August 11, 2020

Dice Flavor runs away with El Camino Real Derby

Last updated: 2/16/13 9:01 PM

Dice Flavor romped home to
win his stakes bow in the El Camino Real Derby

(Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography)

Dice Flavor burst between opponents in midstretch and drew off to a
convincing 3 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000
Camino Real Derby
at Golden Gate Fields. After racing exclusively on turf in
his first four starts, the Paddy Gallagher-trained colt made his stakes debut a
winning one while switching to the Tapeta track and established himself as a
Kentucky Derby prospect, earning 10 points in the new “Road to the Kentucky
Derby” scoring system, but he will need to be a late nominee to the Triple Crown
by the March 23 deadline.

Wildcat Moon broke on top from the rail but was quickly passed by Grade 3
Sham third-placer Maldonado, who sprinted to the fore and opened up by a couple
of lengths as he completed a fast opening quarter-mile in :23. Wildcat Moon
chased the pace in second and was followed by Counting Days and Carving during
the early stages, with Dice Flavor rating well off the pace in seventh after a
half-mile in :47 1/5.

Maldonado continued to show the way around the far turn, ripping through six
furlongs in 1:11 3/5, but a host of challengers started to bunch up behind the
tiring pacesetter as they reached the top of the stretch. Dice Flavor closed
rapidly while cornering to reach contention, but he entered the stretch drive
with nowhere to run behind a wall of horses. After steadying slightly, Dice
Flavor altered course toward the outside for a seam between rivals and quickly
accelerated to the front. 

He dominated the final furlong with jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., finishing 1 1/8
miles in 1:51 2/5.

Off as the 9-1 fourth choice in the nine-horse field, Dice Flavor paid $21,
$10.80 and $9.20. Nina’s Dragon rallied wide into the stretch and wound up
second at 13-1, nearly a length better than the 25-1 Counting Days in third. It
was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Carving, who was followed by Zeewat, Wildcat
Moon, North Pacific, Rush In and 2-1 favorite Mandando.

Third versus allowance/optional claiming foes in his last start at Santa Anita, Dice Flavor broke his maiden two
starts previously at Hollywood Park on December 16. The chestnut colt is a son
of Scat Daddy, who also sired 2012 El Camino Real Derby winner Daddy Nose Best,
and Dice Flavor is out of the Afleet mare Afleet Summer, making him a
half-brother to multiple Grade 3 hero Swift Warrior, winner of Saturday’s Grade
3 Tampa Bay; and multiple stakes victress Carolina Sky. His female family also
includes multiple Grade 1 hero and Canadian champion Sky Classic; Canadian
classic winners Sharp-Eyed Quillo and Regal Classic; and Canadian champion Classy ‘n

Dice Flavor was bred in Kentucky by Paget Bloodstock, Nearctic Bloodstock and
Carhue Investments, and he initially sold for $80,000 at the 2011 Keeneland
September sale before being purchased for $100,000 at last year’s Barretts May
two-year-old sale. With Saturday’s $120,000 payday, Dice Flavor has now earned $160,500
from a 5-2-0-2 career line.

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