01/15/2008 12:00AM

Tribesman, Vicarino impress in allowance


Tribesman and Vicarino, perhaps Northern California's top two sprinters with Smokey Stover yet to start this year, satisfied their respective connections with their performances Sunday in a six-furlong Golden Gate Fields allowance race.

Tribesman opened an early advantage from the rail and maintained it all the way. He won in 1:08.34, only .02 of a second shy of his Tapeta track record, set in his previous start, the Nov. 23 Sausalito.

Vicarino, a two-time stakes winner, ran third in his first start since Jan. 1, 2007. He was edged for second late by Full Power Ahead.

"I'd rather have won, and I'd sure run second than third, but that was a real quick race, and it figured to be quick," said Vicarino's trainer, Greg Gilchrist.

Gilchrist asked jockey Russell Baze not to try and run with Tribesman early.

"I told Russell, 'We know Tribesman will go to the lead,'" Gilchrist said. "If you go with him, either Vicarino will stop or both will stop. Coming off the bench, I said we should sit off him and not put too much pressure on him. I'd expect you'd see us apply a bit more pressure next time."

Baze said he had trouble holding Vicarino back as he chased Tribesman through fractions of 21.34 seconds and 43.10.

"He ran good, he just came up a little short down the lane," Baze said. "I was hoping he'd relax a little more, but he was fresh and really wanted to go early. Plus, it's hard to get one fit enough to go in 1:08 and change after a year layoff."

The victory for Tribesman was his fourth straight. Trainer Roger Hansen said he is considering several races for Tribesman, including the Phoenix Gold Cup Feb. 16 at Turf Paradise. The next Northern California spot for Tribesman would be the Grade 3, $100,000 Bay Meadows Sprint on March 15.

"We haven't had one this good in some time, so we'll be patient with him," Hansen said. "He puts so much into his races, he needs at least a month between starts."

Heaven on Hold eyes Princess Stakes

Gilchrist also saddled Heaven on Hold, who won Saturday's six-furlong Tiburon Stakes. Heaven on Hold shook off an early challenge from Doalittleraindance and then held off Mini Tales late. Heaven on Hold, now 2 for 3, avenged a defeat by Mini Tales in her previous start.

The $55,000 Princess Stakes at six furlongs on Feb. 9 at Bay Meadows could be Heaven on Hold's next start, Gilchrist said.

"Even though she's by Deputy Commander, I doubt she'll want to run two turns," Gilchrist said.

Effects of Santa Anita cancellation

Golden Gate Fields general manager Robert Hartman spent much of the week at Santa Anita, which has been having problems with how its Cushion Track has drained and had to cancel three cards, Jan. 5-7.

Hartman said the cancellations "negligibly affected" handle at Golden Gate Fields, which like Santa Anita is owned by Magna Entertainment. Out-of-state wagering on Golden Gate's races for those three days was up, Hartman said, presumably because some bettors wagered money earmarked for Santa Anita on the Golden Gate races those days. But Northern California satellite betting was down.

Overall, he said, handle on those three days was up 8 percent, but revenues were down slightly because Golden Gate Fields does not receive as much from out-of-state handle as it does from ontrack and satellite wagering.

Indian gaming compacts on ballot

While most eyes will be on the presidential voting in the Feb. 5 California Primary, the Bay Meadows Land Co. is leading a fight against acceptance of four propositions that would approve compacts with the state's four major Indian tribes to allow for expanded gambling operations.

Opponents of the pacts have raised less than a quarter of the funds ($10.4 million versus $44.5 million) raised by proponents of the pacts. Bay Meadows has contributed $4 million, according to published reports.