day. Baze is aboard Mum’s Truckee and Couton aboard Dash of Gold in a 1 1/16-mile maiden turf race in the seventh. Ringmistress looks as if she will be the one they have to beat.

Baze is aboard the dropping Easy City, who returns to the sprint game and main track in the six-furlong final race of the day with Couton aboard Big Bad Barry for leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who seems to have the training title wrapped up.

On Saturday, the two riders face off in the first three races and final two races on the card.

Baze rides Kaitlans Song, who steps up after winning his debut here on Aug. 31, while Couton rides comebacking Go Papi Go, who drops into a claimer for his first start since the July 8 Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity, in a claiming sprint in the first race.

Couton rides first-timer Magic Bert and Baze rides Redo, making his first start since Oct. 1, 2010, in a maiden claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs in the second race.

Baze rides Grand Takeover, making his turf and claiming debut in his first start in 20 months, and Couton rides Grey Moon, who finished 10th under Baze in his debut on the turf here earlier in the meet, in the third.

Couton rides My Main Man, who has hit the board in both his starts in Northern California, in the fourth, a bottom-level maiden sprint.

Baze rides Slim Pickins, a stakes-placed Emerald Downs invader, making his turf debut in a starter allowance race in the fifth.

Couton takes the call back on A Pint for Mary, in a claiming sprint after a big effort last time.

Baze rides Balladeer in a wide-open turf claimer in the seventh.

Baze rides Faster Action after the horse won his maiden last time, while Couton rides Roving Storm, who just won a starter allowance under him, in an allowance sprint in the eighth. Baze rides Janero and Couton rides Pelito, who finished second and third, respectively, under similar conditions in their last starts in a turf claimer in the ninth race.