07/03/2008 11:00PM

Gonzalez a frequent stepping-stone


As the first 2-year-old filly stakes of the year in Northern California, the $50,000 Juan Gonzalez Memorial has been an indicator of future success. Nine 2-year-old fillies are entered in the 5 1/2-furlong race Sunday, closing day, at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is hopeful likely favorite Broadway Hennessey will follow in the footsteps of her Grade 1-winning millionaire stablemate Hystericalady, who won the Juan Gonzalez in 2005.

The next year, $500,000 purchase Untouched Talent won the race in her debut and followed with a victory in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. She also ran second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Grade 2 Alcibiades at Keeneland as a 2-year-old. Last year, Carbella followed up her Juan Gonzalez win with a stakes victory at Santa Rosa and thirds in two Hawthorne stakes.

Broadway Hennessey was sensational in her June 14 debut at Golden Gate Fields, winning a maiden race by six lengths. A $150,000 September Keeneland yearling purchase for Rancho San Miguel, Hollendorfer, and George Todaro, Broadway Hennessey did everything right in her debut. She was second behind a fast opening quarter before easing clear on the turn and pulling away. She's followed up with a pair of workmanlike maintenance drills.

Broadway Hennessey is by Hennessey, and her dam is Eastside Westside, who was stakes-placed at 2 and the dam of the stakes winner Courageous Act.

Got Tobe Rio, who has flashed good speed in her two stakes tries at Hollywood Park, could provide Broadway Hennessey with an early target, but she faded badly in both stakes.

Trainer John Anderson, hoping to steal a page from fellow Pleasanton trainer Jeff Bonde, who conditioned Untouched Talent, will debut Congo Kay, a $45,000 September Keeneland yearling purchase. From Congaree's first crop, Congo Kaye has been working over the Pleasanton track and has a pair of five-furlong bullet works, including a 59-second drill from the gate.

Earlier on the card, the outstanding mules Bar JF Hot Ticket and Sarah Nelson make their 2008 debuts in a 400-yard stakes race that includes Smoking Joe, who is already 2 for 2 this year.

Thoroughbreds look tough in the 870-yard Jack Robinson Memorial for mixed breeds, with speedster Vaderator entered.