11/23/2007 1:00AM

Tribesman too fast to catch in Sausalito

EmailALBANY, Calif. – Tribesman ($9.80), a rapidly improving 3-year-old, defeated older horses in his stakes debut, running the fastest six furlongs of the meeting to win the $75,000 Sausalito Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Friday.

Relato Del Gato broke sharply and was challenged immediately by Barber, but Tribesman bulled between the two to stick his head in front at the half-mile pole. He began to pull clear on the turn and maintained a comfortable advantage over Barber through the stretch, winning by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:08.32. The fractions were a sizzling 21.51, 43.50 and 55.40.

“He’s one fast son of a gun,” winning jockey Chad Schvaneveldt said. “He went 43 with his ears pricked. They started coming to him late, but that’s to be expected when a horse goes 43. He’s got a bright future if he can hold together.”

Trainer Roger Hansen said the fact Schvaneveldt didn’t push hard early made a difference late.

“The game plan was to see who would break first and get the lead,” Hansen said. “When Chad saw Barber go with Relato Del Gato, he sat there. He said the horse pulled him to an open lead by the three-eighths, but he gave him a breather early and that helped.

“This horse gets better with every race. In the last two, he’s improved dramatically.”

Owned and bred by Kjell Qvale, Tribesman earned $45,000, lifting his career earnings to $132,081 with his fourth win in eight starts.