Passarando (Vassar Photography)
Matt Dinnerman/Golden Gate Fields
BERKELEY, Calif.—The signature race on a cool afternoon at Golden Gate attracted a full field of ten 2-yearolds. The $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes, for 2-year-olds routers at one mile on the main track Tapeta, featured two local stakes winners and Breeders Cup Juvenile participant Wound Up.
A competitive field on paper, yes. But at the end of the contest, it was a one-horse affair
Race winner Passarando hit the wire a length and a half in front after sitting off fast fractions of 23.53, 47.43 and 1:11.72. From the second last position, Passarando began a move into the far turn run, saved ground around that turn and cut the corner as he turned for home. By upper stretch, Passarando had made his way into fourth position. From there, winning jockey Catalino Martinez switched his mount to the outside of horses and, when in the clear, Passarando unleashed a powerful move to run past the embattling leaders in the final 50 yards. Passarando stopped the clock for one mile on Tapeta in 1:37.78 seconds.
Passarando paid $8.80 to win, $4.40 to place and $3.80 to show. 60-1 second place finisher Chase the Chaos ran a massive race in defeat and returned $37.40 to place and $16.60 to show. After a slow start out of the gate, O B’s rallied on for third and paid $5.80 to show. Happy Does completed the superfecta and early pacesetter Clovisconnection, sent off as the 9-5 post time favorite after a victory in the Golden Nugget Stakes sprinting three weeks ago, faded to fifth. It’s Thievery was next followed by Wound Up, Sea Dog, Chuckanut Bay, and Smokin’ Hot.
A son of Tamarando bred in California by owners Larry and Marianne Williams, Passarando has now accumulated lifetime earnings of $218,830. Earlier in the year, Passarando won the California-bred Golden State Juvenile at Santa Anita and was the runner up two weeks later in the Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate. He sports a lifetime record of 4 wins and 2 seconds from 7 lifetime starts. Passarando is trained by longtime Bay Area conditioner Steve Specht.
Live racing resumes at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday afternoon. With multiple surprise winners early in the card, Golden Gate offers horseplayers a chance to wager into a $43,692 carryover in the Early Pick 5 bet. The Early Pick 5 is a 50-cent minimum bet that goes as Races 1-5 each live race day. First post on Sunday, and post time for the first leg of Sunday’s Early Pick 5, is 12:45 PM PT.