Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is looking for his seventh win in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday when he sends out the 7-5 morning line favorite Sheer Flattery.
The El Camino Real Derby is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs to the top four finishers.
The race has not produced a Kentucky Derby winner, but both Casual Lies (1992) and Cavonier (1996) ran second in the Run for the Roses.
El Camino Real Derby winners have accounted for three Preakness (G1) victories—Tank’s Prospect (1985), Snow Chief (1986), and Tabasco Cat (1994) and Tabasco Cat also won the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Sheer Flattery made his stakes debut in his last start, a third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, picking up two points toward entry into this spring’s Kentucky Derby.
His main rival figures to be Ann Arbor Eddie (2-1) who will be saddled by trainer Doug O’Neill, who won the race last year with Frank Conversation. The colt won the state bred Cal Cup Derby in his last outing.
The race is one of two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races this holiday weekend. Monday’s $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park will also offer 17 Derby points.
Classic Empire remains the early favorite in Kentucky Derby betting at US Racing.
Let’s head out to Golden Gate Fields for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Golden Gate Fields Race 7 The El Camino Real Derby (G3) Post time 3:45 PT
3 Ann Arbor Eddie 2-1
5 Sheer Flattery 7-5
2 More Power to Him 6-1
6 Colonel Samsen 10-1
Ann Arbor Eddie has won three of his four career starts and makes his first start over a synthetic surface here for the Doug O’Neill barn that won this race last year with Frank Conversation. Our top pick tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the state bred Cal Cup Derby last out at Santa Anita. He won the state bred King Glorious two back at Los Al.
He should get a perfect trip sitting just off the pace and can take the field gate to wire if nobody is sent. He should take to the fake stuff, he is by Square Eddie, who won the 2008 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland over polytrack and out of the stakes winner Repo ($208,522). A good performance here will send him to Dubai for the UAE Derby (G2) next month.
Sheer Flattery was the beaten favorite last out in the Robert B. Lewis (G1), checking in third behind Royal Mo, beaten 3 ¾ lengths and missing the runner up spot by a neck. He was making his first start against winners after breaking his maiden two back in the slop at Santa Anita in his fourth career start.
He has not raced on the surface but has worked over it for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who has won this race a record six times. His last pair of speed figs are tops in this field although the 7-5 morning line seems a tad on the light side.
More Power to Him has raced exclusively v over the Tapeta surface here, winning two of his six starts. Last out in the Cal Derby he stalked the early pace, came with a five-wide run and took over the lead but could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish at 12-1.
He was third three back in the Gold Rush in his stakes debut. He looks to be on the improve but will need to move forward again to beat the top pair in this spot.
WIN: Ann Arbor Eddie to win at 9-5 or better.
EXACTA: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6
TRIFECTA: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
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