08/07/2011 8:27PM

Santa Rosa: Our Nautique resilient in Joseph T. Grace victory


Our Nautique ($7) scored his second straight turf stakes victory, overcoming a poor start to capture the $56,160 Joseph T. Grace Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa on Saturday.

Our Nautique got a dream trip going wire to wire to win the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields on April 30. His trip wasn’t as smooth Sunday, but the result was the same as he defeated favored Bold Chieftain by two lengths while winning the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes in 1:44.10.

Our Nautique came out at the break, bumping Rooster City and then bobbled as Lama Chant took the early lead with a rank Rooster City sitting beside him. Lama Chant led through the opening half-mile, but Our Nautique moved up inside him, finally sticking his head in front near the quarter pole before opening a three-length lead by the eighth pole.

Bold Chieftain, racing three wide most of the way, was second in the lane and cut a length off Our Nautique’s lead but never threatened him.

Our Nautique, a 6-year-old New Zealand-bred Pins gelding owned by breeder R.M. Tunnicliffe and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, earned $32,300 for his eighth victory in 26 starts to lift his career earnings to $225,640.

Our Nautique’s stablemate Whatsthescript was third, one length behind Bold Chieftain. The $6,100 he earned for third made the 7-year-old horse by Royal Applause a millionaire. He has now earned $1,000,164 with 7 wins, 3 seconds and 8 thirds in 27 starts.

Bold Chieftain’s $13,100 check boosted his lifetime earnings to $1,604,491 as he ran second in his third straight stakes.