12/12/2009 12:00AM

Sourdough Sam glitters in Gold Rush


Sourdough Sam ($4), second in his stakes debut while suffering the first loss of his career in his previous start, handled his first try around two turns, edging clear of stakes winner Our Minesweeper in the lane to win Saturday's $61,400 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

Sourdough Sam, who usually has to make a big late move when sprinting, had a perfect stalking position in the one-mile Gold Rush, sitting third early behind pacesetting Swiss Memo. He made a strong four-wide move on the second turn as he and Our Minesweeper closed ground on the leader.

"We were just where we wanted to be," jockey Inoel Beato said.

By the quarter pole, Our Minesweeper had his head in front, but Sourdough Sam had the momentum and took the lead, continuing on under pressure to win by a length in 1:39.39.

"When I asked him, he got the job done," Beato said. "He was impressive."

Trainer Dean Pederson said the California Derby here Jan. 16 will likely be Sourdough Sam's next start.

The John Nicoletti homebred by Decarchy has 3 wins and a second in 4 starts. His $39,000 payday lifted his career earnings to $95,000.

Swiss Memo held third, a length behind Our Minesweeper.

Privalaged, the second choice in the race and expected pacesetter, reared at the break, getting off well behind the field.