Bold Chieftain is the 2-to-1 morning line favorite in the Grade 3 $100,000 Berkeley Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for older horses. The Berkeley is the featured eighth race on a nine-race Memorial Day card that begins at 12:45 p.m.
The Berkeley is a stakes that has eluded Bold Chieftain, although the veteran has come very close to winning the race the last two years. Bold Chieftain finished second, beaten a head by Autism Awareness, in the 2009 Berkeley and second, beaten a head by Run It, in the 2010 renewal.
Bold Chieftain comes into the 2011 Berkeley off a pair of races that may have him ready to produce a big effort Monday. Trained by William J. Morey, Jr., Bold Chieftain returned from a layoff of more than seven months to run second to Goggles McCoy in a six-furlong allowance sprint on March 13. The 8-year-old horse followed up that race with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on April 30.
“He ran good,” said jockey Russell Baze of Bold Chieftain following the SF Mile. “He lacked (racing) room on the second turn. He’ll get a lot out of this race.”
Baze knows Bold Chieftain very well as he’s ridden the horse in 30 races and won with him 14 times. Bold Chieftain has recorded all but one of his stakes victories under Baze.
Bold Chieftain enters the Berkeley Stakes with $1,558,291 in earnings, a total he amassed while collecting 17 wins, eight seconds and four thirds in 40 career starts. Bold Chieftain hopes to add another $60,000 to his bankroll with a victory Monday.
The field for the Berkeley Stakes, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Bold Chieftain, Baze, 2-to-1; Hudson Landing, Frank Alvarado,
5-to-1; Uh Oh Bango, Aaron Gryder, 4-to-1; Mobilized, Abel Cedillo, 6-to-1; Knockout Artist, Francisco Duran, 8-to-1; Our Nautique, Kevin Krigger, 3-to-1; Delightful Kiss, William Antongeorgi III, 20-to-1; and Autism Awareness, Juan Hernandez, 30-to-1. All of the starters carry 122 pounds.