12/06/2012 2:27PM

Golden Gate: Morey has pair for Gold Rush Stakes

Vassar Photography
Zeewat wins the Cavonnier at Santa Rosa. He will try two turns for the first time in the Gold Rush Stakes.

Two years ago when Golden Gate Fields unveiled a series of races for 2- and 3-year-olds, trainer Billy Morey bought into the program, purchasing Positive Response specifically to run in the series.

This year, he’s doubling down in Saturday’s $75,000 Gold Rush at one mile, running My Best Bet and Rush In.

My Best Bet was privately purchased earlier this year. The Best of the Rest ridgling has won both of his starts at Golden Gate Fields and also finished third in the six-furlong Cavonnier at Santa Rosa and the one-mile Charlie Palmer at Fresno.

Rush In was privately purchased by several members of the Positive Response ownership group after winning a 1 1/16-mile, $30,000 maiden claimer at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11.

Positive Response won the Gold Rush and the California Derby before running third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby.

My Best Bet just won a one-mile allowance prep here, edging clear from pacesetting Londinium – who also is entered Saturday – in the stretch and turning the tables on Condiment who finished second ahead of him in the Cavonnier and Charlie Palmer.

Morey had Russell Baze push a bit early to keep My Best Bet close to Londinium last time, but there’s enough speed in this race that new rider Dennis Carr should be able just to let him settle into a comfortable spot.

Morey hopes that My Best Bet’s experience around two runs will pay off Saturday. He skipped the Golden Nugget to run in the one-mile prep for just that reason.

Two new faces are causing Morey the most concern heading into Saturday’s race.

Zeewat will be stretching out for the first time. Winner of the Cavonnier, Zeewat ran third behind stablemate Outside Nashville in the Nov. 10 Golden Nugget. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will fit the Harlan’s Holiday colt with blinkers for the first time.

Trainer Doug O’Neill sends up Royal Barrister, who won his debut in a six-furlong turf sprint Nov. 10 at Betfair Hollywood Park. Royal Barrister handled the turf well, stalking, sticking his head in front in the lane, and increasing his margin.

Royal Barrister is by multi-millionaire and Grade 1 winner Lawyer Ron. Both Lawyer Ron and the dam Queens Plaza were stakes winners at 2. Queens Plaza’s first foal, Queen Teuta, was graded stakes placed at 2.

“It looks like the race will be tough,” Morey said. “But horses beat horses.”