Trainer Wong gets out broom
Trainer Jonathan Wong is looking for a sweep, and trainer Faith Taylor is looking for a first in the $50,000 Bull Dog Handicap at the Big Fresno Fair on Sunday.
Wong saddled Bold Fantasy for his first stakes victory in last week’s $100,000 Harris Farms Stakes, and will send out the sharp Gabo’s Macondo in the Bull Dog as he tries to sweep Fresno’s two Thoroughbred stakes.
Taylor sends out More Power to Him, who has 4 seconds and 3 thirds in 10 stakes starts but is still seeking his first stakes victory.
Nine runners have been entered in the 1 1/8-mile dirt race for 3-year-olds and up.
“I’d love to win another stakes in Fresno,” said Wong.
Wong claimed Gabo’s Macondo for $20,000 from a July 27 victory at Sacramento and has seen the 5-year-old Cape Blanco gelding win two straight for him, both allowance races on the turf at Golden Gate Fields. Wong claimed Gabo’s Macondo from Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
“We thought he was good enough to win the first condition,” he said. “We just kept him happy. He’s very versatile. He’s done everything we’ve asked.”
More Power to Him ran fourth behind Gabo’s Macondo and Sunday rival Taelyns Prince Sept. 22 on the turf at Golden Gate Fields. That race was at 1 1/16 miles, and Taylor thinks the extra sixteenth of the Bull Dog works in More Power to Him’s favor.
“He’s training well – as good as ever,” said Taylor. “Everything looks good.”
More Power to Him has run well in his three starts at the distance. He was moved up from third to second in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, ran third in the Emerald Downs Derby, and was fourth in the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby at Hastings, all last year at 3.
Grecian Fire and the former claimer Two Thirty Five bring strong credentials from Southern California. Grecian Fire has been running well in California-bred stakes, including a second in the California Dreamin’ on the turf at Del Mar two starts back in July. Two Thirty Five, claimed for $25,000 by trainer Richard Baltas in January, won an optional claimer at Santa Anita in June with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.
BULL DOG HANDICAP (RACE 9) KEY CONTENDERS
Gabo’s Macondo, by Cape Blanco Last 3 Beyers: 88-86-82
◗ He has won three straight and has a bullet half-mile work since his last start.
More Power to Him, by Slew’s Tiznow Last 3 Beyers: 84-85-74
◗ All three of his wins came on synthetic, but he has hit the board on dirt in stakes.
Grecian Fire, by Unusual Heat Last 3 Beyers: 86-99-92
◗ Two of his last three starts have come on the dirt at Los Alamitos: a third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the Bertrando in July, and a fourth in the E.B. Johnston in his last start on Sept. 8.