05/30/2011 9:04PM

Golden Gate: Uh Oh Bango digs in to win Berkeley

Email
Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Uh Oh Bango and Aaron Gryder outgame Bold Chieftain and Russell Baze to win the Berkeley Handicap.

ALBANY, Calif. - Uh Oh Bango ($11.40) handed Bold Chieftain his third straight photo loss in the Grade 3, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Monday.

Getting a perfect stalking trip under Aaron Gryder in the 1 1/16-mile race, Uh Oh Bango put his head in front of pacesetter Our Nautique at the eighth pole, only to see Bold Chieftain stick his head in front at the sixteenth pole. But the 4-year-old Uh Oh Bango dug in and outgamed the Bold Chieftain to the wire to win in 1:44.61. Mobilized was third, another 1 1/4 lengths back.

The defeat was Bold Chieftain's third straight in the Berkeley. The 8-year-old millionaire lost by a head to Autism Awareness in 2009 and again by a head to Run It last year.

"You've got some horses that are talented, and you've got some that have talent and desire," said Gryder, referring to Uh Oh Bango. "He got passed, and he knew he got passed. It's nice when a horse wants something as much as you do."

Our Nautique cruised through slow fractions of 24.90, 49.73, and 1:13.61, which set things up for Uh Oh Bango, Gryder said.

"It was excellent," said Gryder of his trip. "The slow pace made it tough for the horses who were coming from behind.

"We started sprinting around the three-eighths pole. At the top of the stretch, I knew Bold Chieftain was coming, and he was in full stride."

The victory was worth $60,000 for Uh Oh Bango, a Top Hit colt owned by Triple AAA Ranch and trained by Kory Owens. Uh Oh Bango's fourth victory in 12 starts boosted his career earnings to $411,612.

Previously, Uh Oh Bango had been the runner-up in a pair of Grade 3 events. He has two wins, a second and two thirds this year after spending nearly 11 months on the sidelines following a fourth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby in April 2010.