Sueno proves he’s good as gold

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - SPORTS - By Larry Stumes Larry Stumes is a free­lance writer.

Sueno ran in two maiden-claim­ing sprints as a long shot in Au­gust at Del Mar, win­ning his sec­ond try by 4¾ lengths. Af­ter Satur­day’s $75,000 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, his days in the claim­ing ranks should be fin­ished.

Not only was the 1-mile event Sueno’s first try around two turns, it also was his first ap­pear­ance on any sur­face but dirt, his first ex­pe­ri­ence ship­ping from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and his first race against horses that al­ready had won at least once.

But Sueno turned in a thor­oughly pro­fes­sional per­for­mance, ad­vanc­ing from fifth place af­ter a quar­ter-mile and fourth place af­ter a half-mile and tak­ing the lead from Golden Nugget Stakes win­ner and 8-5 fa­vorite Ti­van in mid­stretch.

Sueno hit the wire 1½ lengths ahead of fel­low South­ern Cal­i­for­nian The Creep, who was a half-length in front of Mayor Cobbe. Pre­vi­ously un­beaten Ti­van was an­other 2 lengths back in fourth.

“The horse broke a lit­tle slow, so I just kept him in the race,” win­ning jockey Abel Cedillo said. “At the half-mile pole I tried to go out­side and avoid trou­ble. I was go­ing to move a lit­tle later, but I saw a horse (Mayor Cobbe) come be­hind me to the out­side, so when he moved, I moved my horse, too.”

Sueno fin­ished in a mod­est 1:38.28 and paid $14 as his 6-1 odds were much lower than his 42-1 and 24-1 in the two races at Del Mar. Such was the bet­tors’ re­spect for trainer Keith De­sormeaux run­ning Sueno in the Gold Rush Stakes.

“He meets all the pa­ram­e­ters of a dis­tance horse phys­i­cally and he’s been train­ing that way,” De­sormeaux said by phone. “We were con­fi­dent in his chances to­day.”

Briefly: Golden Gate Fields main­tained the Grade 3 sta­tus for next year’s San Fran­cisco Mile, All Amer­i­can Stakes and Berke­ley Hand­i­cap in the an­nual rank­ing of races an­nounced by the Amer­i­can Graded Stakes Com­mit­tee on Thurs­day. … Trainer Chad Brown won Grade 1 events on both coasts Satur­day as Pat­tern-recog­ni­tion ($12.80) led start to fin­ish in the $784,125 Cigar Mile at Aque­duct and Rag­ing Bull ($5.80) closed strongly to edge River Boyne in the $302,760 Hol­ly­wood Derby at Del Mar.

Shane Micheli / Vas­sar Pho­tog­ra­phy

Sueno, with jockey Abel Cedillo aboard, wins the Gold Rush Stakes.

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