Saturday’s $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields drew a field of eight three-year-olds, and while it has not been an important factor on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, there are 17 points up for grabs including 10 to the winner.
The Jerry Hollendorfer barn was set to send out the undefeated Exit Stage Left, but an injury during a workout knocked the promising colt out of the race, but the barn will send out a pair of runners including Tamarando, winner of the Del Mar Futurity (G1) last September. Hollendorfer has won the race three times in the last nine years, most recently with Chocolate Candy in 2009.
While Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic used the El Camino Real Derby as a prep, since the surface was switched to Tapeta in 2009 it has not had much of an impact on the Triple Crown. The best finish in a Triple Crown race was produced by Chocolate Candy, who was fifth in the 2009 Run for the Roses.
The Tom Proctor trained Enterprising is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The colt was second in the California Derby over the Tapeta surface in his last outing on Jan. 18.
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Let’s head out to Golden Gate Fields for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Golden Gate Fields Race 8 The El Camino Real Derby G3 (Post time 4:15 PT)
4 Tamarando 3-1
5 Enterprising 5-2
8 Dance With Fate 7-2
1 Craftsman 8-1
Tamarando has shown he can run on the fake stuff, winning the Del Mar Futurity (G1) last September over Polytrack and he won the Real Quiet over Cushion Track at Hollywood Park. Two back at Hollywood Park in his last start as a juvenile he ran third in the CashCall Futurity behind early Derby favorite and stablemate Shared Belief. The runner up in that race was Candy Boy, an impressive winner last Saturday in the Robert B. Lewis (G2) at Santa Anita. Last out the colt was the beaten favorite in the Cal Cup Derby, running second to California Chrome while 3 ¼ lengths clear of the rest of the field.
The Jerry Hollendofer barn has won this race in three of the last eight years and jockey Russell Baze has won this in six of the last nine years. The colt has put in a good work since his last outing and has a decent pedigree. He is out of the graded stakes placed mare Tamarack Bay ($218,965) who has dropped three other winners, top earner stakes winner Luckarack ($526,645).
Enterprising won the Eddie Logan on turf two back at Santa Anita and in his first start over the Tapeta surface last out he ran a good second as the beaten favorite in the California Derby, beaten a ½ length by Exit Stage Left, who will miss his race with an injury.
The colt is reunited with Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens who was aboard both of this guy’s wins. The Eddie Logan has produced two recent winners of this race while the California Derby has produced three of the last seven winners.
Dance With Fate beat Alw-1 optional claimers last out on turf despite getting off a beat slow in his three-year-old debut. He had a productive juvenile campaign, running second in the Del mar Futurity (G1) behind our top pick followed by a runner up finish in the Frontrunner (G1) behind Bond Holder.
The colt has shown he can run on any surface, winning on Polytrack and turf and running second in a Grade 1 on conventional dirt, so he should have no problem handling Tapeta. The colt figures to move forward in his second start of the year and may end up getting overlooked here.
WIN: Tamarando to win at 2-1 or better.
EXACTA: 4,5 / 1,4,5,8
TRIFECTA: 4,5 / 1,4,5,8 / 1,2,4,5,8
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