12/22/2008 12:00AM

Merus Miami rolls by Gold Rush field


Merus Miami ($15.60) remained undefeated, rallying from last to capture the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Merus Miami settled into a nice stalking position early before dropping back to last down the backstretch in the one-mile race for 2-year-olds. When jockey Alex Bisono asked the son of Friends Lake to move up on the second turn, he was forced five wide. But he was clear and had momentum, rolling past favored Cut the Check and Adriatic Moon, who had taken the lead at the eighth pole.

Merus Miami beat Adriatic Moon by one length in 1:38.48 with Cut the Check another length back in third. Morning-line favorite Backbackbackgone was scratched. Trainer Peter Miller said Backbackbackgone would run next weekend, either in the 6 1/2-furlong Lost in the Fog at Turf Paradise or the Eddie Logan at one mile on the turf at Santa Anita in preparation for the Sunshine Millions Dash on Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park.

Bisono, who rode Merus Miami to a half-length victory in his Nov. 2 debut, said, "I've been working him and the way he's been training I knew he was going to pick it right up when I asked him. Every time I've worked him, I've been more impressed with him. I knew he'd route well."

Merus Miami earned $45,000 for West Point Thoroughbreds. The $100,000 yearling purchase has career earnings of $62,400.

Trainer O.J. Jauregui said the colt's next start would be in the $100,000 California Derby on Jan. 17 here.