Irisheyesareflying Wins Berkeley Handicap

Irisheyesareflying earned his second career graded stakes win Saturday in the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields. Under Jose Valdivia Jr., the 6-year-old California-bred son of Flying Continental completed the distance in 1:35.41 on a fast track.

Irisheyesareflying kept close to pacesetters Bring the Heat and I'madrifter early on, then built a one-length lead after six furlongs run in 1:10.35. Boss Ego challenged the bay horse in the stretch, but Irisheyesareflying held on to win by a half-length at the wire. Palmeiro finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner up. Moonlight Meeting, Ironman Dehere, Takin It Deep, Sirpa, Withholding Info, Profound Secret, Bring the Heat, and I'madrifter completed the order of finish.

Both of the Irisheyesareflying's graded stakes wins have come at a flat mile. He won last year's Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) in August, then returned from a 2 1/2-month break to win the restricted Wells Fargo Bank California Cup Classic Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race. Irisheyesareflying is trained by John Dolan for Dolan Racing Stable and Graham and Taylor and was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Weston L. Fitzpatrick.

Irisheyesareflying returned $3.80, $3.20, and $2.60. Boss Ego paid $12.60 and $8.60. Palmeiro was worth $4.60 to show. The $1 exacta paid $27.80. (Chart, Equibase)