Cal Derby Champ Russian Greek Continues Preparations For El Camino Real Derby

Cal Derby Champ Russian Greek Continues Preparations For El Camino Real Derby

     California Derby winner Russian Greek worked an easy six furlongs in 1:16 2/5 handily Thursday morning at Golden Gate Fields as he continues to prepare for his next assignment – the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby.

     The El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s key race for Kentucky Derby hopefuls, will be run Saturday, Feb. 18, at Golden Gate Fields.  The El Camino Real Derby is a 1 1/8-mile contest for 3-year-olds.

     Jockey Aaron Gryder, who guided Russian Greek to his come-from-behind victory in the 1 1/16-mile California Derby on Jan. 14, put the Kentucky-bred colt through his workout Thursday for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.  It was the second drill since the California Derby for Russian Greek, who worked a half-mile in :50 2/5 handily on
Jan. 21.

     “He went nice,” said Gryder of Russian Greek’s six-furlong move.  “He isn’t overly aggressive when he’s out there by himself, but he goes around there the way you want one to go.  The thing that’s been impressive in his works since the California Derby has been the way he’s galloped out.  He’s galloped out strong.  He’s doing great.”

     Russian Greek, a son of Giant’s Causeway, has three wins in four career starts.
Owned by Olympia Star, Inc., Russian Greek won the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes prior to capturing the California Derby.

     Nominations for the El Camino Real Derby close on Thursday, Feb. 9, and entries for the race will be taken on Wednesday, Feb. 15.  The race will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet California, which will present a one-hour El Camino Real Derby show from Golden Gate Fields from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.