11/23/2012 8:23PM

Golden Gate: Hudson Landing edges Control Seeker in All American

Vassar Photography
Hudson Landing wins a head bob from Control Seeker in the Grade 3 All American Stakes.

ALBANY, Calif. – Hudson Landing won a head bob from Control Seeker to capture the Grade 3, $100,000 All American Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Friday.

Hudson Landing’s nose was in front two strides from the wire and was just behind Control Seeker’s one stride later. But in the final stride, it was narrowly in front, giving the 5-year-old Maria’s Mon gelding his second graded stakes victory of the year at Golden Gate Fields. He also won the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on the turf in April.

Hudson Landing paid $9.20 to win.

The early part of the 1 1/16-mile race went as expected.

Despite stumbling a bit at the start, 11-10 favorite Gladding went immediately to the front from the rail. Control Seeker sat just off him and began to inch up on the second turn.

The early fractions were slow – 24.87 seconds, 49.87, and 1:14.56 – but picked up tempo as the race continued.

As the field turned for home, Gladding – making his first start since winning the Alamedan at Pleasanton on July 1 – was finished as Control Seeker went past him with Hudson Landing also moving strongly just outside him.

Control Seeker had a head in front and continued strongly to the finish, despite jockey Francisco Duran dropping his whip near the eighth pole, before Hudson Landing put his nose on the wire first in 1:45.31. Fast Track, last to the stretch, rallied for third, three-quarters of a length behind Control Seeker.

“It was an exciting race,” winning jockey Frank Alvarado said. “I knew we were walking the first part, but I had to ride my own race. I didn’t want to set it up for somebody else.

“I started riding my horse on the turn, and this horse does not give up. He kept digging, and we got the bob.”

Duran blamed himself for dropping the whip.

“I  never do that, and I do it in this race,” he said. “I can’t believe I did it in this race of all races. He did his best. I couldn’t ask for anything more from him.”

Although known for his success on the turf, Hudson Landing, claimed for $50,000 on Feb. 28 by Jared Chappell, now has 5 victories in 10 starts on the Tapeta main track at Golden Gate. Control Seeker is 0 for 9 on the main track, with 6 seconds.

“I  never expected to do something like this, but we’re going to just keep riding it,” winning trainer Blaine Wright said.

The victory, worth $60,000, was the 12th of Hudson Landing’s career and increased his lifetime earnings to $477,388.