09/27/2009 11:00PM

Morey eyes Bold Chieftain repeat


Six Northern California trainers will participate in Saturday's California Cup at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

The Bill Morey-trained Bold Chieftain will be trying to become a millionaire and win the $200,000 Cal Cup Classic for the second time. The 6-year-old has earned $963,411 with 12 wins from 30 starts, including the 2007 Classic. Last year he ran second in the Cal Cup Mile.

"All systems are go," said Morey after Bold Chieftain's 59-second-flat five-furlong work Sunday morning at Golden Gate Fields. "Russell Baze was on him, and he worked really well."

Bold Chieftain scored his first victory in seven starts this year when he won the Governor's Handicap at the State Fair in Sacramento on Sept. 7.

Morey considered running in the Mile on the turf, but is a bit concerned about possibly drawing a bad post.

"He's lost a step, and Russell and I agree if he got a bad post, he could be in trouble," Morey said.

In the past, Morey has considered the Classic's 1 1/8-mile distance a bit of a stretch for his star, but said, "He won at the distance at Sacramento. While he's lost a step, he seems to have more stay to him, so this is a logical spot."

Lady Railrider, trained by Steve Specht and second in the Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita in January, will run in the Matron. Jeff Bonde will enter Strawberry Tart, who has never run in Northern California but has stakes wins in the Manhattan Beach and the Flawlessly this year. Jerry Hollendorfer could be there with You Lift Me Up, runner-up in both the Work the Crowd and Yerba Buena this spring at Golden Gate Fields, but he might instead run her in the Distance Handicap.

Hollendorfer will run Take a Peak, who won her debut at Santa Rosa and then was third in the Bustles and Bows at Fairplex, in the Juvenile Fillies. Morey is planning to start the maiden Moon Quist Rose in the Juvenile Fillies for owner-breeder Barbara Walter.

Bamaha Breeze, runner-up in the Sam Whiting at Pleasanton and State Fair Sprint at Sacramento and winner of the El Segundo on the turf at Hollywood Park, will run in the Sprint for trainer Steve Miyadi.

The Ed Moger Jr.-trained Bert's Law, who has run exclusively in Southern California since February, will run in the Mile.

A season of comebacks

The fair circuit has seen its share of comebacks this summer, starting with Military Mandate's successful return at Stockton after nearly six years on the sidelines.

Military Mandate, third in a Saturday race, has two wins, a second, and a third in 5 starts for owner-trainer Dean Pederson this summer.

On Thursday, 9-year-old gelding I B Bad made his first start since June 25, 2008, and pulled off an $84.20 upset, edging favored Saipan by a head in a five-furlong race for trainer Ricardo Perez. Perez owns I B Bad in partnership with the old-timer's breeder, Bill Hedrick.

"We got lucky," said Perez. "He's an old class horse, and he showed his class. We had him ready for the short distance."

Hedrick had I B Bad on his farm and decided to give him a chance to run again. He asked Perez if he'd like to become a partner in the gelding and Perez agreed.

"We didn't know what would happen," said Perez. "I said if he did good, we'd run him, but if there was any problem, he would be retired.

"You have to be very careful with an older horse. Sometimes they want to go too hard and get hurt before they can race."

I B Bad trained well enough to get his chance in a $4,000 claimer, but three jockeys who had worked him already had calls in the race. Chris Russell told Perez he had ridden the gelding two years ago at Fairplex, when Hedrick re-claimed him, and got the call.

"Some jockeys are kinda careful when they get on a horse like this, but he let him run," said Perez.

Since Hedrick's farm is near Fresno, Perez is looking at races at the Big Fresno Fair for I B Bad.

"I already have a few horses for [Hedrick] that we're going to run in Fresno so we'll see," said Perez.

Five-day closing week

The final week of California Authority of Racing Fairs action at Golden Gate Fields returns to the traditional five-day schedule with a 12:45 p.m. post on Wednesday. Friday's first post will be 1:45 p.m.

Racing will return to Golden Gate following the two-week Big Fresno Fair meet that wraps up the fair season.

Race cards will not change dramatically in the final week of fair racing at Golden Gate. Although there are no turf races scheduled Wednesday, there are two each on Thursday and Friday, and the course will be in full use over the weekend before the two-week respite heading into Northern California's final meet of the year.