Tipsheet: 2023 El Camino Real Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 9th, 2023

An octet of sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles on the Golden Gate Fields All-Weather surface in Saturday’s $100,000 El Camino Real Derby.

El Camino Real Derby Picks

  • #1 Gilmore
  • #5 Harcyn
  • #4 Passarando

El Camino Real Derby Wagers

El Camino Real Derby Contenders

#1 GILMORE: The Bob Baffert charge was a close third in a sprint on debut prior to dominating special weight foes at one-mile last time out. The $250,000 son of Twirling Candy has trained well in anticipation of his three-year-old bow, and I expect the Kentucky-bred to thrive on the surface in his first synthetic test. Jose Valdivia, Jr. inherits the ride.

#2 CHASE THE CHAOS: The Ed Moger trainee drove home a fine allowance victor most recently in preparation of Saturday. The gelded son of Astern is twice-stakes placed on the oval and will be a contender with some improvement off his latest venture. The late runner will be doing his best work in the stretch beneath Armando Ayuso.

#3 HAPPY DOES: Finished fourth in his lone black-type try to date and will need better to upset the field. The consistent colt was a smart allowance victor in his latest try and might sneak into the exotics with a well-timed ride from Santos Rivera in the stirrups.

#4 PASSARANDO: The two-time stakes winner has been first or second in each of his lifetime tries at Golden Gate for Steven Specht. The dark bay son of Tamarando has very good current form combined with a strong turn of foot, and will improve on the dirt-to-synthetic transition on Saturday. Frank Alvarado has the assignment.

#5 HARCYN: The Goldencents colt has led throughout in two sprints on the surface and will stretch out on the class rise for conditioner Steve Sherman. Bred to handle a route of ground, he will be especially dangerous if he clears early and is allowed to dictate things up top. The Jerome Moss homebred rates a logical chance.

#6 IN HONOR OF AUTISM: The Jonathan Wong trainee comes off of his best performance to date when defeating starter allowance foes locally. The chestnut son of Stanford will need better to challenge the group, but he is trending in the right direction and could be any kind while making his first route attempt. $8,000 yearling buy will have Evin Roman taking the reins.

#7 SEADOG: Trounced in his lone stakes try to date and looks to be in a tough spot in this heat. The Midshipman gelding did run well in the allowance ranks most recently, but the sophomore will need a big step forward on Saturday in his second black-type try. Francisco Monroy retains the mount.

#8 NULLARBOR: The second horse from the Baffert shedrow showed marked improvement when graduating on the dirt at Santa Anita last time out. The speedy $500,000 son of Candy Ride is bred to enjoy the distance, and the inconsistent sort will be dangerous with something resembling his latest showing. The dark bay colt will be forwardly placed from the opening bell.