A Kentucky-bred colt by Friends Lake, Merus Miami won a six-furlong maiden allowance race in his debut and then jumped up in class to capture the one-mile Gold Rush Stakes.
Merus Miami is trained by O. J. Jauregui and owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, an ownership group that puts together racehorse partnerships across the U.S. West Point Thoroughbreds purchased Merus Miami as a yearling for $100,000 and has seen the colt earn $62,400 in his two starts. The winner of the California Derby will earn $60,000
Jockey Alex Bisono has ridden Merus Miami in both of his races and he'll be in the irons again Saturday.
The field for the California Derby, in post position order, is as follows: Adriatic Moon, Frank Alvarado will ride; Revoluta, Roberto Gonzalez; Feisty Suances, Chad Schvaneveldt; Merus Miami, Bisono; Chocolate Candy, Russell Baze; Gallant Son, Leslie Mawing; and Axel Foley, Alonso Quinonez. All of the starters carry 121 pounds.
Post time Saturday is 12:45 p.m. and fans attending the track will receive a free Golden Gate Fields fleece pullover. Post time for the California Derby, the eighth event on a nine-race program, is approximately 4:15 p.m.