11/17/2007 12:00AM

McCann's Mojave takes All American

EmailALBANY, Calif. – Though he was sitting in third aboard McCann's Mojave, three lengths behind pacesetting Buzzards Bay's slow fractions, jockey Frank Alvarado was confident he was riding the winner in the Grade 3, $150,000 All American Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

"At the half-mile pole, he just grabbed the bit. I had so much horse. It was just like Florida,” said Alvarado, referring to his win aboard McCann's Mojave in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream in January.

McCann’s Mojave rallied three wide to take the lead in the stretch of the All American. He was headed momentarily by Putmeinyourwill but was edging clear late to win the 1 1/8-mile race by a neck. Fast-finishing Hello Sunday was third, another length back, after steadying sharply when bumped early. The winning time was 1:50.04 and McCann's Mojave paid $13.80 to win.

Trainer Steve Specht told Alvarado not to really push McCann's Mojave early.

"I told him, 'leave him alone.' I said he could use him so he wouldn't get stuck wide [from post 9]," Specht said.

Although Buzzards Bay was setting easy fractions of 24.50 and 48.43 just ahead of Wanna Runner, Specht was not concerned.

"This horse has a good turn of foot," he said. "He was a sprinter most of his career. That type of horse, when you ask, can move up quick. If they’re going slow, and you're close enough, it's all right.”

Specht's only concern before the race was the fog that rolled in prior to the race. McCann's Mojave bled badly in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap on June 2 under those conditions.

"I was hoping the fog would blow out," he said.

Both Buzzards Bay and Wanna Runner faded with Wanna Runner's rider Carlos Gonzalez filing an objection against the winner that was disallowed.

Roberto Gonzalez, on Putmeinyourwill, "felt good" when he came up on McCann’s Mojave, but said, "Once McCann's Mojave saw us, he pinned his ears, came back on and was pulling away from us. The farther we went, the more he was going to win by."

Joe Talamo said Hello Sunday ran a winning race.

"We got nailed at the start, and that put us in last. In the stretch, I was trapped behind some dead horses. He ran a winning race. He just got an awful trip."

McCann's Mojave earned $90,000 while winning for the 11th time in 29 starts. His bankroll now stands at $1,346,555. He is owned by Mike Willman, who sent the 7-year-old horse to Specht last November, hoping easier competition in Northern California would revive him.