08/05/2011 8:40AM

Santa Rosa: Bold Chieftain seeks to add Joseph T. Grace to list

Benoit & Associates
Bold Chieftain will make his first appearance at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa in Sunday's Joseph T. Grace Handicap.

Eight-year-old millionaire Bold Chieftain has been around.

He’s made 42 starts, 34 in stakes. He’s appeared at all of California’s major tracks, winning at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows, Del Mar and Santa Anita. He’s won at Pleasanton and Sacramento on the fair circuit and, on Sunday makes his first appearance at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, where he drew the outside post 8 for the $50,000-added Joseph T. Grace Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Bold Chieftain’s resume includes 17 victories, 13 in stakes, including the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile, two California Cup Classics and the Sunshine Millions Classic. Although he’s winless this year, he has run second in three of his four starts.

He’s won four times on dirt, both of his wet track starts, five times on synthetic surfaces, and six times on the turf.

“He’s versatile,” said co-owner, co-breeder and trainer Bill Morey Jr. “He can run turf, dirt, synthetic, slop. And he tries.”

He’s also been unlucky not to have added another graded stakes, losing head bobs in the Grade 3 Berkeley the past three years after sticking a nose in front in the lane.

Morey knows his old warrior well. He concedes that the Chief Seattle horse may have lost a step, but he’s still extremely competitive, as evidenced by a second to Slew the Man in the July 4 Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton.

“We don’t train him quite like we used to, but he’s still fit,” said Morey. “He’s been working pretty well since his last race.”

Bold Chieftain has had three works since then, including a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00 last Sunday, although Morey said, “We didn’t get him quite that fast” as he clocked his star from the rail.

Bold Chieftain should get an honest pace to run at in the Grace.

On the rail is Our Nautique, who scored a wire-to-wire victory in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile when Bold Chieftain ran fourth earlier this year and will use his speed to advantage. But he may find himself pressured by Lama Chant, who has won two straight, and Rooster City, who ran second sprinting in the July 10 Sam Whiting at Pleasanton.

Kevin Krigger, who rode all three, has chosen Our Nautique, who will be making his first start since running fifth in the Berkeley on May 30.

Our Nautique is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who also will send two others in the Grace: Whatsthescript and Honour the Deputy.

Turf specialist Whatsthescript used the Whiting as a comeback race following eight months on the sidelines. He can become a millionaire with a third-place finish. Honour the Deputy, making his turf debut, should settle into a stalking trip like Bold Chieftain.