Sent off at odds of nearly 20-1, Mercedes Stables’ homebred Run It dug in along the rail to post a head victory over heavily favored Bold Chieftain in the $100,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO), the Memorial Day (May31) feature at California’s Golden Gate Fields.
A 4-year-old son of Cherokee Run ridden by Chad Schvaneveldt for trainer Dennis Patterson, Run It jumped out to the early lead, setting fractions of :25.62 and :50.48 for the half-mile while being pursued by 3-5 favorite Bold Chieftain, a millionaire seeking his fourth consecutive win. Bold Chieftain mounted a challenge on the second turn and briefly assumed a short lead nearing the furlong pole before Run It fought back to just get up at the wire.
The winner paid $41.60, $8.60, and $4.20 as he completed the 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta artificial surface in 1:44.50. Bold Chieftain, winner of six of his last seven races prior to the Berkeley, paid $2.60 and $2.10 and Dakota Phone was worth $2.40 for third. The exacta paid $74.49 and the trifecta $202.40.
The victory was the seventh in 20 starts for Run It, who ran his career earnings to $218,720 with the victory and whose lone previous stakes score came in the 2009 Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate. The win also avenged successive losses to Bold Chieftain prior to the Berkeley. Run It was fourth in an allowance and fifth in the San Francisco Mile Stakes (gr. II), both won by Bold Chieftain.
Bred in Kentucky by his owner, Run It was produced from the winning Theatrical mare Tracy, a half sister to champion Eliza, Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Dinard, and stakes winner Power Bidder.