Training fields

Camino Del Paraiso has a milestone in sight Saturday at Golden Gate Fields


Camino Del Paraiso started his racing career at the age of 2 in the fall of 2015, only knew his young daughter the following summer on her seventh start, and only won her first stakes race. until September 7, 2020 – on its 21st try.

He added three more wagering wins capped by Joseph T. Grace on Nov. 6, but he’s trying to take a bigger step when he races in the $ 100,000 grade 3 Berkeley Handicap on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Camino Del Paraiso is winless in 11 high-stakes events, despite having three seconds and three thirds. Saturday’s 1 1/16 mile run on the Tapeta Footings synthetic surface will be the 8-year-old gelding’s fourth appearance in the Berkeley Handicap, which he lost by a neck in 2018. He has also run three times in the San Francisco Mile – the only other grade 3 race in Northern California.

“He’s a gelding so there is no breeding value, but on a personal level it means something,” said coach OJ Jauregui. “He always showed me that he was capable of being that kind of horse. Some of those races he got beaten up, there was always a reason. Sometimes it wasn’t the best horse that beat him, just the troubles he was in. It would be the frosting on the cake.

Camino Del Paraiso is the 2-1 second pick in the Saturday morning row against six younger opponents. Extra Hope (8-5), Sash (5-1) and Big Fish (10-1) invade southern California with locals Jungle Cry (4-1), Wine and Whiskey (15-1) and Freeport Joe (20-1) complete the field.

Why does Camino Del Paraiso excel at 8 when most Thoroughbreds reach their peak at 4 or 5?

“He’s a unique horse, very calm, not hard on himself in training,” said Jaurgeui. “He’s a more professional animal now. He works much easier and better. But he likes to do certain things as he wants or gets angry.

Camino Del Paraiso got angry in January when he was shod in his stall.

“He hit the wall and he hit the other wall and injured his left eye,” Jauregui said. “He was going to lose his eye but they had surgery at UC Davis and we brought him back and he has done well this year.”

Jauregui bought the horse for $ 5,000 as a yearling in 2014; with nine wins and 12 seconds in 44 starts, Camino Del Paraiso won $ 559,392.

“I bought the horse for myself and the next day Herb Moniz bought part of the horse (he owns 100 percent now),” Jauregui said. “I said, ‘Herb, go ahead and name him.’ He said he had the name, Camino Del Paraiso. Of course, I knew what that meant.

Moniz owns Paradise Road Ranch in Lathrop, just south of Stockton. Camino Del Paraiso is Spanish for Paradise Road.

Larry Stumes is a freelance writer.

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