Snorter on Fire in Berkeley BC Handicap

Favored Snorter wore down Yougottawanna in mid-stretch to register his first graded stakes win for trainer Bobby Frankel, winning the $94,375 Berkeley Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) by one length at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

It was the third straight win for Snorter, a 4-year-old bay colt by Awesome Again  ridden by Russell Baze. Yougottawanna held off Taste of Paradise by a neck with Gold Ruckus a head farther behind in fourth.

Snorter made his graded stakes debut in the one-mile Berkeley, which he won in an excellent time of 1:33 4/5. The field was reduced to five by the scratch of Wolfwithintegrity.

Yougottawanna, ridden by Dennis Carr, held the lead through fractions of :22 4/5, :46, 1:09 4/5 and 1:21 3/5 while under heavy pressure from Taste of Paradise. He held on tenaciously through the stretch, but couldn't stop Snorter.

Snorter saved ground while close to the pace, moved into contention near the quarter pole until hitting close quarters. With a furlong to go, he pulled through and gradually proved best.

John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery bred the winner, a $300,000 Keeneland yearling buy in September 2001, in Kentucky. Snorter is from the Meadowlake mare Retiro Park.

The victory, worth $55,000 to owner Gary and Mary West Stables, Inc., improved Snorter's career bankroll to $171,430. He has won four of 10 in his career, with a second and three thirds.

Snorter paid $6, $3.40 and $2.40. Yougottawanna returned $3.60 and $2.80. Taste of Paradise showed for $2.80. The $2 exacta was worth $18.60.

(Chart, Equibase)