08/20/2008 11:00PM

Three barnmates all threats


If there is strength in numbers, then trainer Jerry Hollendorfer looks strong in the $75,000 Governor's Handicap on Saturday at the California State Fair in Sacramento.

Six horses were entered in the 1 1/8-mile race with Hollendorfer supplying three - Saratoga's Magic, who led three Hollendorfer runners in scoring his first stakes victory in the Alamedan at Pleasanton this summer; the stakes winner Amazin Blue, fourth in the Alamedan; and Our Partner, runner-up in the Joseph T. Grace on Santa Rosa's turf in his last start Aug. 2.

The opposition is My Creed, third in the Alamedan and a nose winner over Amazin Blue in his last start July 20 at Solano; Billy Allen, who scored back-to-back turf stakes wins at Turf Paradise earlier this year; and Cover Magic, third in the Grace in his last start.

Hollendorfer's Yougotta-wanna won the last Governor's Handicap, run in 2004 before the State Fair ran harness horses at its 2005-07 meets.

Saratoga's Magic, who has run better on the grass, took the lead from the start of the Alamedan under jockey Roberto Gonzalez and held on in the 1 1/16-mile race.

There is not much pace in Saturday's race so Gonzalez may try similar tactics. He got away with moderate fractions at Pleasanton.

Our Partner could take the lead here as he did when running second to Bold Chieftain in the Bay Meadows Handicap on the turf. He also was part of a pace duel in the Grade 3 Berkeley at Golden Gate Fields before finishing second.

My Creed, who has 4 wins and 5 thirds in his 21 stakes tries, has changed tactics a bit of late. A 7-year-old gelding trained by Bob Hess Sr., My Creed has been sitting closer to the lead in his past three starts and has come away with a second in a $50,000 optional claimer, a third in the Alamedan, and the narrow victory in a $62,000 optional claimer at Solano. Hess then pointed him to this race, bypassing Santa Rosa's Grace on the turf.

Billy Allen and My Creed are the only members of the field with wins at Saturday's distance.