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Positive Response Favored On California Derby Morning Line
Positive Response has been installed a 5-to-2 favorite on the morning line to capture the 96th running of the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
The California Derby will be run Saturday and Positive Response heads a full field of 12 newly turned 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile feature. Fans attending the California Derby will receive a free Golden Gate Fields 70th anniversary sweatshirt.
The California Derby is the seventh race on a nine-program that begins at 12:45 p.m. General admission and club house gates open at 10 a.m.; the Turf Club at 11 a.m.
Post time for the California Derby is 3:52 p.m. and Positive Response will break from post position 11 under jockey Julien Couton. Positive Response will be gunning for his third straight win and his second consecutive stakes victory.
Trained by William E. Morey, Positive Response began to flourish when Morey put him in one-mile races. Positive Response scored a 3 1/2-length victory in a starter allowance race in his first try at a mile on Nov. 10 and then came back win the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes by six lengths on Dec. 10.
Positive Response showed great improvement between starts. After winning the starter allowance race in 1:39.71, Positive Response took the Gold Rush in 1:37.75 – nearly two full seconds faster.
Positive Response is the only stakes winner in the California Derby field and is the only horse with multiple victories on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface. The gelding also benefits from having the services of Couton, the hottest jockey at Golden Gate Fields since the start of 2011.
Rated behind Positive Response on the morning line are Dancing At Dark and Jakesam at 4-to-1 and 5-to-1, respectively.
Dancing At Dark is trained by leading Southern California conditioner John Sadler and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Russell Baze. Dancing At Dark is coming off a pair of sprint victories at Hollywood Park and will be trying two turns for the first time in the California Derby.
Jakesam is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, a no doubt future Hall of Famer, and will be ridden by Frank Alvarado. A Kentucky-bred son of Smoke Glacken, Jakesam is 1-for-1 on Tapeta as he crushed five rivals in a one-mile starter allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 30.
The morning line for the California Derby is as follows: Dancing At Dark 4-to-1, The Great Caper 20-to-1, Zayda 20-to-1, Bluegrass Reward 10-to-1; Rule He Must 15-to-1, Northern Indy 8-to-1, Jakesam 5-to-1, Mr. Candy Bar 20-to-1, Mazarron 12-to-1, Cut Fastball 20-to-1, Positive Response 5-to-2, and Grand Maneuver 8-to-1.