05/10/2009 11:00PM

High Resolve forced to take detour


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist was a happy camper last week. He had entered his talented sprinter High Resolve in the $75,000 Raise Your Skirts Stakes for Saturday, and the timing was perfect as prep for the Grade 1, $350,000 Princess Rooney at the Summit of Speed at Calder on July 11.

Although High Resolve is based at Golden Gate, she had never run there. She still hasn't.

High Resolve was the only entrant in the Raise Your Skirts, and the race was canceled.

There were 11 runners nominated to the race, but only one other, Princess Susan M, was based in Northern California. Judy Patootie and Elletelle were expected to come up from Southern California, but they were apparently scared off by High Resolve.

Five of the Raise Your Skirts nominees wound up running instead in a Hollywood allowance sprint last Thursday, including the top four finishers, Coco Belle, She's Cheeky, Ashley's Kitty and Foxy Danseur.

Golden Gate racing secretary Sean Greely said that the filly and mare sprint category is very light in Northern California and that he needed help from Southern California to fill the race. He said he could understand why Southern California-based runners didn't want to pay entry fees and ship north to run into a filly that would likely be odds-on.

Gilchrist, however, saw the cancellation of the stakes as another indicator of a decline in the number of races for the region's better horses.

"You can't run off all your good horses," he said.

Several Northern California trainers now also keep a string of horses in Southern California, among them Jerry Hollendorfer, Art Sherman, and Brian Koriner.

Gilchrist now has to go to Plan B with High Resolve and find a way to get her to the Princess Rooney.

"This was the perfect race for her," he said. "It would have been nice to walk her over to the track 100 yards from her barn to run her for the first time."

High Resolve worked five furlongs in a brisk 59.80 on Sunday, the second best of 62 workers on the day.

Among her options next out are a pair of $100,000 six-furlong sprints on May 25 - the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs or the Valid Expectations at Lone Star Park. Gilchrist is also thinking about the $50,000 Washington State Legislators at Emerald Downs on June 7, but that race, won last year by the Gilchrist-trained Victorina, has a purse of only $50,000 and is run at 6 1/2 furlongs.

"Six furlongs is right for her," Gilchrist said. "If she has to go farther, she's not as comfortable."

* Jockey Roberto Gonzalez, who suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck and broken left ankle in a spill two weeks ago, said that doctors are predicting a full recovery for him.

* Golden Gate's first Sunday Spring Concert attracted 6,210 fans on Mother's Day. No one hit the pick six and there will be a $16,913 carryover heading into Wednesday.

* Leading jockey Russell Baze added three more winners Sunday and seems well on his way to another 400-win season with 160 victories in 2009. He also had riding doubles on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

* Leading trainer Hollendorfer saddled a pair of winners on Saturday and Sunday.

* Golden Gate Fields will open its gates at 8:30 Saturday morning, Preakness Day, and will be taking races from Pimlico, beginning with the fourth race, which goes off at 8:48 a.m.