Golden Gate Fields: The $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points 10-4-2-1)
by Brian Nadeau
With synthetic racing falling out of favor over the past several years, Northern California’s top Kentucky Derby prep hasn’t been much of a feeding ground to Louisville, though there are still 17 points up for grabs, so let’s take a peek.
The potential for an energetic pace will benefit #7 EAGLE SONG (5-1), a son of No Nay Never that invades from Santa Anita after stalking and running second in a two-turn turf optional-claimer last time for Glatt, and he gets plenty of bonus points since he easily won twice on the synthetic at Dundalk last year in Ireland for then-trainer Joseph O’Brien. Baffert decided not to ship #9 KINGLY (2-1) to Fair Grounds for their GII Risen Star (see race preview here) because of a wide draw, but this son of Tapit didn’t do a lot better here, though he could still shake out as the controlling speed off his two Southern California starts, where he chased hot paces, though note he’s not bred for this on the bottom of his pedigree. The prospect of a legitimate pace clouds the chances of #4 ANOTHERTWISTAFATE (5-2), who has aired while walking on the lead in a pair of two-turn tilts over the track for Wright, but likely won’t make the lead today, which means are all bets are off for this son of Scat Daddy. Local legend Hollendorfer needed to dip into his Santa Anita string to find #12 MORE ICE (8-1), a stretch-running son of More Than Ready who closed late to be third the grassy Eddie Logan last time and would be a player here if he can translate that form to the local Tapeta.
#7 Eagle Song
#12 More Ice
Bob Baffert photo credit: NYRA/Susie Raisher