05/29/2009 12:00AM

Local hero vs. classy shipper at Golden Gate

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Benoit Photo
Spring House won the San Luis Obispo (above) and was second in the San Juan Capistrano during the Santa Anita meeting.

Trainer Julio Canani has a genuine marathoner. Trainer Frank Lucarelli has a horse who loves the Golden Gate Fields turf course. They will meet in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf at 1 3/8 miles.

Lucarelli sends out Yacht Spotter, who last month lost the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile in the final stride after setting the pace. Canani sends out Spring House, who won the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo at 1 1/2 miles and finished second in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano at 1 3/4 miles during the Santa Anita meeting.

Between the San Luis Obispo and the San Juan Capistrano, Spring House finished fifth in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey at 1 1/2 miles, a race that was paceless and worked against Spring House's late-running style.

Canani said Spring House has been working well since the April 19 San Juan Capistrano.

"He's doing very good and came out of that race super," said Canani. "In his last work, he did everything on his own."

Yacht Spotter has run eight times over the Golden Gate Fields turf, and he has 5 wins and 3 seconds. He has a knack on this course of proving himself much better than what he looks on paper, with his narrow loss in the San Francisco Mile the latest example.

"He loves this course," Lucarelli said. "I'd rather try 1 3/8 miles here than ship him and run a mile somewhere else."

Yacht Spotter's chances in the Golden Gate Fields Turf hinge on being able to set a moderate pace.

"The main thing is if he's relaxed," Lucarelli said.

He is concerned Saturday rivals Shem or Porfido might apply early pressure to Yacht Spotter, who is a son of Slewledo.

"If they go with me, they might as well pack their bags," said Lucarelli. "If you're classy enough and meeting weaker, you can get away with stretching out like this, but we're not meeting weaker. Most Slewledos seem to be a mile, 1 1/16 miles max, so I don't know if he'll make the distance, even with an easy lead."

Among the other contenders in the race are Ordination, who just won here at the distance in a first-level allowance race; Sir Dave, stakes-placed at this distance; and Obrigado, third behind Spring House in the San Juan Capistrano.