The $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday drew a field of eight with Kentucky Derby points and a berth in the Preakness Stakes up for grabs.
The El Camino Real Derby winner earns an automatic starting spot in the Preakness, the second jewel of the Triple Crown. In addition, the race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 10-4-3-2-1 points awarded to the top five finishers.
While Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends out a pair of runners, it is the Steve Specht trained Passarando who is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The gelding won the Gold Rush over the Tapeta here on Dec. 3.
His main foe may be the Ed Moger Jr. trained Chase the Chaos (3-1). The gelding won his first race over Tapeta on Dec. 30 beating first level optional claimers by 7 ½ lengths.
“I wasn’t surprised at all by the effort,” said Moger Jr. “He got a really fast pace to run in. That helped him, but he’s a good horse too.”
The El Camino Real Derby is the eighth race on the nine race card at Golden Gate Fields with a post time of 4:54 PT.
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
2 Chase the Chaos 3-1
1 Gilmore 4-1
4 Passarando 2-1
5 Harcyn 5-1
Chase the Chaos
This gelding is coming off a romp versus first level optional claimers last out where he drew away to win by 7 1/2 lengths and earn a career top speed figure. The runner up Happy Does came back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next outing here on Jan. 21. The Moger trainee came from off the pace to rally to take the lead in the Gold Rush two back but was caught late in a runner up finish. The winner of that race was Passarando who came back to run third in the Cal Cup Derby and is in here as well. Our top pick appears to be getting better with each outing since coming west and looks as if he will be able to handle nine furlongs.
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This colt is sent out by Baffert who has two in here and is looking for his fourth win in this race. He saddled last year’s winner Blackadder. Yes, I don’t remember him either. He made just one more start, a ninth in the Blue Grass at Keeneland. The Baffert trainee was a close up third in his debut going six furlongs at Del Mar and picked up his diploma on the stretch out to a mile last out at Los Al. The runner up Roll On Big Joe came back to graduate in his next start on Jan. 22 at Gulfstream Park by 14 ½ lengths with a 80 Beyer. This guy is by Twirling Candy out of a Henny Hughes mare and should be able to handle the switch to Tapeta.
The Specht trainee beat our top pick two back in the Gold Rush at a mile over the main track. Last bout he tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third place finish in the Cal Cup on dirt at Santa Anita,. The gelding has landed in the exacta in all five of his trips over the fake stuff. He looks likely to handle nine furlongs and is in a sharp underrated barn but his price may end up on the light side.
WIN: Chase the Chaos to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 2 / 1,4,5 and 1,2 / 1,2,4