McCann's Mojave Looks Tough in Berkeley
Owned by Mike Willman, that win in the All-American Stakes (gr. III) was the last for the now 8-year-old California-bred son of Memo. McCann's Mojave has lost four in a row since and is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Sensational Star Handicap after encountering a bit of trouble on Santa Anita's hillside turf course April 4.
McCann's Mojave, the 2007 Sunshine Millions Classic winner, has done well previously at Golden Gate, winning two of four starts with one second. Regular rider Frank Alvarado is aboard. He was favored at 13-10 in last year's Berkeley on the old dirt track, but wound up eighth after bleeding. The bay was off nearly five months after that.
Seven entered the Berkeley, which is contested at 1 1/16 miles.
Desert Code, a grade III winner for Tarabilla Farms, nearly stole the 1 1/16-mile Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at odds of 23-1 on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track April 26. Trained by David Hofmans, the 4-year-old E Dubai colt was tagged late by Surf Cat, finishing a half-length behind in second. Richard Migliore, who was aboard Desert Code for a win in the Joe Hernandez Stakes a month earlier, regains the ride here.
Our Partner tried similar theft tactics for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at 12-1 odds in the grassy Bay Meadows Handicap April 26, but the 4-year-old Partner's Hero gelding was nailed in deep stretch by Bold Chieftain and wound up second, two lengths behind. Our Partner has two wins and two seconds since being claimed by Hollendorfer and co-owner George Todaro for $40,000 at Santa Anita in January.
Pass the Heat, a 5-year-old Unusual Heat gelding, comes off a three-length allowance win on the Bay Meadows lawn April 20 for trainer William Morey Jr.
French-bred Hello Sunday ships north for trainer Bobby Frankel. The Gary Tanaka-owned 5-year-old is trying to end a seven-race losing streak.
Marsh Side, formerly based in Canada for the retired Michael Dickinson and now part of Neil Drysdale's stable at Hollywood Park, makes his first start since October.
$150,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Marsh Side (KY), Chris Landeros
2. Pass the Heat (CA), Kyle Kaenel
3. Our Partner (MD), Russell A. Baze
4. Magnum (ARG), Martin A. Pedroza
5. Desert Code (KY), Richard Migliore
6. McCann's Mojave (CA), Frank T. Alvarado
7. Hello Sunday (FR), Luis Contreras
Each assigned 123 pounds.
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