A deep and competitive field of 13 sophomores has signed on to compete in the 38th running of the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby, to be contested at a mile and one eighth on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday. In addition to a check for $60,000, the El Camino Real winner will, for the first time, receive a free berth into the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Grade1, $1.5-million Preakness Stakes on May 18, as well as 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Heading the field is Bob Baffert-trained Kingly. Based at Santa Anita, this royally bred colt by Tapit is out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie and is thus a full brother to four-time Grade 2 winner Mohaymen and a half sibling to Grade 1 stakes winner New Year's Day.
An impressive first-out maiden winner sprinting at Del Mar last December, Kingly, in his second career start, was second as the 8-5 favorite going a flat mile behind the highly regarded Extra Hope at Santa Anita on Jan. 31. Southern California jockey Evin Roman will ride Kingly for the first time on Saturday.
The most noteworthy Northern California runner is Anothertwistafate, a son of Scat Daddy trained by Blaine Wright and ridden by top Northern California jockey Juan Hernandez. Anothertwistafate has rattled off two decisive, fast-timed route wins against easier company and makes his stakes debut in this spot. Other local contenders include stakes-placed Mayor Cobb, supplemental entrant Data Hawk, multiple NorCal winner Angelo's Pride and Rey Coliman, who finished second behind Anothertwistafate in a Jan. 4 allowance.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who has won the El Camino Real Derby a record six times, will send out More Ice, a chestnut colt by More Than Ready, on Saturday. Out of the Tapit mare Cool and Ice, More Ice was most recently third going a mile on turf in Santa Anita's Eddie Logan Stakes Dec. 28 and has two main track works at Golden Gate leading into what will be his 3-year-old debut.
Currently atop the Santa Anita trainer standings, two-time Kentucky Derby winner and 2016 El Camino Real Derby winning trainer Doug O'Neill will saddle a pair of horses in Saturday's renewal, The Creep and Weekly Call, both of whom were stakes placed as juveniles.
Other out-of-town shippers include Jeff Bonde-trained stakes winning King of Speed, Keith Desormeaux's Knight's Cross, Mark Glatt's Eagle Song and the Eoin Harty-conditioned Royal Insider.
With first post time at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday set at 12:45 p.m. PT, the El Camino Real Derby has been carded as the seventh race on a nine-race program.
Approximate post time for the Derby is at 3:45 p.m. PT. For additional information, please visit goldengatefields.com or call (510) 559-7300.
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