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Comma To The Top, Positive Response Headline Cast Of Seven In $200,000 El Camino Real Derby
Comma to the Top is a Grade 1 stakes winner and the No. 4 ranked 3-year-old in the nation by Daily Racing Form. Positive Response won the California Derby and is Northern California’s leading 3-year-old. These two talented runners head a field of seven in Saturday’s $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
The field for the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s premier event for Triple Crown hopefuls, was drawn this morning and Comma to the Top and Positive Response drew post positions one and five, respectively. The 1 1/8-mile race will be run on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface.
Post time for the El Camino Real Derby, the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m., is 4:22 p.m.
Southern California-based Comma to the Top has won five straight races, a streak that began when trainer Peter Miller sent the gelding to Golden Gate Fields for a $40,000 starter allowance race. Comma to the Top won that six-furlong sprint by four lengths and three weeks later returned to the Bay Area to win a six-furlong allowance race by six lengths.
Comma to the Top followed up his Bay Area victories with a stakes hat trick at Hollywood Park, where he captured the Real Quiet Stakes (a 1 1/16-mile test on the synthetic Cushion Track surface), the Grade 3 Generous Stakes (a one-mile turf race), and the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity (a 1 1/16-mile race on Cushion Track).
Comma to the Top, who has six wins and a second in 10 career starts and $551,600 in earnings, will be ridden in the El Camino Real Derby by Corey Nakatani.
Positive Response, trained by William E. Morey, has four victories and a third in six career starts and enters the El Camino Real Derby with a three-race winning streak at Golden Gate Fields. Prior to winning the 1 1/16-mile California Derby, Positive Response won the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes and a one-mile starter allowance race. All three races were recorded on the Tapeta surface.
Positive Response began his career in Canada and was purchased by Morey for $75,000 after he broke his maiden in his second start at Woodbine. Since joining the Morey barn, Positive Response has earned $116,880 for the trainer and his ownership partners, Saul Gevertz, Roger Newman and Ray Pagano.
Frenchman Julien Couton, who is second to Russell Baze in the jockey standings at the current Golden Gate Fields meeting, guided Positive Response to his Gold Rush and California Derby victories and will be back in the irons Saturday.
Baze, who has won the El Camino Real Derby a record seven times, will seek an eighth victory in the race with the Steve Asmussen-trained Silver Medallion. Silver Medalloin is coming off a victory in the Eddie Logan Stakes, a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita.
Silver Medallion, who has two wins and a second in five career starts, will be Asmussen’s first starter at Golden Gate Fields. Asmussen has trained the Horse of the Year three of the past four years (Curlin 2007-2008 and Rachel Alexandra 2009).
The El Camino Real Derby field also features Jakesam, Anthony’s Cross, Bluegrass Reward, and Formula Gold.
Jakesam finished second in the California Derby, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Positive Response. The runner-up placing was impressive considering Jakesam battled for the early lead through quick fractions and still held off the closers in the stretch.
Jakesam hails from the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer, who has saddled a record five El Camino Real Derby winners.
Anthony’s Cross is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Eoin Harty, Anthony’s Cross broke his maiden in a 1 1/16-mile maiden allowance race at Churchill Downs and in doing so defeated Tapizar, the winner of the Sham. Tapizar finished fourth in the maiden race.
Bluegrass Reward finished third in the California Derby, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Positive Response and one length by Jakesam. Trained by Steve Miyadi, Bluegrass Reward has finished in the money in six of his eight career starts.
Formula Gold is coming off a game maiden victory for trainer Lloyd Mason, who has won with eight of his 27 starters at the current meeting. Formula Gold is owned Mason’s son, Brett, who bred the son of Formal Gold.