05/28/2011 11:29AM

Golden Gate: Berkeley draws veterans Bold Chieftain, Delightful Kiss

Benoit & Associates
Bold Chieftain, 8, should improve off his last race in Monday’s Grade 3 Berkeley.

Some old lions hope to be roaring at Golden Gate Fields on Memorial Day in the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile Tapeta race.

All eight entrants have earned black type during their careers, seven having won stakes. There are two millionaires in the field, 8-year-old Bold Chieftain and 7-year-old Delightful Kiss. Both have won graded stakes as have Monday opponents Autism Awareness, who defeated Bold Chieftain in the 2009 Berkeley, and Our Nautique, who is coming off a victory on turf in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile and is the one to catch in the Berkeley.

Bold Chieftain will be making his third start of the year, and he didn’t run badly finishing an even fourth in the San Francisco Mile with only a sprint prep. Trainer Bill Morey Jr.said he is expecting an improved effort from Bold Chieftain, who last year won the San Francisco Mile and was beaten a head in the Berkeley.

Delightful Kiss makes his first start since finishing fourth of five in the Cougar II at Del Mar last July. While he hasn’t won since taking the Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream in 2009, trainer Aggie Ordonez said she is pleased with his training.

Delightful Kiss is a late-runner who will need someone to soften up Our Nautique, who went wire to wire in the San Francisco Mile.

Although the San Francisco Mile was on turf, Our Nautique is proven on the Golden Gate Tapeta as well, having won two allowance races on the surface last year and finishing third on it in the Grade 3 All American in November. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Our Nautique has been on the lead early in his last nine races.

The 6-year-old Autism Awareness has won only only one race in the past two years, a $50,000 optional claimer on the Tapeta here in January. He scored longshot victories in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at 3 and again in the Grade 3 Berkeley at 4.

The 4-year-old Uh Oh Bango comes off a May 12 win at this distance in an allowance on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track. He went to the sidelines after a fourth-place finish in the 2010 Arkansas Derby, and has finished in the top three in all four of his races since returning in February.