11/29/2013 7:54PM

Golden Gate Fields: Summer Hit romps in Berkeley Handicap

Vassar Photography
Summer Hit, with Russell Baze up, wins the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap by six lengths.

There was no suspense and no surprises as Summer Hit dominated four rivals in winning Friday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

“He got away clean, made the lead, and it was pretty much over,” winning jockey Russell Baze said.

With speedy Majestic City drawn outside him, Summer Hit quickly and easily took the lead, running each quarter faster than the previous one to win the 1 1/16-mile race by six lengths over Majestic City in 1:42.65.

“That final time is really stepping along on this track,” Baze said.

Summer Hit ($3.60) was never seriously challenged, leading by an open margin at each call. Majestic City got his nose up to Summer Hit’s saddle cloth as the two approached the second turn, but in a matter of four or five strides, Summer Hit had an open margin again.

He pulled away in the stretch under a hand ride, with Majestic City re-rallying for second by a neck over Fire With Fire.

“He loves this track, and he ran his eyeballs out,” Baze said.

Summer Hit improved his record to 5 wins and 1 second in 6 starts on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface.

The victory was Baze’s fifth in the Berkeley, breaking a tie with Roberto Gonzalez and Ralph Neves, who had four wins.

Owned by John Carver and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Summer Hit earned $60,000 for his ninth victory in 15 starts. He also won the Grade 3 All American and missed by a neck on the turf in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile as he completed a near sweep of Golden Gate’s graded stakes races for older runners.

Summer Hit, who won his debut for $12,500 was claimed from that victory. Hollendorfer, who had not put in a claim on the Bertrando gelding, was so impressed by the win that he immediately purchased the gelding from Candelario Villamar, who won the shake for the gelding.

Summer Hit has now earned $417,505.