Golden Gate’s Berkeley A Mix Of Local Stars, Southern California Invaders

A strong field of 11 colts and geldings are entered to compete in Saturday’s Grade 3 $100,000 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif. The mile and a sixteenth main track event is the marquee race of the Bay Area track’s fall meet every year and goes as Race 8 on a 9-race card.

A number of Southern California stars are in the Berkeley lineup this year. Grade I winner Ohio makes his first start on the Golden Gate Tapeta for trainer Michael McCarthy after a 3 1/2-length loss in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita on October 5. Ohio’s last winners circle appearance came in March when he won the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile. Jockey Julien Couton picks up the mount.

Four-time Grade 2 winner Ashleyluvssugar is set to make his Tapeta debut in the Berkeley. The Peter Eurton trained gelding was last seen finishing behind Grecian Fire in the California Dreamin Stakes at Del Mar in August. Grecian Fire, also entered in the Berkeley, has proven Tapeta form, having won the Grade 3 All American at Golden Gate in May. He is currently under the care of Keith Desormeaux. Souter ships north for Mark Glatt after a runner up finish in a Keeneland allowance race while Grade 3 winner Majestic Eagle was a supplemental entrant for Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale. Majestic Eagle is also entered in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday, however, and is very possible to scratch from the Berkeley.

One of the key class contenders is Grade I winner What A View, who makes his first start for Northern California conditioner Sherrie Monroe in this spot. He was previously trained by Phil D’Amato, who conditioned the California bred when he won the Grade 3 All American Stakes last year at Santa Anita. The 8-year-old son of Vronsky worked 3 furlongs over the Tapeta on Tuesday morning for the Monroe barn and is deemed “ready” by his connections.

Of course, local contenders are always game to take on potential heavy hitters from Southern California. The top Northern California based horse in this year’s Berkeley may be Mugaritz, who scored a front running victory in the Joseph T. Grace Stakes last month and tries to win his sixth race in a row. The Jonathan Wong trainee possesses tactical speed and a strong 4 for 6 record on Tapeta. Joseph T. Grace second place finisher Camino Del Paraiso is also entered and adds blinkers for trainer O.J. Jauregui. Fall meet leading jockey Juan Hernandez has the call.

Synthetic specialist Lymebyrd has shown an affinity for the Golden Gate main track and makes his stakes debut on Tapeta. The same can be said for Grade 3 winner Brave Nation, cutting back in distance after a fourth-place finish in the mile and three-quarters Marathon Stakes on Breeders Cup Friday. Stakes winner My Friend Emma is a candidate to set the pace and completes the field.

The post Golden Gate’s Berkeley A Mix Of Local Stars, Southern California Invaders appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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