Amid a bevy of weekend stakes from around the country, don’t lose sight of Golden Gate’s Pick 6 on Friday. The 20-cent wager that covers races 3 through 8 will feature a $54,818 carryover pool and a mandatory payout.
Here’s a closer look:
GG 3rd race (4:45 EST) -- HOT RAGEOUS, re-claimed twice in the last nine months by trainer Ed Moger Jr., is a good fit at this level and projects an ideal stalking trip at a distance which she’s 3-for-6. LAGATHA, first or second in 11 of 16 starts at Golden Gate, ran away to a 7-length victory under minimal urging, but the four rivals she defeated were well-beaten in their next start. LOTSA PEPPER led by 2 or more lengths at the stretch call in 4 of her last 5 starts, winning once. She appears better on the turf but a recent :47.1 work on the all-weather track is encouraging.
GG 4th race (5:15 EST) -- ZERO BUCKS GIVEN won three photo-finishes at this distance in his last seven starts, but he gave way chasing the fleet-footed favorite at 6F last out and finished fourth behind next-out winner Whoa Buddy. KNOCKOUT BERT threw his head in the air at the start, got caught very wide on the backstretch and lacked stretch kick from a contending position. A smooth break from the rail is key to his winning chances today.
GG 5th race (5:45 EST) -- LEMON DROP SHOT, a runner-up in 7 of 11 starts, can’t be ignored on the class drop, but he is too risky at 8-to-5, so punch the ‘ALL’ button in this leg.
GG 6th race (6:15 EST) -- AWE, unhurried chasing the loose 2-to-1 leader, loomed boldly at the top of the stretch and was blocked twice during the run to the wire. He probably wouldn’t have won, but he is a must use in his second start after four months away. DI LAURIAN set a pressured pace before winning favorite Pour On The Cole and Theyreminiscovru – who won a $6,250 claiming race on the front end December 4 – passed by. MY SUNSHINE towers over the field on paper, but he takes a class plunge off a 10-month layoff. He finished first or second in 14 of 20 starts at Golden Gate; the rest of the field has 12 wins and 8 seconds from 122 combined starts.
GG 7th race (6:45 EST) -- CLOCKSTRIKESTWELVE – today’s solo play on the Pick 6 ticket -- rallied strongly while 4- and 5-wide but couldn’t reach pace controller MADEIRA WINE in a longer route race. The race complexion changed dramatically when Trojan Clubhouse, a wire-to-wire winner in four consecutive races, unseated his jockey at the start. CLOCKSTRIKESTWELVE’S stablemate, stretch-out sprinter GHOSTLY GAL, all but ensures a faster pace today.
GG 8th race (7:15 EST) -- BRONZE WARRIOR finished ahead of three next-out winners at this level Dec. 11 and behind Sunny Spot, who won a $20,000 claiming race here last Sunday. He stepped up in class for his next start, made first run at the loose leader on the final turn, but was no match for classy 4-to-5 winner First Premio (8-36, $561k). GOVERNOR’S PARTY runs for the cheapest claiming price of his career off a two-month layoff and appears an all-or-nothing type as a result. The last time he ran 1-1/16 miles, he rallied to finish second to Lammas, a recent winner in the Grade III Berkley Handicap at Golden Gate. WALKING BOSS made a last-to-first move to win for the first time in 10 months in a bottom-level claimer but has enough back class and the right running style to repeat off the claim.
Suggested 20-cent Ticket
GG 3rd race: 1, 2, 6
GG 4th race: 1, 3
GG 5th race: ALL
GG 6th race: 1, 2, 6
GG 7th race: 1
GG 8th race: 1, 6, 8