11/02/2009 12:00AM

Sourdough Sam a juvenile to watch


The Golden Gate trainer Dean Pederson says the term star "may be a little strong," but he thinks the undefeated 2-year-old Sourdough Sam does have potential.

A John Nicoletti homebred by Decarchy, Sourdough Sam is 2 for 2 after winning an allowance race Saturday at Golden Gate by three-quarters of a length. He rallied from last to catch Shudacudawudya, who had two wins and a second in three starts.

"The horse that ran second did everything right except win," Pederson said. "He just got caught by a horse that seems to have a lot of potential."

Pederson loves Sourdough Sam's laid-back mindset.

"He's just an old country boy," Pederson said. "What he does in the afternoon is what he does in the morning. Kiki Arriaga, my exercise rider, teaches them to relax early. This is a horse you can gallop with two fingers in the morning."

Pederson said he is "conservative to a fault by nature" and would likely look at the six-furlong Golden Nugget here on Nov. 21 and the Dec. 12 Gold Rush at a mile for Sourdough Sam's next starts.

But there are options at Hollywood Park, with the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue at seven furlongs on Nov. 21, the Grade 3 Generous on the turf, and even the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 19.

New claiming condition

Golden Gate Fields is offering a new race condition for bottom-level $4,000 claimers - nonwinners of four races lifetime.

The hope is the category will allow lower-level horses to remain competitive for another race before having to face non-conditioned company, and therefore encourage owners to keep such horses at Golden Gate.

"We're trying to keep horses from shipping to Turf Paradise," said Golden Gate general manager Robert Hartman.

The first nonwinners-of-four races was run Sunday with seven horses, and seven more entered for a race Wednesday.

* Jockey Deborah Hoonan-Trujillo sustained two cracked ribs after falling from her mount, King Congo, after her saddle slipped during the stretch run of Saturday's fifth race. Hoonan-Trujillo, who also sustained a concussion.