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Exit Stage Left Tops Roster Of California Derby Nominees
The undefeated colt Exit Stage Left, winner of the Golden Nugget Stakes and Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last year, headlines the list of nominees for the $100,000 California Derby.
Twenty-two newly turned 3-year-olds are nominated to the California Derby, which will be run Saturday, Jan. 18, at Golden Gate Fields. A 1 1/16-mile race, the California Derby is a steppingstone to the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 15.
Exit Stage Left made his career debut Nov. 9 in the six-furlong Golden Nugget and broke his maiden in grand style when he overcame some trouble on the turn to win by a neck over Unusual Americaine.
Exit Stage Left validated his debut victory when he came back on Dec. 7 to capture the one-mile Gold Rush by a length over Argyle Cut.
Exit Stage Left has Hall of Fame connections as he is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and has jockey Russell Baze as his pilot. Owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and Mark DeDomenico, Exit Stage Left was bred in New Jersey and is by the sire Noonmark.
The nomination roster also includes Bayern, a Bob Baffert-trained colt who made a winning debut in a seven-furlong maiden allowance race at Santa Anita on Jan. 4; Brother Soldier, who finished third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 10 for trainer Craig Dollase; and Ontology, a colt from the Simon Callaghan barn who as a maiden finished second in both the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Oak Tree Juvenile Turf last year.
The complete list of nominees for the California Derby: Argyle Cut (trained by William E. Morey), Baranof (Eoin Harty), Bayern (Baffert), Brother Soldier (Dollase), Exit Stage Left (Hollendorfer), Ghost of Harrenhal (Derek Meredith), Grazen’s Hope (Steve Miyadi), Harbaugh (Doug O’Neill), Hoppertunity (Baffert), I’ll Wrap It Up (O’Neill), Infosec (Frank Lucarelli), Life Is A Joy (Hollendorfer), Morally Bankrupt-GB (Dean Greenman), Mr. Discipline ( Jeff Bonde), Ontology (Callaghan), Pazmeifucan (Alex Paszkeicz), Puppy Manners (Hollendorfer), Royal Banker-GB (Eoin Harty), Tap It Rich (Baffert), Terrys Tom Cat (Morey), Unusual Americaine (Morey), and Van Lingle Mungo (Aggie Ordonez).
Entries for the California Derby will be taken Wednesday morning.