The 2019 Summer Meet at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif., which concluded Sept. 29, posted a strong finish and positive gain in all sources pari-mutuel handle over its 2018 summer season. With all sources handle showing an increase, the accomplishment marked the bayside track's sixth straight race meeting that ended with an increase in all sources handle over the previous season.
At the 2018 Summer Meet, Golden Gate registered $49,056,628 in all sources handle. One year later, the number increased to $55,357,826, a net gain of 11 percent. Golden Gate Fields General Manager and Vice President David Duggan was pleased with the final number.
“After the lengthy break between June and August, it took us a little time to gain momentum at our Summer Meet,” said Duggan. “Needless to say, we were very pleased with our result. We finished our meeting very strong.
“First and foremost, equine and rider health and safety is of the utmost importance to us,” continued Duggan. “We continue to work diligently at improving the health and safety of our equine and human athletes. It of course is also incumbent upon us to provide a good racing product for our customers, breeders, owners and trainers. I believe we have successfully managed to do that. We remain very positive regarding the future of racing in Northern California, with great anticipation for our big Fall and Winter/Spring Meets coming up.”
Among the jockeys, Irving Orozco had a sensational Summer Meet, finishing atop the rider standings with 46 wins from 159 mounts, which equated to an incredible 29 percent in the win column. The veteran rider had a momentous weekend on Sept. 14 and 15, winning five races on the 14th and four more the following day. Orozco also had a terrific afternoon on closing day this past Sunday, winning a quartet of races to put an exclamation mark on a huge meet.
William Antongeorgi III finished second in the jockey standings with 27 victories, while the venerable Frank Alvarado rounded out the top three placings with 26 wins.
Jonathan Wong continued to dominate the trainer's division, as he bagged his fourth consecutive Golden Gate training title with 23 wins from 96 starters—10 wins clear of Victor Trujillo. Bill Delia and Isidro Tamayo each had 10 wins, dead heating for third in the standings.
The marquee race of the meet, the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, at a mile and one sixteenth on grass, was won by Southern California shipper Restrainedvengance. Trained by Val Brinkerhoff and ridden by locally based Juan Hernandez, the Kentucky-bred son of Hold Me Back went to the lead and never looked back, winning by 3 ½ lengths.
Live racing returns to Golden Gate Fields on Thursday, Oct. 17, with the 36-day Golden Gate Fall Meeting. Nine stakes races are on the calendar, with closing day on Sunday, Dec. 15. The highlight of the meet figures to be the Grade III, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday, Nov. 30. For additional information, please visit Goldengatefields.com or call (510) 559-7300.
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