When playing races or carryovers at tracks I normally don’t play, I try to lean on the Ultimate Race Summary found in the Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances, but the El Camino Real Derby (click for FREE PPs) on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields does not afford such a luxury because there has only been one 1 1/8-mile race so far this meeting at the Bay area track.

A (free!) fallback is the At A Glance section of the Brisnet.com The Handicapper’s Edge, which includes more general info on current meetings. For 1 1/16-mile races on the main (Tapeta Footings synthetic) track at the current Golden Gate meeting, there have been 11 gate-to-wire winners from 33 races, and the “Best Style” is an “E” type.

Ah… but there are no “E” types in this edition of the El Camino, which seems to most benefit Enterprising, an “E/P” type with a field-leading 7 Quirin Speed Points who gets a Racing Hall of Fame jockey (Gary Stevens) who knows how to pilot a front-end horse.

Enterprising is also the only El Camino entrant who ran 90+ pace ratings from the start of his last race to the first and second calls, and he finished well enough off that pace to register the highest last-out speed rating as well (whereas other horses in the field with just one 90+ pace rating in the E1 or E2 categories have all faded).

The question from a wagering standpoint is whether the morning line is accurate in pegging Enterprising at 5-to-2. I figure Tamarando would go favored, but the Grade 1 winner is the morning line 3-to-1 second choice in the field of eight. I don’t mind if Enterprising is the favorite, but anything less than 5-to-2 and I’m looking elsewhere.

My top alternative is Craftsman, who drew the rail for his three-year-old debut, but more importantly makes his second start on Lasix after beginning his career in his native Ireland where his Class Ratings fit with these.

So from a win standpoint, the morning line is my floor on Enterprising, but Craftsman at 8-to-1 is more than enough (I’d be fine with 5-to-1), and I’ll use both in equal strength in multi-race wagering.

I think the rest are equal in their appeal. Tamarando is a notch below my “A” horses but will be bet as heavily, so I see him as an underlay even for multi-race wagering purposes. None of the other five are higher than 10-to-1, and indeed, I see them as equals, but I’d want 15-to-1 on any of them. I haven’t looked at the Pick 4 yet, but if there’s a chance to narrow elsewhere I wouldn’t mind the ability to use “ALL” in here on a backup ticket.

But win and even Pick 4 wagering is pennies compared to what’s still at stake for 1,920 TwinSpires.com players who are live in the Road To The Kentucky Derby SHOWdown and the $1-million top prize for connecting 20 consecutive $20 show wagers.

They have one race down after the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on February 8 at Santa Anita Park and this weekend have the El Camino (Saturday) and Southwest Stakes (Monday at Oaklawn Park) ahead of them.

We’ll get to the Southwest on Monday morning, but how many of the aforementioned 1,920 will? If 80% advance out of the El Camino as they did out of the Lewis then 1,536 will be alive to the Southwest, but I think that level again this week would require both Tamarando and Enterprising hitting the board, and that’s no gimme.

So who’s the play for show if you’re only concern is advancing and not value? I’d have no problem talking anyone off a win bet on either Tamarando at less than 2-to-1 but can understand the show appeal. He’s definitely as fast as any in the field, and while the pace might compromise his win chances, he’ll be running late against some known faders.

Still, I’d go with Enterprising, who I just think will be in complete control of the race and even if he’s caught late is good enough to hang around. Put another way, I don’t think anyone who runs with him will finish ahead of him, and if he goes on with it he wins and even if he doesn’t he’s fast enough to beat five of these.

For those who played in our LAST LONGEST contest on Twitter, click here for the El Camino Real tweet to retweet.

And on the TwinSpires.com side, even if you’re already out for the $1-million, there is still plenty to play for, including prizes for the most winning show wagers during the prep season and a $10,000 pool for those who hit $20 to show on the Kentucky Derby itself to share.

Another promo this week on TwinSpires.com involving both the El Camino and Southwest is our Presidents’ Weekend Show-Place-Win for 1-million points that involves a show wager Saturday, place wager Sunday, and win wager Monday. The graphic shows Washington and Lincoln, but it actually takes an Andrew Jackson ($20) to participate!

For a video summary preview of all the weekend three-year-old action, the TCI boys have you covered with Triple Crown Insider sponsored by Archarcharch!