Zeewat Made 6-5 Favorite In California Derby

Zeewat Made 6-5 Favorite In California Derby

     Gold Rush Stakes winner Zeewat has been made the 6-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

     Anyone who witnessed Zeewat’s convincing 3 1/4-length victory in the one-mile Gold Rush on Dec. 8 can understand why Golden Gate Fields odds maker Steve Martinelli made the colt such a strong choice in the 1 1/16-mile California Derby.

     Zeewat, wearing blinkers for the first time and trying two turns for the first time, ran away from his rivals in the final furlong of the Gold Rush to earn his third victory in five career starts.  
      Zeewat is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and will be ridden in the California Derby by Russell Baze.  Zeewat will break from post position three in the field of seven newly turned 3-year-olds.

     The 4-1 second choice in the California Derby is Southern California invader Tree of Life, who has won two of four starts for trainer Craig Dollase, including the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile.  Tree of Life ran fifth in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes in his most recent outing on Nov. 24 and has been gelded since that start.  Handicappers that believe in the “ultimate equipment change” will give Tree of Life a long look Saturday.

     The third choice on the morning line at 9-2 is Condiment, who ran second to Zeewat in the Gold Rush.  Joe Brook trains Condiment.

     The field for the California Derby, with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Will True Up, Francisco Duran, 8-1; Condiment, Julien Couton, 9-2; Zeewat, Baze, 6-5;
Wildcat Moon, Kyle Frey, 8-1; Tree of Life, Dennis Carr, 4-1; Butterfly Soul, Abel Cedillo, 15-1; and My Best Bet, Frank Alvarado, 8-1.

     The California Derby is the fourth race on a nine-race program Saturday and will be run at approximately 2:15 p.m.  Gates open at 10 a.m. and first post is 12:45 p.m.

     Martin Continues To Sizzle  --  Trainer John F. Martin sent out his fifth straight winner Thursday at Golden Gate Fields.  Martin won the sixth race with favored Sir Al ($6.60), who got up in the final strides to defeat Titian by a nose.  Martin has won with nine of his last 11 starters.
     Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator.  The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness.  The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation.  The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service.  The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.