05/12/2012 8:40PM

Golden Gate Fields: Stoney Fleece noses out Chips All In in Alcatraz


ALBANY, Calif. – While the photo finish sign flashed, Chips All In’s rider Aaron Gryder told Stoney Fleece’s rider Kevin Krigger after the $75,000 Alcatraz Stakes that he would be posing for pictures after the race.

He was right as Stoney Fleece put his nose on the wire, beating the pacesetting favorite in the final stride of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

“Aaron knew I nailed him, but I thought it was iffy,” said Krigger. “I’m glad he knew because it made me feel a lot better galloping back.”

Gryder said, “Kevin thought I had [held on], but I told him I didn’t.”

The two Southern California invaders ran one-two the whole way with Stoney Fleece ($6.60), who won the Grade 3 Generous on the turf as a 2-year-old, barely edging Chips All In, who had won two straight turf stakes, defeating Stoney Fleece both times.

Stoney Fleece sat just outside pacesetting Odds All In through honest fractions, but Chips All In pulled clear in the stretch with a quick burst coming off the turn to open a two-length lead at the eighth pole.

“I knew Aaron had a lot of horse because we were both going pretty easy,” said Krigger. “He was kind of hard to reel in at the end, but I’ll take the nostril. I never lost confidence in my horse. I knew to just keep riding because I knew he was going to keep trying to the wire.”

Gryder said he was pleased with Chips All In’s effort.

“He battled back fine,” Gryder said.

Stoney Fleece, a Cal-bred Decarchy colt who was a $1,200 bargain purchase, earned $45,000 for owners Gary and Cecil Barber. Trained by John Sadler, Stoney Fleece scored his fifth victory in 12 starts and increased his career earnings to $291,860.