Raza Stable's Blade Prospector set the early fractions and drew away in the stretch when challenged by favored Dixie Dot Com to win the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) by 2 1/2 lengths on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields. Under Omar Berrio, the Brazilian-bred completed the one-mile race in 1:34.18 on a fast track.
Blade Prospector claimed the early lead as Dixie Dot Com was caught four wide on the first turn. Dixie Dot Com continued to stalk the leader while wide on the backstretch and moved up to challenge on the second turn. Blade Prospector repulsed the even-money favorite's rally in the stretch and pulled clear to the victory. Dixie Dot Com held second, followed by Milk Wood, Boss Ego, Prodigious, and High Wire Act.
Blade Prospector (Music Prospecto--Met Blade, by Restless Jet) earned $55,000 for the win, his ninth in 18 career starts. Previous to the Berkely win, he finished second to Kona Gold in the seven-furlong San Carlos Handicap (gr. I) and fourth in the six furlong Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II), won by Men's Exclusive. Last year, Blade Prospector won two optional claimers from four starts. The 6-year-old was bred by Haras Rosa Do Sul and is trained by Antonio C. Avila.
The 23-10 second choice, Blade Prospector paid $6.60, $3, and $2.40. Dixie Dot Com returned $2.60 and $2.20. Milk Wood was worth $2.60 to show. The $1 exacta returned $8.90. (Chart, Equibase