09/28/2010 12:30PM

King Cola, Bluegrass Reward audition for stakes

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Antares World will make her next start in the Grade 3 Harold Ramser at Hollywood Park.

Golden Gate Fields is getting an early start on its plans to highlight 2-year-olds at its upcoming fall meet, with five juvenile races on Friday.

The short Golden Gate summer meeting ends Sunday, with the Big Fresno Fair opening next Wednesday and running for two weeks before racing returns to Golden Gate Fields for the remainder of the year.

The Golden Gate fall stakes schedule includes six-furlong races for 2-year-olds and for 2-year-old fillies as well as one-mile races in each category. The races lead up to the California Oaks on New Year’s Day and Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 12. Both of those races are part of an MI Developments bonus series, one tied to the Preakness and another to the Black-Eyed Susan.

On Friday, Golden Gate Fields has carded an allowance sprint, three starter allowance races, and a high-priced maiden claimer, all for 2-year-olds.

The allowance sprint, which features four last-out winners, is not the best race on the card. Rather, it’s a one-mile starter allowance on turf (race 7) that brings out King Cola and Bluegrass Reward, who finished within three-quarters of a length of each other when third and fourth behind Acaffella in the Sept. 11 Angel Island.

King Cola won his debut for a $32,000 tag, making him eligible for starter allowance company. Since then, he has run second in the Lost in the Fog here, second in the Cavonnier at Santa Rosa, and third in the Angel Island in his first try around two turns.

King Cola’s trainer, Dennis Patterson, tried to enter the colt in a starter allowance before the Angel Island, but the race didn’t fill. So he ran King Cola in the stakes, and now is happy to get the chance to run the colt on the turf.

“That’s important,” he said. “We know he can get a mile. We know that part of it. But we want to give him a chance on turf. His dam was by Theatrical.”

Coker, King Cola’s dam, went 1 for 2 in her brief racing career, with both starts on the turf. King Cola’s sire, Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid, is a good turf sire even though he never ran on grass.

Patterson said that King Cola came out of the Angel Island in good shape and has worked nicely since.

“He’s a horse with a high energy level,” said Patterson.

Patterson said that he’s looking forward to running King Cola in the one-mile Gold Rush at the fall meet.

Bluegrass Reward, a California-bred Good Reward gelding, won a maiden race at a mile. Trainer Steve Miyadi is considering running Bluegrass Reward in the California Cup Juvenile next month at Hollywood Park if the gelding turns in a good effort Friday.

“That would be a dream scenario,” he said.

Miyadi said he thinks Bluegrass Reward will take to the grass on Friday, saying, “He acts like a turf horse.”

Bluegrass Reward’s sire, Good Reward, was a Grade 1 winner on the turf and earning $766,000 on the surface.

Also entered in the field of eight for the starter allowance is Distant Rainbow, who graduated on the turf and is the only runner in the race with grass experience.

The six-furlong allowance race for fillies (race 1) includes a Jerry Hollendorfer-trained non-coupled entry of Alec’s Moon and Elvies Lane, with each coming off a maiden win. Also in the field are Game to Run and Entrustment, who each also just won a maiden race, and Tiz Blushing, who has run in a pair of stakes since her maiden victory.

The other starter allowance races are both at six furlongs. Comma to the Top, who showed speed in both the Grade 2 Best Pal and Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, is running in the open race, race 3. The speedball Here I Am Send Me, a wire-to-wire maiden winner at Sacramento who met colts in a $100,000 race at Arlington Park in her second start, runs in the filly race, race 5.

Perfect prep for Specht duo

The Steve Specht-trained entry of Antares World and Lady Railrider ran one-two in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance race last Thursday, setting both up for October stakes at Hollywood Park.

The 3-year-old Antares World, who defeated her older entrymate, will run in the Grade 3 Harold Ramser on the turf against 3-year-old fillies, while Lady Railrider will try to defend her title in the California Cup Matron.

It was Antares World’s first start against older, and she aced the test. She had pacesetting Dianne Do measured and was already going by her when that one ducked into the fence.

Specht said he expects Lady Railrider to run better next time.

“I was happy with the race, and the way both ran,” said Specht. “Lady Railrider had missed some training because she bruised her feet in her comeback at Santa Rosa, so she’d just jogged. Considering that, Lady Railrider ran a really good race. If her feet stay sound, I think she’ll be tough to beat in Cal Cup, but her feet have always been a thorn in her side.”