11/23/2010 12:06PM

Specht hoping Massone can get job done in All American

Vassar Photography
Steve Specht has had more than twice as many seconds as wins this meet.

Trainer Steve Specht’s fall meeting at Golden Gate Fields has been a lot like the racing career of his entrant in Friday’s Grade 3, $100,000 All American, Massone.

Specht has five wins from his first 28 starters. But he also has 12 seconds and three thirds.

Massone has earned $477,342 during his 24-race career, but he has only two wins to go with six seconds and eight thirds.

Specht is hoping for a turnaround for both in the All American, run at 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta. Massone is 0 for 6 at the distance but, perhaps not surprisingly, has a pair of seconds and a pair of thirds.

Massone’s close-but-no-cigar career has brought some frustrations for his connections.

“He went after the big hitters,” said Specht. “It’s nice having a horse that can run that kind of race, and it’s nice to get a check.

“He knows how to run well and hit the board, but he doesn’t want to go on with it. A lot of horses don’t want to go by others. You don’t want to move too soon, and you don’t want to wait too long. He sits in midpack so you wait as long as you can so you can nail them on the wire.”

Lots of horses suffer from seconditis. Sometimes they score a victory and turn things around. With claimers that confidence-building victory often comes following a big drop. Specht joked that he had another idea for Massone.

“Maybe we should send him to a psychiatrist,” Specht said.

Specht has given Massone two starts in allowance races as possible confidence builders as he looked ahead to the All American. “That’s what the plan was,” said Specht. “We’re still working on it. Instead of running him in allowance races, I should have run in half-million (dollar) races.” Specht has had success with this type of horse in the past. “Maybe this guy can repeat McCann’s Mojave,” said Specht of the horse he won over $1million with after taking over his training at age six.Among Massone’s seven rivals Friday are four from an Oct. 23 allowance race won by Our Nautique with Massone second. Hot Chaco and Saratoga Boot also come out of that race for the All America. Also entered are Interpatation, who has not won since taking the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Belmont in October 2009; Slew the Man and Autism Awareness, second and third in the Oct. 17 Bull Dog at Fresno; and Cigar Man, second one year ago here in the San Quentin.