04/21/2011 12:29PM

Golden Gate: Work the Crowd filled with class


Three multiple stakes winners give Saturday’s $50,000 Work the Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields a real touch of class. Antares World, U R All That I Am and Strawberry Tart make the one-mile turf stakes for California-bred fillies and mares a very interesting race.

But the remainder of the cast should not be overlooked either, with the stakes-placed pair of Ruffled Feathers and Point of Reference as well as Ms. G.I. Jane entered.

Antares World won last year’s California Oaks and later the Golden Poppy on the turf here. She later ran second in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park and the Grade 3 H.C. Ramser. U R All That I Am scored back-to-back wins in the $147,000 B. Thoughtful and then the Fran’s Valentine on the turf before adding the E.B. Johnson. The 5-year-old Strawberry Tart has raced just twice since her 3-year-old season when she won the Manhattan Beach and Flawlessly on the turf and lost a photo in the Grade 2 San Clemente.

Ruffled Feathers finished a half-length behind U R All That I Am in last year’s B. Thoughtful, while Point of Reference ran third in last fall’s Life Is Sweet. Ms. G.I. Jane, who ran fourth in last year’s Luther Burbank at Santa Rosa and the Cal Cup Distaff, could be ready to earn black type in this spot.

Trainer Andy Mathis has been pointing to the Work the Crowd for Ms. G.I. Jane ever since the Golden Gate Fields stakes schedule was announced last winter. He gave her a freshener after her Cal Cup try and brought her back March 19 in the Irish O’Brien, a 6 1/2-furlong test down the Santa Anita hillside turf course where she finished seventh, beating only Strawberry Tart, who was making her first start in 10 months.

“I thought it would be a good race to get her back in the swing,” said Mathis. “I expected her to run a lot better.”

Santa Anita’s downhill course is tricky so Mathis is willing to ignore the result.

“Maybe coming back and running a route at Golden Gate Fields will help,” Mathis said. “She ran really well in allowance races here. She’s always been right there in her stakes tries. That’s why I surprised last time.”

Mathis expects his 5-year-old mare to get a good stalking position under Aaron Gryder on Saturday.

Antares World is capable of getting the lead if she wants. U R All That I Am might also try for the lead with her rail draw.

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