Saturday, February 18, 2012


ALBANY -- The two most prolific horsemen in the history of the El Camino Real Derby – Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze and Hall of Famer trainer Jerry Hollendorfer –will team up with the fast filly Lady of Fifty in the 31st running of the stakes Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Baze has won the El Camino Real Derby eight times, including six of the past seven years. Baze scored his victories with Silver Medallion (2011), Connemara (2010),
Chocolate Candy (2009), Bwana Bull (2007), Cause to Believe (2006), Uncle Denny (2005), Event of the Year (1998), and French Legionaire (1984).

Hollendorfer has saddled five El Camino Real Derby winners – Chocolate Candy, Bwana Bull, Cause to Believe, Yougottawanna and Event of the Year – and he’ll have two chances at victory Saturday as he’ll send out Lady of Fifty and Russian Greek. Aaron Gryder will ride Russian Greek, the 5-to-2 morning line favorite.

The El Camino Real Derby, a 1 1/8-mile contest for 3-year-olds, is Northern California’s premier steppingstone to the Triple Crown events. In 30 runnings the El Camino Real Derby has produced a Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year (Charismatic-1999), two Kentucky Derby runners-up (Cavonnier-1996 and Casual Lies-1992), five Preakness Stakes winners (Charismatic-1999, Tabasco Cat-1994, Snow Chief-1986, Tank’s Prospect-1985, and Gate Dancer-1984), a Belmont Stakes winner (Tabasco Cat-1994), and a Belmont Stakes runner-up (Ten Most Wanted-2003).

Six of the 10 runners in Saturday’s El Camino Real Derby field have already been nominated to the Triple Crown – Daddy Nose Best, Senor Rain, Russian Greek, Lucky Chappy, Handsome Mike, and Rockinarz Recruit. The final deadline to nominate a
3-year-old to the Triple Crown is March 24 and the cost is $6,000.

The field for the El Camino Real Derby, in post position order with riders and morning-line odds, is as follows: Daddy Nose Best, Julie Leparoux, 9-to-2; Senor Rain, Kevin Krigger, 12-to-1; Cahill Chrome, Juan Hernandez, 10-to-1; Russian Greek, Gryder, 5-to-2; Unveiled Heat, Frank Alvarado, 20-to-1; Lucky Chappy, Alan Garcia,
7-to-2; Handsome Mike, Corey Nakatani, 6-to-1; Rockinarz Recruit, Abel Cedillo,
20-to-1; All Squared Away, Kerwin John, 20-to-1; and Lady of Fifty, Baze, 5-to-1.
All of the starters will carry 121 pounds with the exception of Lady of Fifty, who will tote 116 pounds.

Post time for the El Camino Real Derby, the eighth race on a nine-race program, is 4:43 p.m. First post is 12:45 p.m. and fans attending Golden Gate Fields will receive a free El Camino Real Derby shirt that features the silks of the 30 winners of the race.
The race will be carried live on Comcast SportsNet California during its one-hour telecast (4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) from Golden Gate Fields.

El Camino Real Derby Notes -- The betting favorite has won 11 of the 30 runnings of the El Camino Real Derby, including two of the past three runnings. Prior to Silver Medallion’s $15.00 upset in last year’s El Camino Real Derby, Connemara ($4.60) scored as a 6-to-5 in 2010 and Chocolate Candy ($3.00) delivered as a 1-to-2 favorite in 2009. The lowest win payoff in the history of the El Camino Real Derby is $2.60, which Event of the Year returned in 1998. Event of the Year was the top gun in a three-horse entry that went off at odds of .30-to-1…Autism Awareness, a horse named to bring attention to the developmental disorder that affects children, drew attention to himself and his cause when he won the 2008 El Camino Real Derby at odds of 62-to-1 – the biggest upset in the history of the stakes. Autism Awareness paid $126.00…The closest finish in the El Camino Real Derby came in 1999 when Cliquot defeated Charismatic by a head. The biggest margin of victory was recorded by Jumron, who won the 1995 running by nine lengths….Lady of Fifty will try to become the first filly to win the El Camino Real Derby. Fillies are 0-for-2 in the race as Cara Rafaela ran fourth as the favorite in 1996 and Wildwood Flower finished fourth in the 2004 renewal….Horses bred in Kentucky have won 20 of the 30 runnings of the El Camino Real Derby. California-bred horses have nine victories in the race. Jumron, who was bred in Great Britain, is the lone foreigner to capture the feature.

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