11/01/2010 12:54PM

Track using Breeders' Cup as draw


With the San Francisco Giants playing the Texas Rangers, Northern California has been the epicenter for baseball’s biggest event, the World Series. Golden Gate Fields is hoping to carry over that sporting enthusiasm this week for the track’s simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup, which is being held at Churchill Downs on Friday and Saturday.

The track is sending out $5 vouchers to all fans on its mailing list for use in a Breeders’ Cup wager. Gates open at 10 a.m. Friday, with the first post scheduled at 12:40 p.m. and the first Breeders’ Cup race, the Marathon, at 1:10 p.m. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the first Breeders’ Cup race, the Juvenile Turf, at 10:50 a.m. First live post at Golden Gate will be 12:05 p.m.

Locals to be represented in BC

Golden Gate fans will have rooting interests each day of the Breeders’ Cup.

On Friday, Northern California’s all-time winningest trainer Jerry Hollendorfer sends out Blind Luck in the day’s top race, the Ladies’ Classic. The 3-year-old filly won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May.

Hollendorfer also has Indian Gracey for the Juvenile Fillies on Friday and Dakota Phone, third in this year’s Berkeley at Golden Gate, going in either the Dirt Mile or the Classic on Saturday.

Jeff Bonde will run Smiling Tiger in Saturday’s Sprint. Smiling Tiger began his career with a pair of victories at Golden Gate Fields last year as a 2-year-old, winning his debut and then the Lost in the Fog Stakes. He captured the Grade 1 Ancient Title with Russell Baze aboard in his last race and previously won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby.

Terry Knight, who runs horses at Golden Gate, has Izshelegal pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies. Brian Koriner, formerly based here before moving to Southern California, has defending champion California Flag for the Turf Sprint and Sweet August Moon for the Filly and Mare Sprint.

This is Bonde’s second trip to the Breeders’ Cup. He also ran Spain in the 1999 Juvenile Fillies, and she finished fourth.

“So far so good,” Bonde said after Smiling Tiger’s five-furlong 58.60 best-of-41 bullet work at Churchill on Saturday.

A Washington-bred, Smiling Tiger also had a half-mile best-of-33 bullet drill in 46.40 at Hollywood Park on Oct. 21.

“He’s really running well,” Bonde said.

Having had previous Breeders’ Cup experience as well as having run horses at Churchill Downs before will let Bonde concentrate on business this weekend.

“Whenever you have experience, it helps,” he said. “I haven’t been here in a long time, but anything that makes life easier is good. You can focus on the things that are important for your horse.”

Juvenile fillies get their shot

In addition to the Breeders’ Cup races, fans can see 2-year-old fillies competing in local stakes competition in the six-furlong Golden Gate Debutante on Saturday.

Hollendorfer is planning to run Alec’s Moon and Cathy’s Crunches in the race, while Steve Miyadi sends out recent maiden winner Melissa Rose, and Bruce Dillenback will run the stakes-placed maiden Lucy Wiggles.

Eleven fillies were nominated to the $50,000 race.

◗ Baze and Leslie Mawing, the two leading riders at the current meet, both had three winners Sunday. Mawing also had three winners Saturday when Baze was at Hollywood Park for California Cup races.

Baze has 17 victories this meet and Mawing 13.

◗ Golden Gate Fields averaged $155,130 a day in ontrack handle during the 27-day summer meeting, which ran from Aug. 25-Oct. 3. The all-sources handle on Golden Gate races averaged $1,969,764 per day.

There were no comparable 2009 meeting for comparison figures.

◗ The 10-day Big Fresno Fair, held Oct. 6-17, showed handle declines over 2009. The total ontrack handle dipped 4 percent, from $3,313,949 to $3,190,910. The total all-sources handle dipped 6 percent, from $14,885,240 to $13,972,318.