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Summer Hit Humbles Foes In Berkeley Handicap
Summer Hit earned his second Grade 3 stakes victory at Golden Gate Fields this year when he steamrolled four rivals in the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap Friday.
Summer Hit led from start to finish in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up and crossed the wire six lengths in front of runner-up Majestic City. Fire With Fire finished third, a neck behind Majestic City.
Summer Hit, ridden Russell Baze, won the Berkeley in 1:42.65, an excellent time on the synthetic Tapeta racing surface.
“He got a clean break and made the lead and it was pretty much over,” said Baze. “He loves this track and he ran his eyeballs out. That (1:42.65) is stepping along on this track.”
Summer Hit has five wins and a second in six tries on Tapeta. In his most recent start on the surface on May 27, Summer Hit captured the Grade 3 All American Stakes in front-running fashion.
Summer Hit was the 4-5 favorite in the Berkeley and paid $3.60 after collecting his fourth career stakes victory. The win was worth $60,000 and increased Summer Hit’s earnings to $417,505.
Summer Hit is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the 4-year-old gelding in partnership with John Carver. Hollendorfer purchased Summer Hit immediately after the horse won its career debut – in a $12,500 maiden-claiming event in 2012 – by nine lengths.
A California-bred son of Bertrando, Summer Hit has nine wins, two seconds and two thirds in 15 career starts. In eight races at Golden Gate Fields – six on Tapeta and two on turf – Summer Hit has recorded six victories and two seconds and earned $232,347.
Summer Hit carried Baze to his fifth victory in the Berkeley, making him the winningest rider of the stakes, which has had 63 runnings. Roberto Gonzalez and Ralph Neves are tied for second in Berkeley wins with four apiece.
Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Saturday. Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the feature event is the $50,000-added Golden Gate Debutante, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies. Undefeated Look Quickly heads a field of six.