King of Speed Headlines Invaders
A deep field of 13 is set to contest the 38th running of theEl Camino Real Derby on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
In addition to a check for $60,000 from the $100,000 purse, the El Camino Real Derby winner will, for the first time, receive a free berth into the Preakness Stakes, provided the horse is Triple Crown-nominated, as well as 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Bob Baffert’s Kingly is the arguable headliner. Based at Santa Anita, the son of Tapit is out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie and is thus a full brother to four-time Grade II winner Mohaymen and a half sibling to Grade I stakes winner New Year’s Day.
An impressive first-out maiden winner sprinting at Del Mar last December, next time out Kingly was second as the 8-5 favorite going a flat mile behind the highly regarded Extra Hope at Santa Anita on Jan. 31. Southern California jockey Evin Roman will ride Kingly for the first time on Saturday.
The most noteworthy locally-based runner is Anothertwistafate (pictured), a son of Scat Daddy trained by Blaine Wright and ridden by top Northern California jockey Juan Hernandez. Anothertwistafate has rattled off two decisive route wins against easier company and makes his stakes debut in this spot. Other local contenders include stakes placed Mayor Cobb, supplemental entrant Data Hawk, multiple northern California winner Angelo’s Pride and Rey Coliman, who finished second behind Anothertwistafate in a Jan. 4 allowance.
Jerry Hollendorfer, who has trained the winner of the El Camino Real Derby a record six times, will send out More Ice, a chestnut colt by More Than Ready. Out of the Tapit mare Cool and Ice, More Ice was most recently third going a mile on turf in Santa Anita’s Eddie Logan Stakes on Dec. 28 and has two works on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate leading into what will be his 3-year-old debut.
Currently atop the Santa Anita trainer standings, two-time Kentucky Derby winner and 2016 El Camino Real Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill will saddle a pair of horses in Saturday’s renewal, The Creep and Weekly Call, both of whom were stakes placed as juveniles.
Among the shippers from the south part of the state are Jeff Bonde’s stakes winning King of Speed, who also trains Sparky Ville, fresh off an upset win of Sunday's San Vicente Stakes, for the same ownership. Connections chose to nominate King of Speed, but not Sparky Ville, to the Triple Crown.
Other out-of-town shippers include Keith Desormeaux’s Knight’s Cross, Mark Glatt’s Eagle Song and the Eoin Harty-conditioned Royal Insider.
With first post time at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday set at 12:45 p.m., the El Camino Real Derby has been carded as the seventh race on a 9-race program. Approximate post time for the Derby is at 3:45 p.m. PT.
Edited release with additional content by Dick Downey