Colonel Samsen made an impressive late move as he rallied to win the $75,000 Gold Rush on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
Colonel Samsen ($5.60), a gelded son of Colonel John, was favored in the field of seven 2-year-olds after a strong maiden turf win at Del Mar. He was full of run in the lane but had nowhere to go as pacesetters More Power to Him and Tipo Duro continued their duel as the field moved into the stretch.
Juan Hernandez, riding Colonel Samsen, wound up boxed behind the two leaders, but when More Power to Him dug in and reclaimed the lead from Tipo Duro, Hernandez shot Colonel Samsen between More Power to Him and the now-fading Tipo Duro.
Aqua Frio, who had been just ahead of Colonel Samsen all the way, was moving outside More Power to Him and surged to the lead. Colonel Samsen, now in the clear, was not to be denied as he continued strongly to the win to win the one-mile race by one-half length in 1:38.59.
“He was pulling pretty hard, but I had nowhere to go,” said Hernandez. “I just waited and when I found my spot I started asking him.
“He responded really well. I thought he’d be all right down inside because I watched the replay of his last race and he was passing a lot of horses on the inside.”
Aqua Frio was second, beating More Power to Him by 1 1/4 lengths. More Power to Him held off Manila Mischief by a neck for third.
Owned by Casner Racing and Corey S. Johnsen and trained by Eoin Harty, Colonel Samsen earned $45,000 for the victory, boosting his career earnings to $108,365.