11/15/2010 2:32PM

Morey passes 1,000 career wins


Trainer Billy Morey picked up career victory No. 999 last Wednesday with Positive Response, then later Wednesday missed No. 1,000 by a nose when favored Three Quarter Tout was upset by J.H. Commander.

Morey had only one horse entered last Thursday, and that horse, Sports Edition, came through to give Morey win No. 1,000. On Friday, he got No. 1,001 with Red Hot Charlotte.

Morey said he and the workers in his barn were excited as the milestone approached.

“It was something I was shooting for once I was in range of it,” said the 36-year-old Morey, the son of trainer Bill Morey Jr.

Morey took out his trainer’s license in 2001 after serving as an assistant to his father for eight years. He admits he learned a lot from his dad, and one of the most important experiences came when his father went to Southern California with millionaire Dixie Dot Com and left Morey to run the Northern California barn.

“That was huge, to be able to run a 40-horse barn,” Morey said. “It’s not something you can be taught from a textbook. If you run a 40-plus-horse barn, you see everything. You don’t know what you’ll see, but you’ll see ups and downs and what it takes to keep a big barn winning.”

Morey called Trapper’s victory in the California Sprint Championship at Bay Meadows in 2003 his most memorable victory because it was his first $100,000 stakes win and it came by a horse he had claimed.

Winning the 2008 Golden Gate Fields training title, which snapped Jerry Hollendorfer’s streak of 32 consecutive Golden Gate training titles, also was special.

“That was great, a lot of fun,” he said. “No one had done that in 20-some years. When you’ve been here, you realize what a big achievement that was.”

Track brings back Golden Nugget

Although the $50,000 Golden Nugget did not fill last week, Golden Gate Fields will try to bring back the six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds this Saturday.

Robert Hartman, the track general manager, said some horses that might have entered in the Golden Nugget last week needed an extra week between starts.

“With our population here, it’s amazing what a week or two difference can do,” he said.

Expected to run are Hollywood Fierce, Jerry’s Fever, and McKenzies Way. Six Votes, one of the horses that was not being considered last week, is now listed as possible, and El Gaucho also could run. He was entered in the Dennis Dodge Memorial at Portland Meadows, to be run Wednesday, and could go there instead.