04/09/2013 12:55PM

Golden Gate kicks off 2-year-old racing season


It’s the best of times for Thoroughbred racing, with Derby fever burning high.

At Golden Gate Fields, the road to 3-year-old glory begins Thursday with the first 2-year-old race of the year, which attracted six fillies competing in a two-furlong race.

Three of the runners, including the two likely favorites, will be the first runner for their sires – millionaires Idiot Proof (Frisco Fog) and In Summation (Yes), and the unraced Brave Cat (La Tonga).

Few classic runners began with a two-furlong race, but some trainers prefer running their juveniles down a straight rather than around a turn for their first start. In California, 2-year-olds are not allowed to race until they have been deemed physically mature enough and they have celebrated their actual second birthday.

Trainer Jeff Bonde took La Tonga to Santa Anita to prepare, but brought her back to Golden Gate when Santa Anita decided not to run two-furlong races this year.

“It’s an opportunity for a horse that’s quick,” he said of two-furlong races.

Trainer O.J. Jauregui said he wasn’t trying to bring memories of champion sprinter Lost in the Fog by naming his January Barretts purchase Frisco Fog.

“We wanted something with a Bay Area name,” he said.

“She’s got some gas,” Jauregui added. “The Kentucky Oaks is not what we bought her for. We’re happy with what we got.”

Jauregui said that the filly looks like her sire, Idiot Proof, who was a Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up.

Trainer Rene Amescua said that Yes will be his first starter ever in a two-furlong race.

“I don’t think it’s too hard on them, and it gives the racing office one more category to work with,” he said.