Berkeley Handicap 2013 Contenders & Odds

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, California will be the scene of the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap this Friday, November 29. Horses three years old and upward will take to Golden Gate's All Weather Track and go 1 1/16 miles searching for the winner's share of the $100,0000 purse.

A small field of six has been confirmed for the Berkeley - race 7 on Golden Gate Fields Friday card. Post time is 3:45 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

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2013 Berkeley Handicap Race Favorite Entries

Summer Hit - synthetic specialist made his graded stakes debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer April 27 and finished a very good second in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile having won six of nine career starts with a second and two third place finishes. Since that time he has won two of four starts - an impressive score in the Grade 3 All American Stakes in May on this track was followed by an uncharacteristic sixth in the minor California Dreamin' Handicap in July. Last time out was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes September 28 after a win in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar August 31. Summer Hit has an impressive five wins and two seconds on this track. Russell Baze will be aboard the 8-5 morning line favorite from post 5 Friday.

Majestic City - Ron Ellis trained colt has placed in just four of his last 12 starts but is coming off his first win since the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in July 2011 - in the minor Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita October 31. This after an ugly twelfth in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes and a fifth in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar in August. Majestic City has four wins, two seconds and two thirds in 16 career starts and although he hadn't looked great this year opened a few eyes with his win last time out. Majestic City is the 2-1 second choice and departs from the outside post with Jose Valdivia in the saddle.

Berkeley Handicap 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Teaks North - won the Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes at Gulfstream in wire-to-wire fashion January 19 and followed that with another good result - a second in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida February 16. He had a win in the minor Good Reward Stakes at Belmont Park May 15 but has otherwise been disappointing this year - a sixth in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream in March, a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in August, a fifth in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf here September 29 and an eleventh last time out in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Teaks North will be looking to regain the form that saw him finish second in the Grade 1 United Nations in July and first in the minor Good Reward Stakes in May. He is 4-1 on the morning line and will have Dennis Carr aboard.

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Fire With Fire - has been a bit up and down in his recent graded stakes action - third in the 2012 Del Mar Handicap and the 2013 Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes have been his best results. Other results include fifth place finishes in the 2013 Del Mar Handicap, in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano and the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup. He is coming off a win in the minor Bull Dog Handicap October 13 after a second in the minor Ralph M. Hinds Handicap and he did win the minor Joseph T. Grace Handicap at Santa Rosa in August. Fire With Fire enters having won two of his last four starts but still looking for a breakthrough in graded stakes company. Juan Hernandez will be in the saddle from the rail at 6-1 odds Friday.

Administer - had a couple of wins in Allowance races on this track last November and has placed in six straight races ahead of this Friday - all at Golden Gate. He was third in the Grade 3 All American Stakes in May and had an Allowance Optional Claiming score in September. Administer is coming off a respectable second in the minor Oakland Stakes November 16 and knows this track very, very well. He is listed at 8-1 odds and will have Leslie Mawing in the reins.

Stryker Phd - had spent his whole racing career at Emerald Downs before a sixth last time out on this track in an Allowance Optional Claiming - finishing out of the money just once in eleven career starts there. He had a win September 8 in the minor Muckleshoot Tribal Classic after a good second in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile in August during a string of four straight second place finishes - the others being minor stakes action. Stryker Phd has a win and four seconds in his last six starts and will be looking to break through on a track not-so-familiar to him. Isaias Enriquez has the call from post 3 at 10-1 odds.

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