By Dick Downey
As many as 11 runners could start in Saturday's El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
Entries will be taken Wednesday morning, and the following eight horses are definite, barring unforeseen circumstances: Craftsman (to be ridden by Dennis Carr), Dance With Fate (Aaron Gryder), Enterprising (Gary Stevens), I’ll Wrap It Up (Juan Hernandez), Infosec (Isaias Enriquez), Neverwherecauseway (Alex Bisono), Puppy Manners (Frank Alvarado) and Tamarando (Russell Baze).
Grazen’s Hope, Life Is A Joy and Pearl Spectre are considered possible.
California Derby winner Exit Stage Left will miss the race after coming up with an injury Saturday morning. Enterprising, trained by Tom Proctor, was second in the California Derby and will get the services of Stevens for the fourth time on Saturday. Aaron Gryder rode Enterprising in the California Derby. Infosec, trained by Frank Lucarelli, was third in that race.
Tamarando carries the most credentials into the race. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Tamarando won the Del Mar Futurity and Real Quiet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park last year. Tamarando opened up his 3-year-old campaign with a second-place finish to California Chrome in the California Cup Derby on Jan. 25 at Santa Anita and comes into Saturday's race with $505,120 in earnings. Puppy Manners, also trained by Hollendorfer, was fourth in the California Derby at Golden Gate.
The El Camino Real Derby is a 1 1/8-mile contest and is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series. The winner will earn 10 Derby points, with four, two and one going to the next three finishers. Among the probables, Dance with Fate, Neverwherecauseway and Puppy Manners weren't early-nominated to the Triple Crown. All three of the possibles were early-nominated.
Post time for the El Camino Real Derby is late on the east coast, 7:42 p.m. ET.
Leading Golden Gate jockey Russell Baze, named to ride Tamarando, took off his final three mounts Sunday due to back spasms but is expected to return to action later this week.