El Camino Real Derby Rivals Exit Feature In Good Order

El Camino Real Derby Rivals Exit Feature In Good Order

     Silver Medallion came out of his upset victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in good order, according to trainer Steve Asmussen.

     “He came out of it great,” said Asmussen via telephone from his barn at Santa Anita Sunday.  “He loaded onto the van at 10 a.m. and is on his way back home.  I was very pleased with his race.  He’s a very nice horse.”

     Asmussen said he and owner Michael Ryan haven’t decided on the next assignment for Silver Medallion, who won the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby by 1 1/4 lengths over Jakesam in a good 1:50.45.  

     “I spoke with Mike after the race and again this morning and we have a tremendous amount of options with this horse,” said Asmussen.  “We’ll see how the horses trains coming out of the race and then make a decision.”

     Silver Medallion, who was coming off a victory in the Eddie Logan Stakes on the turf at Santa Anita, was dismissed at odds of 6.50-to-1 in the El Camino Real Derby and paid $15.00 as the third wagering choice in the field of six.  A Kentucky-bred son of Badge of Silver, Silver Medallion was purchased as a yearling for $150,000.  Silver Medallion earned $120,000 for the El Camino Real Derby win and has made $212,904 in six career starts.

     Comma to the Top, the heavy 1-to-2 favorite in the El Camino Real Derby, and Positive Response, the 5-to-2 second choice, finished fourth and third, respectively.

    Comma to the Top, ridden by Corey Nakatani, broke alertly from post position one but then was allowed to drift out to the middle of the track.  Jakesam, who broke from post seven, easily crossed over in front of Comma to the Top to take command and set the pace.

     Comma to the Top, who had posted front-running victories in each of his previous five races, sat more than two lengths off the lead in the El Camino Real Derby.  Comma to the Top moved up to vie for the lead approaching the stretch, drifted out and brushed with Silver Medallion, and then flattened out in the final furlong.

     “It was an interesting ride,” said Peter Miller, trainer of Comma to the Top, Sunday morning.  “I’ll just leave it at that.  I thought the horse ran well.  For not having run for two months, going a mile and an eighth for the first time, and for being taken out of his usual (running) style, I’m happy with his effort.  He came out of it super.  He ate up last night and looks great this morning.”

     Miller said Comma to the Top will be pointed for the Grade 2 $250,000 San Felipe Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile event at Santa Anita on March 12.  “Corey will ride the horse,” said Miller.

    The stewards at Golden Gate Fields handed Nakatani a three-day suspension Sunday for his ride on Comma to the Top, citing the jockey “for failure to make a proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch and causing interference.”  Nakatani is to serve the days Feb. 20, 21, and 25.

     Positive Response, who rallied from last to finish third in the El Camino Real Derby, also exited the race well.

     “Everything’s good,” said trainer William E. Morey Sunday morning.  “I thought he ran a good race.  I don’t think it was his best race, but he got beat two lengths in the El Camino Real Derby and ran third.  If that’s his sub-par race, I’ll take it.”

     Morey said he hasn’t decided on Positive Response’s next race.