11/22/2009 12:00AM

Shudacudawudya overcomes trouble

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ALBANY, Calif. - Despite clipping heels and stumbling midway around the turn, Shudacudawudya rallied to win the $62,900 Golden Nugget Stakes on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

A 2-year-old son of Marino Marini owned and bred by Bret Mason, Shudacudawudya held off favored Sourdough Sam, whose closing rush fell three-quarters of a length short in the six-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds. Sourdough Sam edged Shudacudawudya by a similar margin in their previous start.

Pacesetter Tiny Woods was third another 1 lengths back. Shudcudawudya won in 1:09.46 and paid $21.40.

Shudacudawudya had been a pace factor in his four previous starts but found himself back in the pack early in the Golden Nugget. As he began to move on the turn he was cut off by Our Minesweeper, who was trying to shift outside for a clear run at pacesetting Tiny Woods. Shudacudawudya clipped heels and stumbled but quickly regained his footing and momentum under Francisco Duran. He angled out for room into the stretch, getting first run and pulling clear with ease.

But he still had to hold off Sourdough Sam, who checked leaving the half-mile pole and then had to angle out through traffic in the stretch.

"He's a nice colt," Duran said of Shudacudawudya. "He does whatever you ask him, and today he overcame a lot. When he clipped heels, he picked himself up and then waited for us to find a hole. It was eventful but everything worked out."

Sourdough Sam's rider Inoel Beato offered no excuses.

"He got himself into a couple of problem spots, but it didn't cost us the win," Beato said. "The other horse was too much today."

Shudacudawudya now has three wins and two seconds in five starts. He earned $39,000 to lift his career earnings to $71,180.