By: Terence Dulay
The final Derby prep of the day was the El Camino Real Derby which was held at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco for the first time, traditionally it had been run at Bay Meadows. Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac was the overwhelming favorite at 3-5 in the eight horse field. Under Alex Solis, Startac raced in last for the first half mile, as many as 13 lengths off the early pace set by San Nicolas with fractions of 22.52, 44.88, and 1:08.88. Hoovergetthekeys had been in 6th early saving ground on the rail but shifted three wide into the lane to get around a wall of horses, passing Mo Mon and Champagne Day for the lead in mid stretch. Hoovergetthekeys drew off to win by 7, in a respectible 1:40.85 for the 1 1/16 miles, as the 7-1 third choice. Startac went two wide around the far turn to make his move but flattened out in the stretch, finishing a head in front of third place finisher Mo Mon.
Winning trainer Brian Koriner said "I hate to get him beat before the (Kentucky) Derby. But there is a $1 million bonus, including $250,000 to the trainer, if a horse wins both the Lone Star Derby and Kentucky Derby. That's an incentive, but on the other hand, if he gets beat, I'll have to reconsider whether I should run him in Kentucky."
Startac's jockey Alex Solis said that he "never really got ahold of the track. At the three-sixteenths he wouldn't switch leads because he wasn't really feeling comfortable. But he still finished (strong) even though he wasn't 100 per cent comfortable and that's a good sign. He's still a horse I'm excited about."
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Hoovergetthekeys Warren 16.20 4.20 2.10 8 Startac Solis 2.40 2.10 5 Mo Mon Jauregui 2.10 Winning Time: 1:40.85 $1 Exacta 3-8 19.40 $2 Quinella 3-8 10.40 $1 Trifecta 3-8-5 114.10Results Chart from Equibase
Other prep race results:
Photo by Terence Dulay.