11/11/2009 1:00AM

Northern California ties to the Cup


Several Breeders' Cup participants had connections to Northern California, including John Shirreffs, who saddled Zenyatta to victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic, and, of course, Jerry Hollendorfer, who saddled Blind Luck to finish third in the Juvenile Fillies.

Shirreffs, 64, who also won the Ladies' Classic with Life Is Sweet, has roots in Northern California from his days of training for Henry Freitas of Loma Rica Ranch in the late 70s. Shirreffs's first stakes victory came with Jade Ring in the John Peri Stakes at Stockton in 1980.

Hollendorfer was disappointed by Blind Luck's third-place finish as the favorite in the Juvenile Fillies.

"It was a great opportunity, and we didn't get it done," Hollendorfer said. "I mean I . . . I didn't get it done."

Hollendorfer trainee Chocolate Candy, who won the California Derby and El Camino Real Derby here earlier this year, ran eighth in Saturday's Dirt Mile under jockey Joel Rosario, Northern California's leading apprentice in 2007.

Hollendorfer got a win at Santa Anita in Friday's Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap with Tuscan Evening.

Rosario, whose agent, Vic Stauffer, was the track announcer at Santa Rosa for many years, got his first Breeders' Cup win earlier Saturday when he won a four-way photo aboard Dancing in Silks in the Sprint.

Rosario won the Hollywood Park and Del Mar riding titles this summer.

Dancing in Silks's trainer, Carla Gaines, got her start in Northern California as an assistant to Mike Harte and later Mark Couto. Her first winner, Glory Quest, came at Solano.

Brian Koriner, who trained in Northern California in the late 1990s and early this decade, won the Turf Sprint with California Flag. Koriner was best known locally for developing $32,000 claimer Hoovergetthekeys into a Triple Crown candidate in 2001. Before an injury caused Hoovergetthekeys to drop off the Triple Crown trail, he won the Golden Gate Derby and El Camino Real Derby.

Martin Garcia, who tied Russell Baze for leading rider at the 2005-06 Bay Meadows holiday meet and then beat him at the 2006 spring Golden Gate Fields meet, finished last aboard Champagne d'Oro in the Juvenile Fillies.

* Glen Ellen Vocational Academy's annual Stallion Season Fundraiser begins Nov. 29, with bids taken until Dec. 7. New stallions this year include Marino Marini and Western Fame. The stallion auction is the primary fundraiser for Glen Ellen, Northern California's only nonprofit Thoroughbred retirement facility. To bid online and see the available stallions, go to www.glenellenfarms.com/geva.

* Golden Gate Fields is offering free wall clocks to fans attending the races Saturday. In addition, fans donating canned food at a holiday food drive on Saturday, Nov. 21, will received two clubhouse passes for each item donated, with a maximum of 10 passes per person.