11/12/2016 7:36PM

Poor start can't deter Right Hand Man in Golden Nugget

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Shane Miceli/Vassar Photography
Right Hand Man, ridden by Juan Hernandez, wins the Golden Nugget for 2-year-olds by three lengths.

Right Hand Man overcame a poor start to score an impressive victory in Saturday’s $50,250 Golden Nugget at Golden Gate Fields.

“He was the only one not moving, and then just as they opened the gate, he stepped back,” said trainer Jeff Bonde.

Despite the fact his mount got off a bit awkwardly, jockey Juan Hernandez didn’t panic and let Right Hand Man ($4.60) move up on his own. He was second 1 1/2 lengths behind Riser through a 22.34-second opening quarter-mile and was one-half length behind after a 45.18 half-mile. As the leaders turned for home, Right Hand Man easily pulled past Riser to take the lead as Silver Assault tried in vain to make up any ground.

Right Hand Man won the six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds by three lengths in 1:09.84. Silver Assault was second, one-half length in front of Aqua Frio.

Bonde was pleased with the way Right Hand Man, a $120,000 Barretts yearling purchase, overcame his early problems.

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“That gives you more options,” he said. “You don’t necessarily have to be on the lead.”

Bonde said it was too early to consider Right Hand Man’s next start but said the $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes at one mile at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 3 was “possible.”

Right Hand Man, a son of Street Boss, earned $30,250 for his second stakes victory. He also won the Cavonnier at Santa Rosa and was second in the Speakeasy at Santa Anita in his previous start. His career earnings for Blinkers On Racing Stable, Bennett, Bonde, Busche, Georgetti, Harris et al stand at $111,055.