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Exit Stage Left Out Of El Camino Real Derby
Exit Stage Left, the undefeated colt who was expected to be among the favorites in the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on
Feb. 15, was injured during training Saturday morning at the East Bay racetrack and has been declared from Northern California’s official Kentucky Derby prep.
“The horse came back from galloping this morning and was injured,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer when contacted at Santa Anita, where he spent Saturday morning watching his Southern California runners train. “There’s no way to know why, or, actually, what happened, but the horse can’t run. He’s going to have to have some time off and that’s all I can tell you.”
Exit Stage Left, owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and Mark DeDomenico, has three stakes win in three career starts. The New Jersey-bred colt captured the six-furlong Golden Nugget Stakes in his debut on Nov. 9, successfully negotiated two turns in winning the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes on Dec. 7, and then held off 9-5 favorite Enterprising down the stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile California Derby on Jan. 18.
Hollendorfer, who originally planned to run Exit Stage Left and Puppy Manners in the El Camino Real Derby, will still have two entrants in the race. Hollendorfer said Exit Stage Left will be replaced by Tamarando, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.
Russell Baze, who guided Exit Stage Left to all three of his victories, will ride Tamarando in the El Camino Real Derby. Jockey Frank Alvarado will ride Puppy Manners, who is coming off a fourth-place finish in the California Derby.
Entries for the El Camino Real Derby will be taken Wednesday morning.
Be Proud Romps In California Oaks -- Be Proud, the prohibitive 3-5 favorite, rambled to a three-length victory in the $53,505 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Be Proud, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and ridden by Hall of Famer Russell Baze, won the 1 1/16-mile feature for 3-year-old fillies in front-running fashion and paid $3.40. Kris Furillo took second by a head over Tiz Kissable.
Runner-up in two stakes in Southern California last year, Be Proud was coming off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Be Proud was taking a significant drop in class Saturday and it showed.
“Going into the race it looked like she had them over a barrel,” said Baze. “Unless she just horribly hated the track or something, she looked like she’d be awfully tough to beat here. She was strong the whole way. I just reached back to tap her once (in the stretch). Even after the race I had to take her to the outrider because she was still pulling strong.
“She’s talented,” continued Baze. “This won’t be the last stakes she wins. She’s one of those where they’re going to have to pick their spots to avoid some of the really tough ones, but she’s a nice filly. She’s as honest as the day is long and just a sweetheart to take to the gate. She’s real professional.”
Be Proud, a Kentucky-bred filly by Proud Citizen, is owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt. Be Proud earned $30,300 for her first stakes victory and has banked $117,950 in eight career starts.
Free Bets Sunday For Year Of The Horse -- Golden Gate Fields will celebrate the Year of the Horse Sunday and fans attending the track will receive a lucky red envelope that contains a free betting voucher. Fans will also have the chance to win a free iPad mini as one will be raffled off after each race.
Post time is 12:45 p.m. and general parking, general admission, programs, beers, hot dogs and sodas cost just $1 each.