12/13/2012 3:05PM

Golden Gate: Gig Harbor rematched against Mason duo in Oakland Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Gig Harbor (above) defeated Shudacudawudya and Cardiffbythesea in an allowance race last month and faces them again Saturday in the Oakland Stakes.

Trainer Lloyd Mason is hoping for a change in fortune Saturday when he enters Shudacudawudya and Cardiffbythesea at Golden Gate Fields in the $50,000 Oakland Stakes at six furlongs.

The two sprinters ran second and third to Gig Harbor in a Nov. 11 allowance prep for the Oakland. They’ll be meeting Gig Harbor again Saturday.

The Mason duo’s four rivals are all stakes winners. Northern Causeway has two stakes wins, including the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby last year. Ain’t No Other, who split decisions with Shudacudawudya this summer, has two stakes wins and was disqualified from a third in the Jess Jackson at Santa Rosa in 2011. Shrug won the five-furlong Green Flash Stakes on the turf at Del Mar this summer.

Shudacudawudya, second in this race last year, has three stakes wins, including the Albany here and the Jess Jackson this year. Cardiffbythesea will be making his stakes debut.

Gig Harbor, making his second start after undergoing surgery to remove an ankle chip, earned a career-best 98 Beyer in beating the Mason duo Nov. 11. He had the advantage of an outside draw while Shudacudawudya drew the rail with Cardiffbythesea drawn in the middle of the five-horse field. Ridden by Frank Alvarado, Gig Harbor went right to the lead in the six-furlong race and defeated Shudacudawudya by 3 1/2 lengths, with Cardiffbythesea another half-length farther back.

On Saturday, Gig Harbor and Alvarado have drawn the rail, with Shudacudawudya in post 4 and Cardiffbythesea post 5.

The draw means Gig Harbor will likely be asked early with Ain’t No Other, from post 3, and Cardiffbythesea advantageously drawn outside as his pace rivals.

Gig Harbor, who is 3 for 4 in sprints at Golden Gate, got the jump in the allowance prep on the quick Cardiffbythesea, who got off slowly. That may not happen Saturday.

Mason said he didn’t want jockey Abel Cedillo pushing Cardiffbythesea early in that race. Looking back, he said that he “mismanaged the horse” in the allowance, and he got Cardiffbythesea back on track Dec. 1 with a front-running score in a $40,000 claiming sprint.

Shudacudawudya ran his usual race against Gig Harbor in the allowance prep, but made no impact late.

Mason said a hot pace in the Oakland would benefit Shudacudwudya’s late kick.

“He worked a nice five-eighths last week and he’s doing very good, really,” Mason said.