06/11/2013 1:22PM

Golden Gate notes: California-breds Surfcup, Ourwestcoastghost flaunt talent

William G. Vassar
Surfcup keeps his record on grass perfect by winning the Silky Sullivan on Sunday.

Two California-bred standouts highlighted last weekend’s Golden Gate Fields racing.

Not surprisingly, Surfcup shined in an odds-on victory in the Silky Sullivan on turf Sunday.

The Bob Baffert-trained son of Unusual Heat scored his second straight Cal-bred stakes victory, having won the Snow Chief at Betfair Hollywood Park in April. He has four wins and a third in seven career starts and is 3 for 3 on the grass.

Surfcup took command early in the one-mile Silky Sullivan and set easy fractions, although Heat Streaker sat just a head behind him. Russell Baze, who got the mount when Rafael Bejarano did not come north to ride, said he was impressed with the way Surfcup relaxed and finished.

“If Bejarano doesn’t want to ride this horse next time, I can make myself available,” he said.

On Saturday, the California-bred Ourwestcoastghost won his second straight start after returning from a year’s layoff. He earned a 92 Beyer in his 1 1/4-length comeback win in an allowance race. Saturday at the same condition, he won by 2 1/4 lengths while earning an 87 Beyer. Both races were at six furlongs.

Trainer D. Wayne Baker, who along with Ron and Lillian Lang owns and bred the Muqtarib gelding, said the $75,000 Casual Lies at Pleasanton and perhaps the Jess Jackson at Santa Rosa are next for Ourwestcoastghost.

Ourwestcoastghost won his debut on Dec. 17, 2011 in a sprint, then sandwiched a pair of seconds around a third in one-mile races before going to the sidelines in April 2012.

“We couldn’t find anything wrong, but he just didn’t look to move the same to me,” Baker said. “Jockeys said he was okay, but we decided to give him a few months off, and then it became four and then more.”

Ourwestcoastghost hasn’t missed a beat since returning.

Baker said that he and the Langs bought Ourwestcoastghost’s dam, Xpress Xcess, as a foal. She has a 4-month-old McCann’s Mojave colt that has their hopes rising.

◗ Jockey Julien Couton will miss the final day of the Golden Gate Fields meet on Sunday and first six days of the Pleasanton meet after being suspended for his ride aboard Art Official, who was disqualified from third and placed seventh in Saturday’s fourth race. Couton was cited by the stewards for “failure to make a proper effort to maintain a straight course and causing interference in the stretch.”

◗ Saturday’s $50,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes for 2-year-olds is likely to have a big field, including a number of maidens. Frisco Fog, who won the first 2-year-old race of the year at Golden Gate, will run in the race.

◗ A memorial for former trainer Skip Retherford will be held Monday at 6091 Skyfarm Drive in Castro Valley. Retherford, 82, trained stakes winners Les Aspres (1981 Seabiscuit at Bay Meadows), Lulugal (1981 Vallejo at Golden Gate Fields), and Cari’s Story (1984 Bay Meadows Oaks). He also operated Oak Knoll Farm.

◗ Sunday is Jockey Appreciation Day at Golden Gate. Fans will be allowed to take photos with their favorite riders and get autographed pictures.

Ann Ferland More than 1 year ago
The Silky Sullivan used to be a St. Patrick Day feature - why was it switched from its traditional date? Silky stood in No. Cal. and on his special day, he was paraded at the track, with Kelly green pompoms in his mane and tail and similarly-colored legwraps.
Dick More than 1 year ago
R.I.P. Skip:(