Updated on 10/23/2011 8:43AM

Golden Gate Fields: Sourdough Sam provides his jockey and trainer with a special win

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William Vassar/Vassar Photography
Sourdough Sam pulls away for a 1 1/4-length victory in the $65,280 Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

ALBANY, Calif. - Sourdough Sam roared from last place catching old rival and odds-on favorite Shudacudawudya in deep stretch before pulling clear for a 1 1/4-length victory in the $65,280 Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

The victory gave jockey David Lopez his 1,000th victory in the United States and proved a happy homecoming for winning trainer Dean Pederson, who moved his stable to Southern California this spring.

Sourdough Sam was last down the backstretch of the six-furlong race for 3 year olds and up as Tribesman and Starboardlights dueled through early fractions of 22.15 and 44.89 seconds.

Shudcudawudya was in a perfect stalking position and moved out for room in the stretch and quickly took command, just as he had in a Sept. 25 prep victory.

But Sourdough Sam came flying on the outside and blew past Shudacudawudya to score his first stakes victory since winning the Gold Rush here as a 2-year-old on Dec. 12, 2009. Starboardlights held on for third. Sourdough Sam was timed in 1:09.68 and paid $20.20.

“He broke a little slow, and I knew we were far back, but I didn’t panic,” said the 30-year-old Lopez, who won nearly 500 races in his native Peru before coming to the United States.

“The trainer told me to be patient with him. I knew I was on a good horse, and, when I took him out in the clear, he did his thing.”

Jockey Francisco Duran had no excuses aboard Shudacudawudya, who beat Sourdough Sam in the Golden Nugget as a 2-year-old after losing to him in an allowance race earlier.

“I had the perfect trip,” said Duran. “He responded when I asked him and hung in there the best he could.”

Pederson enjoyed his return to Golden Gate Fields.

“It’s always good to come home for a race once in a while,” he said. “I just wanted to see him get into the clear and see the old spark in him.”

Sourdough Sam, a homebred Decarchy gelding owned by John Nicoletti, earned $39,400 for his fifth victory in nine starts, and fourth win in five starts at his old home track. His career earnings are now $168,400.