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Tamarando, Dance With Fate, Enterprising Among Eight In Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby
Tamarando won the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity by a half-length over Dance With Fate. Dance With Fate beat Tamarando by two lengths while running second in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. The two talented colts will meet again Saturday in the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
The field for the El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s official prep for the Kentucky Derby, was drawn this morning and eight runners were entered in the 1 1/8-mile feature for 3-year-olds.
Enterprising, the California Derby runner-up who will be ridden Saturday by horse racing’s 2013 comeback player of the year, Gary Stevens, is the lukewarm 5-2 favorite on the El Camino Real Derby morning line. Tamarando is the second choice at 3-1 and Dance With Fate the third choice at 7-2.
The El Camino Real Derby is part of the 34-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series and awards Kentucky Derby points to its first four finishers (10 for first, four for second, two for third, and one for fourth). The top 20 point earners nominated to the Triple Crown earn a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.
The El Camino Real Derby will be run at approximately 4:42 p.m. and the race will be televised live by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. The El Camino Real Derby is the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. and fans attending Golden Gate Fields will receive a free El Camino Real Derby baseball cap.
Tamarando rallied from eighth in a field of 11 to win the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity at odds of 7-1 while enjoying a smooth journey. Dance With Fate, the second choice in the betting at 9-2, had a bit of a rough trip as he was bumped at the start and ran into traffic problems on the far turn in the Sept. 4 race.
Handicappers, perhaps thinking Dance With Fate would have won the Del Mar Futurity with a clean trip, sent him off as the 2-1 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile FrontRunner and Tamarando as the 7-2 third choice in the field of 10. The FrontRunner was won by 10-1 outsider Bond Holder, who defeated Dance With Fate by 2 1/4 lengths in the Sept. 28 race. Tamarando, who got away slowly when he broke into the side of the starting gate, checked in third.
Tamarando went on to compete in four more stakes in 2013 and captured the Real Quiet Stakes on Nov. 23 before finishing third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on Dec. 14 at now defunct Hollywood Park. Dance With Fate made only one more 2-year-old start following the FrontRunner and finished eighth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 after being squeezed at the start.
Tamarando and Dance With Fate have both raced once this year. Tamarando ran second as the 9-5 favorite in the $250,000 California Cup Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race for California-breds run Jan. 25 at Santa Anita. Dance With Fate scored an impressive victory in a one-mile allowance race on the turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 24.
Tamarando is trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Russell Baze. Bred and owned by Larry and Marianne Williams, Tamarando is a dark bay son of Bertrando who has finished in the money in eight of his nine career starts. Tamarando tops the El Camino Real Derby field in wins (three), stakes wins (two) and earnings ($505,120).
Dance With Fate, a Florida-bred colt by Two Step Salsa, was purchased as a
2-year-old for $120,000. Trained by Peter Eurton and owned in partnership by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing LLC, Dance With Fate has two wins and two seconds in six career starts and $190,050 in earnings. Jockey Aaron Gryder, who won the Grade 2 $300,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita last Saturday with Blingo, has the call on Dance With Fate.
The Hall of Famer Stevens will be making his first appearance at Golden Gate Fields since May 23, 1998, when he guided Hawksley Hill to victory in the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile. Stevens made one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports in 2013, returning to the saddle after a seven-year absence to win 18 graded stakes, including the Preakness with Oxbow and the Breeders' Cup Classic with Mucho Macho Man.
Stevens takes over for Gryder on Enterprising, who had a dream trip in the California Derby but couldn't get by winner Exit Stage Left, who prevailed by a half-length. Exit Stage Left is missing the El Camino Real Derby due to an injury he sustained while training last Saturday.
Golden Gate Fields odds maker Steve Martinelli said that Stevens being in the saddle prompted him to make Enterprising the morning-line favorite. Stevens is 2-for-3 with Enterprising as he piloted the Florida-bred colt to a nice maiden score on the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 16 and to a game win in the Eddie Logan Stakes on the grass at Santa Anita on Dec. 28.
Enterprising, on the strength of his win in the Eddie Logan, went off as the 9-5 favorite in the California Derby and ran well in his first start on a synthetic surface. A bay colt by Elusive Quality, Enterprising races for his breeder, Glen Hill Farm, and is trained by Tom Proctor. Enterprising has earned $94,350 in four starts.
The field for the El Camino Real Derby, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Craftsman, Dennis Carr, 8-1; Puppy Manners, Frank Alvarado, 8-1; Infosec, Isaias Enriquez, 10-1; Tamarando, Baze, 3-1; Enterprising, Stevens, 5-2; Icy Ride, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 10-1; I’ll Wrap It Up, Juan Hernandez, 10-1; and Dance With Fate, Gryder, 7-2.
Craftsman, a stakes-winner in his native Ireland, will be looking to bounce back from his U.S. debut on Dec. 28 when he finished fifth as the 3-2 favorite in the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita. Victorious in two of four starters in Ireland while under the care of star trainer Aidan O'Brien, Craftsman is now based at Santa Anita in the barn of trainer Simon Callaghan, who won the Grade1 Las Virgenes Stakes with Fashion Plate on Feb. 1.
Puppy Manners, Hollendorfer's second shooter in the El Camino Real Derby, finished strong in the California Derby to run fourth. A Kentucky-bred son of Kitten's Joy, Puppy Manners won his two starts prior to the California Derby.
Infosec, a California-bred son of Heatseeker, ran third in the California Derby at odds of 25-1 and has finished in the money in all four of his starts. Infosec is trained by Frank Lucarelli, who ranks second on the all-time victory list at Emerald Downs (Auburn, Washington) with 758 wins.
I'll Wrap It Up hails from the barn of Doug O'Neill, who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with I'll Have Another. A proven winner on a synthetic surface, I'll Wrap It Up broke his maiden in a 1 1/16-mile race on Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Icy Ride, a Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride, is a maiden from the barn of Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Purchased as a 2-year-old for $100,000, Icy Ride is owned by Baffert’s wife, Natalie, in partnership with Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller (2010 Vancouver Games, alpine skiing, super combined) and Bernard Schiappa. Icy Ride is 0-for-4 and has finished fourth in his past three races.