Daddy Nose Best Wins By A Nose In $200,000 El Camino Real Derby

Daddy Nose Best Wins By A Nose In $200,000 El Camino Real Derby


     Daddy Nose Best proved to be a nose best in the Grade 3 $201,300 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

     Daddy Nose Best, ridden by Julien Leparoux, just held off Irish-bred Lucky Chappy and jockey Alan Garcia to prevail in the closest finish in the 31-year history of Northern California’s prep race for Kentucky Derby hopefuls.  Handsome Mike, the 2-to-1 favorite ridden by Corey Nakatani, finished 3 1/2 lengths back in third.

     Daddy Nose Best completed 1 1/8-miles on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface in 1:50.46 and paid $10.20 as the fourth choice in the wagering.

     “I didn’t know if I won or not,” said Leparoux, a two-time champion jockey who flew in from Florida to ride Daddy Nose Best.  “It was too close to call.  It was nice to see the horse fight back.”

     It was a tough loss for New York-based jockey Garcia, who rallied Lucky Chappy from last in the field of 10 and missed by a nostril.

     “When you come this far to win a race and you get beat like that…heartbreaking,” said Garcia.  “He broke a little slow out of there and it took him a little while to get going.  He finished well.  I’m looking forward to the next one.  It’s going to be good.”

     Daddy Nose Best is trained by one of the nation’s leading conditioners, Steve Asmussen, who is 2-for-2 at Golden Gate Fields with both wins coming in the El Camino Real Derby.  Asmussen won the feature last year with Silver Medallion.

     Darren Fleming, an assistant trainer to Asmussen, saddled Daddy Nose Best at Golden Gate Fields.  Daddy Nose Best triumphantly bounced back in the El Camino Real Derby after finishing fifth as the 4-to-5 favorite in the Eddie Logan Stakes, a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita on Dec. 31.  

     “We came here because of the added distance and his experience on turf which carries over to synthetic,” said Fleming.  “Winning (the El Camino Real Derby) last year with Silver Medallion helped our decision.  He’s been getting better with time, and he’s trained with a different mindset since his last race.  He’s been showing us he wanted more ground, so we’ve had to wait for the races to catch up to him.”

     Daddy Nose Best, a Kentucky-bred colt who was purchased as a yearling for $35,000, earned $120,000 for his first stakes victory and his third win in nine career starts.  Daddy Nose Best is owned by Bob and Cathy Zollars of Dallas, Texas.
    “He was named after that old TV show Father Knows Best, and his sire is Scat Daddy,” said Bob Zollars.

     So what’s the next stop for Daddy Nose Best on the road to the Kentucky Derby?  

     “I’ll let Darren and Steve figure out his next start,” said Zollars, who has seen Daddy Nose Best earn $233,623 in his nine races.

     The Bay Area’s top hopes in the El Camino Real Derby, California Derby winner Russian Greek and California Oaks victress Lady of Fifty, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

     Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday and Monday, Presidents’ Day.  Post time both days is 12:45 p.m.  Sunday is Dollar Day with the track offering fans $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers, and $1 sodas.