El Camino Real Derby Highlights February Racing Schedule at GGF

El Camino Real Derby Highlights February Racing Schedule at GGF

     The 30th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby highlights the February racing schedule at Golden Gate Fields.

     The El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s premier race for 3-year-olds who are hoping to make it to the Triple Crown events, will be run Saturday, Feb. 12.  

     In 29 runnings (1982-2010) the El Camino Real Derby has produced a Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year (Charismatic-1999), two Kentucky Derby runners-up (Cavonnier-1996 and Casual Lies-1992), five Preakness Stakes winners (Charismatic-1999, Tabasco Cat-1994, Snow Chief-1986, Tank’s Prospect-1985, and Gate Dancer-1984), a Belmont Stakes winner (Tabasco Cat-1994), and a Belmont Stakes runner-up (Ten Most Wanted-2003).

     El Camino Real Derby graduates have made it to Triple Crown races four of the past five years.  Chocolate Candy, the 2009 El Camino Real Derby winner, ran fifth in the Kentucky Derby.  Tres Borrachos, the third-place finisher in the 2008 El Camino Real Derby, ran ninth in the Preakness Stakes.  Bwana Bull, the 2007 El Camino Real Derby victor, ran 15th in the Kentucky Derby.  Cause to Believe, the 2006 El Camino Real Derby winner, finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby.  

     This year’s El Camino Real Derby is expected to bring out Comma to the Top, who is ranked among the leading contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby, and Positive Response, the leading 3-year-old in Northern California.  

     Comma to the Top, trained by Peter Miller, finished his 2010 campaign with five straight victories.  The streak featured three stakes wins, including a triumph in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.  Positive Response has won three straight races for trainer William E. Morey and the hat trick includes victories in the Gold Rush Stakes and California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

     The field for the El Camino Real Derby, a 1 1/8-mile contest, will be drawn Wednesday, Feb. 9.

     Bay Area horse racing fans are invited to check out the film premiere of “The Last Train From Bay Meadows,” a feature-length documentary that will be shown at the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City (2215 Broadway St.) on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.  For ticket information visit www.historysmc.org or call (650) 299-0104 ext. 229.  

     Jockey Russell Baze will be inducted into the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Feb. 25, and fans are invited to join Russell for the induction ceremony, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Interstate Center-Mormon Temple in Oakland (4766 Lincoln, Ave.).

     Individual tickets for the event, which will also feature the induction of NBA great Rick Barry and NFL star quarterback Y. A. Tittle, cost $100.  Tickets that include admission to the “VIP Reception with the Stars” cost $125.  Tickets can be purchased at
www.afrosportshall.com or by calling (510) 508-3309.  

     Serving as master of ceremonies will be former major league baseball players Bip Roberts and Shooty Babitt.  All proceeds are earmarked for the Hall of Fame’s Academic Achiever’s Program.