04/23/2013 12:33PM

Golden Gate: San Francisco Mile shaping up with deep field

Vassar Photography
Hudson Landing will be back to defend his title in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile.

Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 San Francisco Mile should have a deep field, with eight runners confirmed to enter early in the week, including defending champion Hudson Landing. Last year’s third-place finisher, Gallant Son, who won the six-furlong Albany Stakes earlier in the meet, also will compete.

Locally based Hudson Landing, Gallant Son, and Control Seeker, and Grand Berry, who won Group 1 and Group 2 stakes in his native Argentina, are multiple stakes winners who have notched stakes wins on the turf.

Turf stakes winners Summer Hit and Tribal Tribute; Charlemagne Wood, who set the pace in an April 6 prep for the San Francisco Mile and looked a winner until ducking into the rail after turning for home; and Coach Bob also are confirmed starters.

Irish-bred Barney Rebel is listed as probable.

Positive Response, who split Control Seeker and Hudson Landing in the prep for this race, in which Charlemagne Wood had his problem, had been expected to run but now will not.

“He didn’t bounce back well enough [from the April 6 prep] to run in three weeks,” trainer Billy Morey said. “We’ll point to the All American on Memorial Day.”

Northern California could benefit from a Hudson Landing-Control Seeker-Gallant Son-Positive Response rivalry that seems to be brewing. All four can run on turf, Tapeta, and dirt and may become regular sparring partners this spring and during the summer fairs.

“I think we’ll have a lot of fun running these guys,” said Control Seeker’s trainer Keith Nations, who projected each of the runners could pick up a stakes victory if they continued to meet in the two Golden Gate stakes this spring and the Alamedan at Pleasanton and the Joseph Grace at Santa Rosa.

“It’s going to come down to post position,” he predicted about the San Francisco Mile.

First victory for Patterson

Bill Patterson, who has been an assistant trainer during four decades, got his first win as a trainer Friday when Big Jim won a $12,500 claimer at one mile on the turf.

Patterson was the long-time assistant to Chuck Jenda and then for his father, Dennis, who died April 4 at age 77.

The turf victory was appropriate, since Patterson was involved with Brown Bess, the 1989 Eclipse Award winner as female turf runner, when working as Jenda’s assistant.

“I’m sure my dad enjoyed seeing me win a race,” Patterson said.

Patterson is a solid horseman and loves being around horses. He said he was always content serving as an assistant.

“I started with Chuck when I was just out of college at UC-Davis,” he said.

“I was always content with Chuck, because I was working around good horses. When I joined my father, it was just being part of the family business.

“Working for my dad and Chuck, they had different training styles, but they invited your input. They wanted me to have enough confidence to make decisions on my own.”

Big Jim was Patterson’s third starter as trainer of record. His first two starters came the previous Saturday when Not to Notty and Airplane Mode finished second and third, respectively.

After the race, which gave Russell Baze his fifth victory from five mounts Friday, Patterson said, “It’s just nice to get over the hump for the family. My mom [Theresa] was really pulling for me, and it was nice to win for this owner [Joe Buccola, who owns Big Jim in partnership with Brock Buccola] because he really loved my dad.”

Baze puts together streak

After going 5 for 5 on Friday, Russell Baze won with his first mount Saturday when What’s for Dinner ($5.80) took the second race. The streak ended in the next race when Doc Can Dance finished third.

Baze tied a U.S. record for nine consecutive wins when he won with his final two mounts on Aug. 17, 2006, and then went 7 for 7 the next day.

Baze, who was blanked Thursday, won with Win It to Be In ($6.60), Picture Perfect ($4), My Coastie ($12.80), She’s All Yours ($3.40), and Big Jim ($7).

“My big concern was not breaking up Baze’s perfect game,” Patterson quipped.

Big Saturday at Golden Gate

There are plenty of events tied to Saturday’s San Francisco Mile.

Daily Racing Form ’s Brad Free will conduct a handicapping seminar at 11 a.m. at the Paddock Pub. He’ll be talking about the all-turf pick four that will have a guaranteed pool of $100,000.

A special all-access Photo Day Package is available and allows photographers to photograph morning workouts beginning at 7:30 a.m. The package also will allow for paddock access and the opportunity for behind-the-scenes photos, including being able to photograph horses as they break from the gate.

Fans who received San Francisco Mile T-shirts last Saturday will receive free clubhouse admission when wearing the shirts this Saturday.