Metaboss wins El Camino Real Derby

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

February 15th, 2015

Metaboss catapulted himself into the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture with a 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $200,525 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields. Under Hall of Famer Alex Solis, the Jeff Bonde trainee rallied from near the back of the pack and completed 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta in 1:49 4/5. Metaboss paid $15.20 to win as the 6-1 fourth choice in the 10-horse field.

California Derby winner Cross the Line had a couple of trouble lines in this race and did well to get up for second. Although he might have been a little closer with a clean trip, it's doubtful that he could have contained Metaboss' terrific turn of foot. Nevertheless, Cross the Line galloped out well and is worth watching for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Conquest Typhoon, third as the 9-5 favorite, ran well in defeat. Returning from a 2 1/2-month break and trying nine furlongs for the first time, Conquest Typhoon argued the early pace and understandably tired in the final furlong. It's worth noting that he had finished second in his two prior synthetic tries at Woodbine, and the Mark Casse pupil appears better suited to turf.

Metaboss has spent most of his time on turf so far in his brief career, and the promising colt has to answer the dirt question, versus stronger company, before moving into the top tier of Derby hopefuls. His only dirt start -- a fourth to Ocho Ocho Ocho in the off-the-turf Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita -- is inconclusive, as it came over 6 1/2 furlongs. Metaboss has thrived with added distance. Moreover, as a May 17 foal, he has scope to keep developing, and his pedigree suggests surface versatility.

A bigger question than surface could be pace dynamics. In both his turf maiden win and in the El Camino Real Derby, Metaboss flew off slow fractions. It remains to be seen how he might adapt to a truly-run race on dirt, but he's an exciting prospect.

The full race recap, and more details on Metaboss, are available on Metaboss proves just that in El Camino Real

Metaboss photo credit Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography