Updated on 09/15/2011 1:37PM

Mt. Rainer taking the next step up


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist has one important piece of business to take care of at Golden Gate Fields on Monday before taking a Hawaiian vacation during California's eight-day racing break.

He will saddle recent maiden winner Mt. Rainer in a six-furlong $40,000 optional claimer that is the feature race on the getaway card.

The speedy Mt. Rainer has made three starts. He finished third in his debut on Sept. 16 at Bay Meadows. He was second in his next start, on Oct. 28 at Bay Meadows. On Nov. 18 here at Golden Gate, he broke from post 12 and went gate to wire. He cut out fast fractions of 21.69 seconds and 44.16 and won the six-furlong race by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:08.32.

"He ran good the other day," said Gilchrist, who has worked Mt. Rainer, a 3-year-old gelded son of Mt. Livermore, twice at five furlongs since his victory.

"Winning a maiden race in 1:08 and one is good, but everyone was running fast that day."

Gilchrist, who trained the superior sprinter Soviet Problems, knows how to handle good, fast horses. That's why he wants to see what happens with Mt. Rainer in Monday's race.

"You find out a little bit more what you've got when they step up to this level," he said.

Monday's race attracted a full field of 12 competitors, including the stakes-placed Lil Country, who finished third in the Golden State Mile here in February; Millennium Song, who was third in the Atherton Stakes last spring at Bay Meadows; and Tactical Allusion, who had a pair of second-place finish in sprint stakes at Emerald Downs as well as a third in a route stakes.

Also in the field are White Satin and Chicago Joe, both of whom were claimed from victories in their previous starts.

"That's a nice bunch of horses," Gilchrist said. "The fields have been good here because of the break we're getting."

Arriaga uninjured in spill

Jockey Jose Arriaga was not injured after being thrown from Ms. Crystle Ann, who broke down inside the sixteenth pole in Friday's second race.

Arriaga took off his next mount but rode the remainder of his mounts Friday. He was at Turf Paradise on Saturday to ride King Slayer in the $75,000 Paradise Mile.

Ms. Crystle Ann was euthanized after the accident.

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