Sunday, February 12, 2012


ALBANY -- A large and competitive field is shaping up for the 31st running of the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

Northern California’s top prep race for the Kentucky Derby, the El Camino Real Derby will be run Saturday. 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.

Although entries for the race won’t be taken until Wednesday, 10 horses have already been confirmed for the 1 1/8-mile feature for 3-year-olds. Among the scheduled starters are the first three finishers in the California Derby – Russian Greek, Cahill Chrome and Senor Rain.

The other expected participants are All Squared Away, Daddy Nose Best, Handsome Mike, the filly Lady of Fifty, Irish-bred Lucky Chappy, Rockinarz Recruit, and Unveiled Heat.

Castaway, a smart maiden winner trained by Bob Baffert, and Coach Royal are listed as possible starters.

Two of the nation’s top jockeys, Julien Leparoux and Corey Nakatani, will be at Golden Gate Fields for the El Camino Real Derby. Leparoux, currently based at Gulfstream Park in Florida, will ride Daddy Nose Best for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Nakatani will make the trip north from Santa Anita to pilot Handsome Mike for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Two Northern California-based Hall of Famers, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Russell Baze, will once again be big players in the El Camino Real Derby.

Hollendorfer, who has saddled a record five El Camino Real Derby winners, will have two chances at another victory as he trains Russian Greek and Lady of Fifty. Baze, who has won the El Camino Real Derby eight times, including six of the past seven years, will ride Lady of Fifty.

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

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

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