Just over half of the 13 colts and geldings entered in Saturday’s $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields are currently nominated to the Triple Crown, perhaps a useful handicapping guideline in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series prep.
Contested at 1 1/8 miles and one of only two U.S. Derby preps run on a synthetic surface, the El Camino Real Derby also serves as a “Win & You’re In” prep for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness (G1) at Pimlico.
The Bob Baffert-trained Kingly, a veteran of only two starts, was expected to scratch from Saturday’s Risen Star (G2) to run in Northern California. A debut winner at Del Mar last summer, Kingly returned on January 31 and was a solid second in an entry-level allowance in the slop at Santa Anita.
Anothertwistafate has been untested in two starts over the Golden Gate surface, beating maiden and allowance foes by a combined margin of nine lengths. The Scat Daddy colt got away with slow paces in both and will attempt to stretch his speed a sixteenth of a mile farther than he’s ever run.
King of Speed and More Ice have so far proven best on turf, with the latter scoring back-to-back stakes wins in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf and $100,000 Zuma Beach last fall. More Ice, meanwhile, exits a third-place effort in the $75,000 Eddie Logan on the grass at Santa Anita.
Irish import Eagle Song could prove a wild card. Fourth and second in two turf allowances since arriving on these shores, he was a multiple winner over all-weather surfaces in his native land at two.
The Creep and Mayor Cobb, both of whom placed in a one-mile stakes over the strip in early December, are among the more accomplished of the remainder.
The El Camino Real Derby offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers.