How to bet the 2019 El Camino Real Derby

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

February 15th, 2019

Thirteen sophomore males have been entered in the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby going 1 1/8 miles at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday. Eight are colts and five have already been gelded but it is an interesting group of horses with some terrific pedigrees. It is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points contests and will award 10-4-2-1 points to the respective top four finishers. Bulky fields usually give the impression that bad trips will be prevalent but this field should get stretched out pretty well. There are a couple of fast horses in here and even stretching out in distance should not stop them from trying to get to the front. Five of them have an “early” running style, with early speed points between six and eight. So, I am expecting an honest pace. When confronted with these circumstances, you can either go with a horse rallying from off the pace in anticipation of a pace meltdown or go with the fastest of the fast horses. The need-to-lead runners will collapse when they do not make the lead and the fastest of the fast will have things their own way. That said, there is only one horse to key on top. ANOTHERTWISTAFATE (#4) (5-2) is a Golden Gate horse who worked so well on the Tapeta last autumn he was shipped to Santa Anita Park for his career debut on November 3. Dismissed at 14-1 odds, he could not make the front and fell behind in a poor effort. The dark bay came back five weeks later at Golden Gate and, at 7-10 odds for his Tapeta and two-turn debut, he gunned to the front and drew off to win by four lengths, earning a BRIS Speed rating of 92. The two horses he beat came back to win their next start. Instead of going forwards next out in an entry-level allowance race against four rivals, Anothertwistafate went backwards in the sense that his BRIS Speed rating dropped back to 85 as he jogged on the front-end and never looked back. It had all the appearances of a paid workout and has worked brilliantly for this. The Kentucky-bred sophomore loves this track and showed no sign of weakening in his two previous starts here, so nine furlongs should not be a problem. Juan Hernandez rides back – 22 percent with his route mounts – and he has won 35 percent riding for trainer Blaine Wright the past two months. EAGLE SONG (#7) (5-1) won a couple of conditions race on an all-weather track in Ireland to finish up last year. He shipped to Santa Anita and was an even fourth in a downhill turf sprint against allowance foes while making his seasonal debut on January 11. Last out, with blinkers added, the bay colt was a good second in a two-turn mile there after stalking a slow pace. His sire, No Nay Never, is the leading first-crop sire in Europe and now stands for a $100,000 stud fee. His dam, the Danehill mare Al Ihsas, was Group 3-placed at two and came back after a long layoff to win by six lengths going seven furlongs. Storm Cat-line sires cross very well with dams by Danehill. Drawn in the middle, Eagle Song can’t afford to get pushed back to the second tier if any outside speed horses jam him up. KINGLY (#9) (2-1) was entered at Fair Grounds for the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) with way more Kentucky Derby eligibility points available. However, he drew poorly and trainer Bob Baffert decided to keep him in California and run here. What is even more odd is that Baffert brings him back only 16 days after he was second in a two-turn mile allowance race at Santa Anita, where he chased a wicked pace on a  sealed, sloppy track. Still, this is a Baffert three-year-old with impeccable breeding. Kingly is sired by Tapit and is out of the Dixie Union mare Justwhistledixie, who is also the dam of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day and Mohaymen, who won four Grade 2 stakes races before falling off the Triple Crown trail. Kingly’s workouts are not the usual awe-inspiring breezes that Baffert is famous for so I think he is beatable in here and hope that he gets overbet. WEEKLY CALL (#6) (12-1) is one of two horses entered by Doug O’Neill, and I prefer this one because he has better gate speed. The son of Will Take Charge rallied from off the pace to beat $80,000 maiden claimers on the turf at Del Mar, then came back and ran evenly at long odds in a stakes race at Santa Anita. Two weeks ago there, he gunned to the front and almost held on against allowance/optional claiming rivals. Weekly Call’s dam is the War Front mare Summer Soiree, a Grade 1 winner going two turns on the turf. This is his Tapeta debut but he should be fit from his recent efforts. Tapeta racetracks are remarkably consistent and going two turns at Golden Gate does not present any bias. I think Anothertwistafate is too fast for these and will be hard to catch. There is a group of others who have a chance at decent prices and Kingly figures to be overbet (not that important) and looks beatable (very important). Win: #4 Exacta Box : #4 and #7 Trifecta: #4 and #7 with #2, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #9 with #2, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #9 PHOTO: Golden Gate Fields (c) Vassar Photography/Shane Micheli