The $200,000 2013 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields is one of the tune-up races as part of the Derby Prep Season in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. It’s a new system that qualifies horses in terms of points versus the old system that went on graded stakes earnings. The El Camino Real Derby is for three year old colts and gelding and will run on February 16, 2013. The race is set for 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta (all weather) main track.
The following horses have been entered to run in the race:
POST POSTIONS – PAST PERFORMANCES
1. Wildcat Moon narrowly missed in the California Derby. It was his stakes debut where he was defeated by Zeewat by just 1/2 length. The Jeff Bonde trained colt by D’wildcat took six tries to break his maiden at Del Mar, Golden Gate, Stockton and again at Golden Gate. The maiden score was on November 10 going 5 1/2 furlongs, then the Florida bred came back to take an Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 going six furlongs. The CA Derby was his first attempt going longer. After a bad break, he was brought to the lead. He only surrendered the lead late. He should be ready for this one.
2. Rush In won his debut at Churchill Downs in a maiden claiming $30,000 on November 11 going 1 1/16 miles on dirt. At that time, he was trained by David Carroll. He was sold and shipped to Northern California and is now trained by William Morey. His first start was a 4th in the Gold Rush Stakes. The Langfurh colt three year old debut came in a four lengths Starter Allowance $40,000 win going one mile on the all weather. His most recent was 2nd beaten 1/2 length to Greeley Awesome in an Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 again going a mile. The winner from the Doug O’Neill barn was making his Northern California debut after breaking his maiden and taking a Starter Allowance at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita. This will be his first attempt going 1 1/8 miles.
3. Counting Days will be making his sixth start at the sixth different track on Saturday. His first three races were under the guidance of trainer Merrill Scherer. He finished 4th in his opener last Summer at Saratoga in a maiden claiming $50,000. The Mingun gelding then ran 4th in a maiden special weight at Kentucky Downs. He broke his maiden by 10 1/4 lengths going six furlongs in a $50,000 maiden race at Keeneland in October. His last two have been with trainer Carla Gaines. His first race in Southern California came on the turf in the Generous Stakes (G3) on November 24 at BetFair Hollywood Park. He finished 7th, but was only beaten four lengths. His latest came at Santa Anita in an Allowance race where he finished a well beaten 5th going six furlongs on dirt. At this point, they really don’t know what to do with him. By heading North, they thought they might get weaker than normal competition, yet they face CA Derby winner and runner-up as well as a pair from Baffert.
4. Manando ran an impressive 3rd in the Sham Stakes beaten just 1/2 length by Den’s Legacy and an additional 1 1/2 length behind Goldencents. This after taking four tries to break his maiden. He had three straight 3rd place finishes before the maiden score. Trained by Bob Baffert ships him North for this race rather than taking on tougher stablemates in the San Felipe Stakes.
5. Zeewat comes into this race winning the last two stakes races at Golden Gate. The Jerry Hollendorfer trained colt by Harlan’s Holiday won the California Derby on January 12 in his three year old debut and the Gold Rush Stakes on December 8 in his last race at two. The Pennsylvania bred has won 4 of 6 starts. He won his first two at Santa Rosa last Summer, finished 4th in the Tim Conway Stakes at Santa Anita in October, then 3rd in the Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate before winning these last two.
6. Nina’s Dragon is out of the local barn for Lloyd Mason. Last June, he made his debut at Pleasanton and ran 3rd in a maiden special weight race going five furlongs. He wouldn’t race again for five months, but the return off layoff was successful as he broke his maiden at Golden Gate going six furlongs. His latest was a 3rd in the Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 with a couple of others in here. He lost by one length going a mile.
7. North Pacific was unsuccessful in three attempts in maiden claiming at Hastings Park last Summer. The Len Kasmerski trained colt by Master Command also tried the Ascot Graduation Stakes as a maiden and finished 5th. In his 4th try at Golden Gate, he finally broke through and captured his first win in a maiden special weight race on January 19. He has been competitive in most of his races with one 2nd and four 3rd’s, but this is a tough group to face compared to what he has been racing against.
8. Carving is heading North for Baffert after finishing 6th in the CashCall Futurity (G1) at Hollywood in November. He won the Real Quiet Stakes prior going 1 1/16 miles on the all weather. The Any Given Saturday colt started his career by breaking his maiden at Del Mar, then winning the C. B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex. His first attempt in graded company resulted in a 4th place finish in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita late September. He was well beaten by stablemate Power Broker. He is definitely the class in the field with his two stakes win in Southern California, but this won’t be an easy task.
9. Dice Flavor will also ship to Northern California from the South after posting one win in four starts. The Scat Daddy colt trained by Pat Gallagher missed in his first two at Hollywood and Santa Anita going short before breaking through with a win going 1 1/16 miles. All three on turf. His last race at Santa Anita on February 1 was also on turf in a 3rd place effort in Allowance Optional Claiming $80,000. His missed 2nd by a nose and was 3/4 length behind the winner. This will be his first try off turf.
ORDER OF FINISH
1. Dice Flavor – Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. – Trainer Patrick Gallagher
2. Nina’s Dragon
3. Counting Days
6. Wildcat Moon
7. North Pacific
8. Rush In