California Derby winner Russian Greek heads a field of 10 three-year-olds for Saturday’s $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real is the final local prep leading to the Kentucky Derby.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Russian Greek will be ridden by Aaron Gryder from post four. The colt is owned by Olympia Star Inc.
In the Cal Derby Russian Greek trailed the field by more than seven-lengths in the early going before mounting a rally to catch Cahill Chrome just before the wire and post a length victory.
“I think this horse is developing into a pretty nice colt,” said Hollendorfer following the Cal Derby. “He had little things that bothered him after his first race so I gave him some time off.”
After beginning his career with a win at Santa Rosa last July, Russian Greek finished fifth in the Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate. He won the Gold Rush Stakes with another last to first rally at the Bay Area track. The colt has banked $121,700 with three wins in four career starts.
Hollendorfer also has California Oaks champ Lady of Fifty entered in the El Camino Real. The filly will break from the far outside post with Russell Baze riding.
Lady of Fifty, the lone female entered, is owned by her Hall of Fame trainer and George Todaro. With four wins in five lifetime starts the filly has earned $154,170 with $138,470 won at Golden Gate.
Cal Derby runner-up Cahill Chrome will start from post three and have Juan Hernandez in the saddle. The chestnut gelding is trained by Roger Hansen for owner/breeder Kjell H. Qvale.
Cahill Chrome was 29-1 in the Cal Derby after finishing fifth behind Russian Greek in the Gold Rush Stakes. He has earned $76,182 in 10 career starts with three wins.
Here is the full field for the El Camino Real in post position order: Daddy Nose Best, Julien Leparoux; Senor Rain, Kevin Krigger; Cahill Chrome, Juan Hernandez; Russian Greek, Aaron Gryder; Unveiled Heat, Frank Alvarado; Lucky Chappy, Alan Garcia; Handsome Mike, Corey Nakatani; Rockinarz Recruit, Abel Cedillo; All Squared Away, Kerwin John and Lady of Fifty, Russell Baze.
Previous winners of the race have also captured Triple Crown contests. Tank’s Prospect followed victory in the 1985 El Camino Real with a win in the Preakness as did Snow Chief the following year. In 1994 Tabasco Cat took the race before claiming the Preakness and Belmont.
The El Camino Real Derby has a scheduled post-time of 7:15 p.m. (et).