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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Ride the Rail in the El Camino Real!


By Greg “The Commish” Johnson
The Downey Profile

An intriguing mix of hopefuls takes center stage in Northern California’s signature Kentucky Derby Prep race, led by Grade I winner Tamarando. But hold on a minute. He might not even the favorite. It looks like several merit a long look, so let’s dig right in.

It’s a tricky read to identify the early pace . I’ll Wrap It Up certainly might be that guy. He has been prominent early in a few of his races of late, including his last, where he found trouble late and faded to fourth in a mile turf event at odds of 8-5. Despite his best effort to date being a two-turn victory at Hollywood Park, his outing in graded stakes company didn’t fare well. There are several others who may be breathing down his neck early, and that may put him in a tough spot late.

Dance with Fate was running with some of the best around at the end of his 2-year-old campaign. A return to racing on Jan. 24 saw him get away slow from the gate, but he come home like a good one in a swift time to boot. A quick check of the entries Saturday at Santa Anita has me wondering why Bejarano is not riding Dance with Fate again, as he’s not even in the feature race down south. Dance with Fate's two longest races to date were clearly not his best, which has me wondering if this son of Two Step Salsa is really wanting a mile and an eighth.

The top money earner in the race, Tamarando, has been banging around with some real good ones as far back as June. With only one off-the-board finish in nine starts, he’s also the lone grade I winner in the race. His only two-turn win came in the Real Quiet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. There was a complete meltdown on the front end, which allowed him to cruise past weaker ones. But still, he posted a decent speed figure. His morning drill leading into this has him looking like he’s still on his toes. I am wondering with him, like a few others, if he will get the pace scenario up front that he needs to set up his stone closer late kick. Hard to imagine he won’t be rolling late, but will it be enough?   

Infosec stepped up big time in his last one and picked up the show dough in the California Derby at 25-1 beaten only a length and a half by Enterprising. Prior to that, he reeled off two straight wins and got claimed from the Baffert barn. His move up in class and the marked improvement of his speed figures on the stretch-out can’t be overlooked. But the waters look deeper this time around, and others look more appealing for my money.

Enterprising draws the services of Gary Stevens, who doesn’t get up to Golden Gate too often. He does ride for this trainer, however, and was the regular rider down south for his first three races, including a win in the Eddie Logan, a mile-on-the-turf fray back on Dec. 28. His speed figures certainly fit with these, and he just missed as the 9-5 favorite in the Cal Derby. He’s bred to run all day, and another step forward makes this guy one tough customer indeed.

The more I go over this race and its contestants, the more I find myself coming back to the rail horse, Craftsman. He was the beaten favorite in the Eddie Logan in his U. S. debut, and after missing the break, he still came home with some enthusiasm. A group III winner in Ireland, this charge formerly hails from the powerful Aiden O’Brien camp. He’s another who is bred to run all day, has been working forwardly, and adds blinkers for this. I am encouraged by his trainer’s positive comments, saying he will improve a lot off his last. I have a warm and fuzzy feeling about Craftsman, and now I am wondering if I should just go out on a limb and say he wins this by daylight.

Puppy Manners found the winner circle in his fifth start, then took an optional claimer sprinting and jumped right up to the California Derby from there. That was his longest race to date, and he came home from well off the pace. It looks like he may need a strong pace to run into, and I’m not sure it will be there.   

Bob Baffert sends Icy Ride in from the SoCal circuit, where this maiden has yet to hit the board in four starts. He hasn’t even been bet in his races, which is typical for a Baffert charge not ready to win. He’s got one work that is Baffert-esque, and of course that is his last one, a second-best-of-33 at four furlongs. Does this mean this guy is finally ready to show something? His best effort to date was that two-turn effort on Jan 17, and his track variant numbers are very good in his last three. He might just look too suspicious to not use in the deeper part of those exotics, huh?



Don’t forget your special someone tomorrow on your way back from picking up your racing form! Some flowers and candy for her, and a couple winners for you. May the horse be with you!

Saturday, R8
Grade III El Camino Real Derby
Golden Gate Fields
1 1/8 Mile
Post Time: 7:15 ET

Post   Horse  ML  Jockey Sx  Wt Trainer
1  Craftsman (IRE) 8-1  D. Carr  C  121  S. Callaghan
2  Puppy Manners (KY) 8-1  F. Alvarado  C  121  J. Hollendorfer
3  Infosec (CA) 10-1  I. Enriquez  C  121  F. Lucarelli
4  Tamarando (CA) 3-1  R. Baze  C  121  J. Hollendorfer
5  Enterprising (FL) 5-2  G. Stevens  C  121  T. Proctor
6  Icy Ride (KY) 10-1  J. Valdivia Jr.  C  121  B. Baffert
7  I'll Wrap It Up (KY) 10-1  J. Hernandez  C  121  D. O'Neill
8 Dance with Fate (FL) 7-2 A. Gryder C 121  P. Eurton

All will run with Lasix.

Equipment Changes: 1 - Craftsman (IRE) - Blinkers On

Owners: 1 - Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners ; 2 - Hollendorfer, Myers or Todaro ; 3 - Remmah Racing, Inc. ; 4 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams ; 5 - Glen Hill Farm ; 6 - Baffert or Miller or Schiappa ; 7 - Daniel Kramer or Westside Rentals.com ; 8 - Alesia, Bran Jam Stable or Ciaglia Racing LLC

Breeders: 1 - Epona Bloodstock Ltd; 2 - Dr. John R. Cummins, Kenneth L. Ramsey& Sarah K. Ramsey; 3 - Kaleem Shah, Inc.; 4 - Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams; 5 - Glen Hill Farm; 6 - W. S. Farish & E. J. Hudson, Jr.Irrevocable Trust; 7 - Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd.; 8 - Best A Luck Farm LLC

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