The Bay Area’s Positive Response is the 3-to-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes, a key Kentucky Derby prep at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

     Winner of the California Derby and Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, Positive Response is trained by William E. Morey and owned in partnership by Morey, Ray Pagano, Roger Newman and Saul Gevertz.

     Positive Response was sent to Turfway Park after running third in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 12.  The gelded son of Pomeroy earned the opportunity to compete in the Spiral when he scored a convincing seven-length victory in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park on March 5.

      “I told everybody before the Battaglia how good he was training up to it, how well he flew into town here in Kentucky and how well he trained over this track,” said Morey.  “He was just going super great into that race and he showed it.  He's still going really good.  I know we're facing some different competition this time, but the horse is doing really well.”
     Positive Response will face 11 rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Spiral and break from post position two under jockey Julien Couton.  A victory in the Spiral, which features valuable graded stakes money, would put Positive Response in position for a starting spot in the Kentucky Derby.

     “Well, obviously we're almost in a must win situation as far as the Derby goes,” said Morey.  “I mean almost, you know, as far as graded earnings goes.  So we're just going to kind of wait and see.  If we do get lucky and win the race then we'll have that possibility.”

     Positive Response enters the Spiral with $223,201 in earnings, however, only $24,000 of that total is graded stakes earnings.  

     Golden Gate Fields will simulcast the Spiral Stakes, which will be run at 2:31 p.m.  

     The field for the Spiral, in post position order and with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Preachintothedevil, Junior Alvarado, 15-to-1; Positive Response, Couton, 3-to-1; Thirtyfirststreet, Kendrick Carmouche, 12-to-1; Animal Kingdom, Alan Garcia, 5-to-1; Son of Posse, Rafael Mojica, 50-to-1; Rescind the Trade, Jose Valdivia, Jr.,
12-to-1; Beachcombing, Leandro Goncalves, 12-to-1; King Congie, Javier Castellano,
4-to-1; Taptowne, Rodney Prescott, 20-to-1; Decisive Moment, Kerwin Clark, 5-to-1; Twinspired, Victor Lebron, 10-to-1; and Glint, Gabriel Saez, 10-to-1.

     Golden Gate Fields will present a nine-race card Saturday and post time is 12:45 p.m.