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16 Jan 12 California Derby goes to local favorite

Local stakes winner Russian Greek, the 3-2 favorite, came from last to win Saturday’s $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The 1 1/16-mile race for three-year-olds is a prep event for the track’s $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on February 18.

One of two horses in the race trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Russian Greek started from post six with Aaron Gryder riding. Shipping up from Santa Anita was the 9-5 early favorite Hodge.

Setting the pace was Reconstruction, the other Hollendorder trainee, with Hodge running in second followed by Unveiled Heat and Cahill Chrome. Around the final turn Hodge, ridden by Russell Baze, took the lead with Unveiled Heat to his outside and Cahill Chrome three wide around the turn.

Russian Greek trailed the field by more than seven-lengths in the early going and began his move on the turn for home and moved to the outside for the strtetch run.

The favorite made a late rally to catch Cahill Chrome just before the wire and post a length victory. Finishing third was 4-1 third choice Senor Rain followed by Hodge, Unveiled Heat, Blacky the Bull and Reconstruction.

Russian Greek covered the distance on Golden Gate’s synthetic track in 1:45.07.

Owned by Olympia Star Inc., Russian Greek picked up $60,000 in his third win over four career starts. The colt has banked $121,700.

After beginning his career with a win at San Rosa last July, Russian Greek finished fifth in the Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate. He won the Gold Rush Stakes with another last to first rally at the Bay Area track.

Russian Greek returned $5.40, $3.40 and $2.60. Cahill Chrome paid $18.00 and $6.60, and Senor Rain paid $3.60 to show.

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15 Jan 12 Favored Russian Greek goes from worst to first to win California Derby

Russian Greek rallied from last to win the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Russian Greek, ridden by Aaron Gryder, ran down 29-to-1 shot Cahill Chrome in the final yards to win the 11/16-mile race by a length in 1:45.07.

It was the third win in four starts for the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained colt paid $5.40 as the 8-5 favorite in a field of seven. Owned by Olympia Star, Inc., Russian Greek won $60,000 for a career total of $121,700.


Damian Lillard (Oakland High) had 21 points, and Weber State (14-3, 6-0 Big Sky) extended its win streak to eight games with an 80-64 victory over visiting Montana (11-6, 4-1). Will Cherry (McClymonds High) had 15 points for the Grizzlies. Lillard is the nation’s leading scorer.

  • Jonathon Williams (Kennedy High-Richmond) had 18 points, and host Wagner (14-3, 5-1 Northeast) posted a 67-58 win over Central Connecticut State (8-8, 5-1) for its first seven-game win streak since the 1979-80 season.

  • Eli Holman (Richmond High) had 12 points and 11 rebounds, but Detroit (9-11, 3-5 Horizon) lost 84-74 to host Milwaukee (13-6, 6-1).

  • Paul Ratcliffe won his third NCAA Division 1 soccer coach of the year award in four seasons. Ratcliffe was the architect of an unbeaten season that led to Stanford’s first NCAA title last month. Stanford’s new men’s hire Jeremy Gunn also was named coach of the year by the NSCAA. He lead UNC Charlotte to the title game, falling to North Carolina.

  • Stanford freshman Kristian Ipsen (De La Salle High) won the men’s 3-meter springboard at the Stanford Diving Invitational. Cal’s Tyler Pullen (Amador Valley High) was eighth. Ipsen won the 1-meter event Friday.

  • Cal opened its season with two wins at the UCLA Rugby Tournament — 66-0 over USC and 50-3 over Oregon State. The Bears had 10 tries against the Trojans, with a hat trick from fullback Spencer Morris. Fullback Jake Anderson and wing Josh Tucker both scored pairs against the Beavers.


    Olympic silver medalist Mark Lopez rallied to beat San Ramon’s James Howe twice in the 68kg division of the U.S. Olympic trials in Colorado Springs. Howe needed just one win to advance to the finals in March.

    Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.

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