Rager Springs An Upset In The Oakland Stakes
Berkeley, Calif. – 4-year-old gelding Rager produced a powerful kick from midfield and defeated six other foes in the feature race on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields, the $50,000 Oakland Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward. Veteran jockey Frank Alvarado guided the son of Into Mischief to victory.
Sent off at odds of 8-1, Rager sat in midfield before starting a move midway on the far turn. Swinging for home, he was within 3 lengths of the lead before picking off rivals, hitting the front with a sixteenth of a mile to go and finishing the job for a length score. He stopped the clock for six furlongs on Tapeta in 1:09.19.
Runner up finished Italiano completed a pricey exacta while Southern California shipper Ultimate Bango ran third. In Our A, sent off at post time as the 8-5 favorite, hopped in the air at the start and lost significant ground from the onset. He passed runners down the stretch and hit the wire fourth. Border Town, Papa’s Golden Boy and I’mgonnabesomebody completed the field.
Rager continues a phenomenal fall meet for trainer Tim McCanna, who has won with 11 of 27 starters. Rager paid $19.00 to win, $9.00 to place, and $4.60 to show. Italiano returned $18.80 to place and $8.40 while Ultimate Bango paid $3.40 to show. With the stakes win, Rager improved his lifetime record to 4 wins, 3 seconds and 4 third-place finishes from 19 lifetime starts, with career earnings of $187,010. In August, McCanna and owners Jethorse LLC claimed Rager for $40,000 out of an allowance race at Del Mar. Since then, he was run twice for Team McCanna: a win in the Oakland Stakes and a runner up finish behind high level claimers last month.
Live racing resumes at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday afternoon with a 9-race program. First post is 12:45 PM PT. Next week, Golden Gate offers 4-live race days: a Thanksgiving program with early first post of 11:15 AM, and Friday-Sunday cards with first post at the standard 12:45 PM time slot. The feature race on Friday, the $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante, overfilled and has been split into two divisions. The marquee race on Saturday is the signature race of the meeting, the $100,000 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap for three-year-olds and upward at one mile and a sixteenth. Both stakes will be run on the main track Tapeta.
Golden Gate Fields Press Release
Photo: Rager (Outside) Shane Micheli/ Vassar Photography