By Dennis Miller
One of the top sprinters in Northern California will be on display today at the Alameda County Fair, as Tribesman takes to the track in the $50,000 Sam J. Whiting Memorial Handicap.
The six-furlong sprint, the fourth race of the day and scheduled for 2:15 p.m. post, figures to be a blazer, with Tribesman, 9-for-16 in his career expected to be the overwhelming favorite and justifiably so, drawing Russell Baze as his jockey.
The 5-year-old out of the Roger Hansen barn and owned by Kjell H. Qvale, won four times in seven starts last year and came back after a six month break to win for fun June 5 at Golden Gate Fields.
Since the win, Tribesman has put in three pretty quick works and appears primed for a big run today.
Flanking Tribesman in the gate will be a pair of Steve Miyadi trained horses in Magic Texan and Bamaha Breeze.
Magic Texan was second in the Whiting last year and has five wins in 13 career starts. The horse, which will be ridden by Hector Romero, is also the one horse in the field that may be able to match Tribesman early with his speed.
If a speed dual does develop up front, the race could set up for Bamaha Breeze. William Antongeorgi III takes the mount for horse with great tactical speed and has won six of his eight starts, most recently winning the El Segundo at Hollywood Park on May 21.
Another horse of interest in the race is Guns On the Table. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, but raced and stabled in Southern California until recently, Guns On the Table has been training very well on the track in Pleasanton. Frank Alvardo draws the assignment for Guns On the Table.
The field rounds out with Edit This out of the Eduardo Rich barn. Anisete Leon takes the mount for a horse that seems overmatched in this field.
PLEASANTON ARABIAN DISTAFF
The only other stakes race of the day is the Pleasanton Arabian Distaff, a 5-furlong test for fillies and mares, 3-year-old and up, is set for the third race.
Bessemer appears to be the horse to beat, despite finishing seventh by 18 lengths on July 5 here in an allowance race. But it was the first start of the year of Bessemer after a six month layoff and the horse traditionally doesn't fire in her first start back.
Last year, Bessemer won four of eight starts, including three stakes races, although she did finish third in this race last year.
Anvirlik is back to defend her title and is coming off a win in Stockton at 34-1 odds. Galagula was second here last year and is coming off a win here last week.