Thursday, February 16, 2012


ALBANY -- Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will fire two bullets – a fast filly named Lady of Fifty and a stretch-running colt named Russian Greek – when he takes aim at another victory in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

The field for the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s premier event for Triple Crown hopefuls, was drawn this morning and 10 runners were entered in the 1 1/8-mile feature for 3-year-olds.

The El Camino Real Derby will be the eighth race on a nine-race program and has a scheduled post time of 4:43 p.m. 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.

First post Saturday is 12:45 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. and fans attending Golden Gate Fields will receive a free long sleeve El Camino Real Derby shirt, which features the silks of all 30 winners of the race.

Hollendorfer has saddled a record five El Camino Real Derby winners and he’ll attack the 31st running of the stakes from both angles as he sends out a front-runner in Lady of Fifty and a closer in Russian Greek.

Russian Greek has three wins in four starts, including two stakes victories. A Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway, Russian Greek charged from last to win to the
1 1/16-mile California Derby in his most recent outing on Jan. 14. Olympia Star, Inc. owns Russian Greek, who employed a big stretch kick to win the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes on Dec. 10. Jockey Aaron Gryder will ride Russian Greek.

Lady of Fifty has been victorious in four of her five career races and swept a series of stakes for young fillies at Golden Gate Fields. The Kentucky-bred daughter of After Market won the six-furlong Golden Gate Debutante on Nov. 5, the one-mile Corte Madera on Dec. 3, and the 1 1/16-mile California Oaks on Jan. 21.

Lady of Fifty is trying to become the first filly to win the El Camino Real Derby. Owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and George Todaro, Lady of Fifty will have the services of jockey Russell Baze, who has won the El Camino Real Derby eight times, including six of the past seven years.

The El Camino Real Derby field also includes Cahill Chrome, Senor Rain, Lucky Chappy, Handsome Mike, Daddy Nose Best, Unveiled Heat, All Squared Away, and Rockinarz Recruit.

Cahill Chrome ran second at odds of 29-1 in the California Derby and was beaten just a length by Russian Greek. Trained by Roger Hansen, Cahill Chrome races for longtime owner/breeder Kjell H. Qvale of San Francisco and will be ridden by Juan Hernandez.

Senor Rain finished third in the California Derby, the fourth stakes in which he has finished in the money. Senor Rain is trained by Peter Miller, who also conditions All Squared Away, a front-running winner of a 1 1/16-mile maiden allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 22. Kevin Krigger will ride Senor Rain and Kerwin John will be aboard All Squared Away.

Irish-bred Lucky Chappy won a stakes in Italy last year and most recently finished second in the Kittens Joy Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf race run at Gulfstream Park on
Jan. 21. Lucky Chappy is trained by Graham Motion and will be ridden by East Coast-based Alan Garcia.

Handsome Mike finished second in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes, a one-mile turf race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27, and most recently finished fourth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, a one-mile dirt race at Santa Anita on Jan. 7. Hollywood Park-based Handsome Mike is trained by Doug O’Neill and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.

Daddy Nose Best, sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, will be out to make amends for his last start when he finished fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Eddie Logan Stakes, a one-mile turf stakes at Santa Anita run on Dec. 31.
Daddy Nose Best is trained by Steve Asmussen, who won last year’s El Camino Real Derby with Silver Medallion. Two-time champion jockey Julien Leparoux will fly in from Florida to ride Daddy Nose Best.

Unveiled Heat, trained by Steve Specht, ran fifth in the California Derby in his first start following a maiden victory in a 1 1/16-mile turf contest at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 4. Specht’s money rider, Frank Alvarado, will ride Unveiled Heat in the El Camino Real Derby.

Rockinarz Recruit posted a five-length victory in a six-furlong maiden allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 2 and then finished third in a six-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita on Jan. 20. Trained by Lloyd Mason, Rockinarz Recruit will be ridden by Abel Cedillo when he makes first try around two runs in the El Camino Real Derby.

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