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Golden Gate Fields Makes Stakes Changes

Berkeley Handicap will revert to being a handicap race.

Golden Gate Fields has changed two upcoming stakes, moving the Golden Poppy Stakes from May 5 to May 6 and making the Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) a handicap race.

“By moving the Golden Poppy we’re shooting for back-to-back big days, with the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby carrying us on Saturday and the running of the Golden Poppy providing excitement for our ‘Dollar Day’ crowd on Sunday,” said Golden Gate Fields racing secretary David Jerkens .

The $75,000 Golden Poppy is a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

The $100,000 Berkeley, a 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and up that will be run Monday, May 28, was last run as a handicap on Sept. 4, 2006, when Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss’ Spellbinder carried 118 pounds to victory under jockey Roberto Gonzalez.

“The Berkeley was a handicap when it was first run in 1948 and has been a handicap for most of its existence,” Jerkens said. “ I just want to bring the race back to its history.”