12/05/2015 7:05PM

Mana Strike goes last to first to win Gold Rush


Mana Strike ($22.20), an easy winner in his debut here before running sixth behind the undefeated Smokey Image in his stakes debut, rallied from last to score an impressive 2 1/4-length victory Saturday in the $75,105 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

Mana Strike was last as maiden Mad Bum set the pace for six furlongs in the one-mile race for 2-year-olds. He began to move up while three wide on the second turn.

As the field left the quarter pole turning for home, jockey Pedro Terrero swung Mana Strike into the clear as Algenon opened a two-length lead at the eighth pole. Mana Strike had all the momentum as he quickly collared the leader and pulled clear to win in 1:38.36.

Algenon, who never has finished off the board and had placed in his three previous stakes attempts, was an easy second as the field paraded home.

Marqula, the longest shot on the board, took third with the odds-on favorite Allaboutaction fourth another 2 1/2 lengths back.

“I had been working him in the morning and knew he was a nice horse,” said Terrero, who was content to sit behind the speed and “save him for the last part.”

Winning trainer Frank Lucarelli was pleased with the race.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I think he’s got an excellent future. He wants to go long, and he’s bred for it.”

He said Mana Strike had tried to run off early in his loss Oct. 30 in the $200,000 Golden Gate Juvenile at Del Mar but was settled down Saturday.

“It’s easy for a 2-year-old to get worked up, and I was glad to see some of them excited in the paddock today,” said Lucarelli.

One of those who was excited was Allaboutaction, an impressive nine-length winner in his debut. He was rank early.

“They couldn’t put a tongue tie on in the paddock,” said jockey Russell Baze, who hoped to ease back early but couldn’t get the favorite to relax. “Every time I’d try to take over, he’d throw his head back, so I just let him run for a little bit. On the backside, he relaxed enough where I could get him in the clear, but he used too much energy on the first turn.”

A $32,000 Washington sale yearling purchase, Mana Strike earned $45,000 for owner David P. Taylor Jr. to lift his career earnings to $64,600.

Lucarelli said the Papa Clem gelding, who is 2 for 2 at Golden Gate Fields, would likely be pointed to the California Derby (Jan. 16) and Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby (Feb. 13) here.